Son of My Right Hand


What’s in a name? In most western cultures, parents name their children after many different reasons. Perhaps to honor a loved one, or someone famous, or simply to give their child their own unique identity. In the times of the Old Testament, Hebrew names carried more than just a phonetic grouping of letters that gave a pleasant sound, it carried a meaning. For example, Genesis chapter five gives the ten generations from Adam to Noah. In Chuck Missler’s book “Cosmic Codes,”1 he translated the names in chronological order into English. “Adam ‐ Seth ‐ Enosh ‐ Cainan ‐ Mahalalel ‐ Jared ‐ Enoch ‐ Methuselah ‐ Lamech ‐ Noah” was translated as “Man - (is) Appointed - Mortal - Sorrow; (but) The Blessed God - Shall come down - Teaching - His death shall bring - The Despairing - Comfort or Rest.”

Jacob’s Troubles

In Hebrew, Jacob’s name means “heel catcher” or “supplanter.” The book of Genesis records his nefarious deeds which ultimately led him into trouble. Jacob had twelve sons by four different women. The names of each of the first eleven sons were given at birth by their mother to communicate her mindset at that moment. The twelfth son is the only one named by his father. We pick up the story in Genesis chapter 35.

“Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, ‘Do not fear; you will have this son also.’ And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin.”

Gen 35:17,18

As Rachel was dying, she called her son Ben-Oni which means “Son of my sorrow.” We are then told that Jacob intervened and renamed him Benjamin, which is a concatenation of two Hebrew words, Ben which means “Son”. Yamin which means “Right Hand.” Therefore, Jacob was calling him “Son of my Right Hand.”

Right Hand

In Biblical typology, the “Right Hand” is symbolic of power and authority. In the song of Moses where he is rejoicing in the salvation from God he declares, “Your right hand, O LORD, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces.”2 The most quoted Psalm3 in the New Testament is Psalm 110:1 “A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” As Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin He prophesied “the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”4

If we look deeper into the etymology5 of the name given to Jacob’s last son, we discover that perhaps Jacob is sending a message to the older brothers that Benjamin will finally fulfill his father’s desire to have a son that will be a leader. If you look at the history of his eleven brothers that does not seem to be too much of a stretch of the imagination.

The Tribe of Benjamin stood as a buffer between Judea and the other ten tribes of Israel. They were notable warriors. As history would have it, the first king of Israel came from the tribe of Benjamin.6 The apostle Paul was also from the tribe of Benjamin.7

Our Benjamin

Ben MatsenOn July 29th, 1979 our son Benjamin was born. He would be the second of our boys and one daughter. His mother and I watched him grow into a strong intelligent young man who had a kind spirit and a generous heart. He gave his life to Jesus Christ as a child and never looked back. As he entered into adulthood, he was determined to embrace all that life had to offer.

He was the first of my sons to get married. He was the first of my sons to give Marcie and I a grandchild. He was the first of my sons to work with me in the ministry. He was the first of my sons to work for Koinonia House Europe. By early 2000, Ben became the audio editor for Chuck Missler’s international version of 66-40 radio program. In 2005 he produced the first of many television programs from Chuck’s material which were distributed worldwide. He was very quickly becoming my right-hand man in so many aspects of my ministry.

Ben was a full-on passionate guy who would willingly throw himself into any task that might be helpful, even if it cost him time, energy, and sometimes physical injury. There were no half measures with him as he was driven by a deep love of God and people. If there was a car to be fixed, a hole to be dug, or cat up a tree, Ben was an irresistible force for good.

Benjamin’s Date with Destiny

January 14th, 2024, started like every other Sunday morning, We met Ben and his family at the 9:00am service at Calvary Chapel Merritt Island, Florida. This Sunday was a special occasion as it was a celebration of forty years of service for their pastor Malcolm Wild and his wife Carol. Marcie and I have known Malcolm ana Carol for more than forty-seven years. They have had a huge influence on the lives of all our children.

During the service, Marcie and I could see that Ben was extremely moved by the whole environment of worship and teaching. So much so that Ben informed us that he was going to stay for the 11:00am service so he could enjoy the whole experience one more time. We also stayed and we were not disappointed.

At 3:45pm that same day, Ben’s wife Elizabeth called us to say that Ben was very unwell. When we arrive at his house, the EMT’s were preparing him for transfer a local hospital. Little did any one of us imagine that he would never return to his home. On the 17th of January Ben stepped over the threshold of death into the glorious light of eternity.

A Parents Perspective

On May 18th, 1998, Chuck and Nancy Missler experience the death of their eldest son Charles Walter “Chip” Missler Jr. I remember Chuck later saying to me through tear-filled eyes that “no parent should have to bury their own child.” This difficult time in the Misslers’ lives brought forth a deep understanding to them of how to survive suffering. It would become the inspiration for Nancy’s book “Faith in the Night Seasons.”

All our plans assume we understand our own destiny. We plan, we proclaim, we prepare and then we power through the challenges that stand in our way all because assume we understand the best course of our life. During the hours sitting with Ben’s wife and daughters I had time to run through the whole range of thoughts and emotions that accompany an experience like this.

It began with disbelief. Then it shifted to waves of mourning which were quickly darkened by regret. It was at this point that I could see that we were all headed onto a slippery slope of sorrow which is lubricated with uncontrollable tears. This downward momentum sweeps you down a deep emotional tunnel that has no exit. I could strongly sense the spiritual battle going on in all our hearts. Then I was reminded,

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

2 Corinthians 19:4-6

This idea of bringing every thought captive is not some miracle metaphysical practice. It is the practical application of God’s Word which can speak to us in our hour of need. As the Word of God begins to fill our minds, its cleansing flow washes out the darkness and replaces it with light and life. The Psalmist puts it best.

“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes.”

Psalm 119:9-12

Rather than being overwhelmed with regret, we needed to fill our minds with rejoicing. If we believe in all the attributes of God, then we know that He is faithful, just, loving, sovereign, all-knowing, and all-powerful to name only a few. Resting is God’s sovereignty is only achieved when you come to the realization that this God, who we claim to know, understands the end from the beginning and is orchestrating the specific events in all our lives. In simple terms, the more you know, believe and obey the Word of God, the more you can stand upon the rock that cannot be shaken. As this thought streamed into my mine, I was once again reminded of the teaching of Jesus when He said,

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

Luke 6:46-49

This ROCK is the Word of God which cannot be moved by the tides of this world. It stands firmly fixed in a world of shifting sands. During this whole ordeal I once again saw myself clinging to that ROCK. The Psalmist King David said it best.

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 61:2

Strength during Suffering

In the book of Job, we read the story of a man being tested by God. It all begins with God declaring to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”8 Satan is then allowed to systematically strip Job of all he has. After the loss of his wealth and his children, Job reveals the heart of unwavering faith that God spoke about.

“He said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”

Job 1:21-22

Here we see that resignation to the plans and purposes of God is not a sign of a lack of faith, it is the demonstration of real faith. After the loss of everything which was compounded by personal attacks on his character, Job declares,

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

Job 19:25-27

In the book of Daniel, we have another example a type of faith brinkmanship.9 When Nebuchadnezzar hears that three of the Hebrews did not obey his command to bow down before the golden image, he has them arrested and threatens them with certain death by being thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “Oh Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, Oh king. But if not, let it be known to you, Oh king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Daniel 3:16-18

After these faithful men were thrown into the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar saw that they were unharmed.

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’ ‘Look! he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’”

Daniel 3:24-25

The World is Watching

Finding solace during struggles is never easy. The English author C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

When darkness surrounds you, do you burn out or burn bright? When you are going through your own “valley of the shadow of death,”10 remember the godless world surrounding you is watching. What message are you sending? Like the rich young ruler’s quest11, do you seek an enduring life, or do you seek an enduring legacy? As a child I purchased a little plaque which stated, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”12 It has been a guiding motto for my whole life.

Chuck Missler would often say, “Each day God will find another way to ask the same question, ‘Do you trust Me?’” In the end we are all faced with the big question of “Why” when it comes to suffering or loss. The answer is simple and straight forward if you have the faith to comprehend it.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3,4

May God continue to guide and comfort you as you dwell under the shadow of the Almighty.

En Agape, Ron


2 Exodus 15:6

3 Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42, Acts 2:34, Hebrews 1:13

4 Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62, Luke 22:69

5 Meaning, “The origin and meaning of a word”

6 1 Samuel 9

7 Romans 11:1; Philippians 3:5

8 Job 1:8

9 Meaning “The art or practice of pursuing a dangerous policy to the limits of safety before stopping”

10 Psalm 23

11 Matthew 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 18:18-27

12 by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)