Friday, September 7, 2012

What God Sees


Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.” – Numbers 12:1

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the local church lately.  Not any one local church in particular, but local churches in general, and what God says they should be compared to what we have made them. (Note, I did say we.  This is not a soap-box sermon.) 
One thing God revealed to me during that study was that many of our churches are very willing to send its members to other countries as missionaries.  We love to send them, even when we won’t go ourselves, but alas….that is another topic.  However, just because we will send them to Africa to minister, we would not accept them back with such open arms if they brought back an African man or woman as their husband or wife.  We love their souls, but despise their flesh. 

Okay, stick with me here.  I know a lot of ears just went deaf, but God says “He that has an ear, let Him hear.” You decide when you’re done what you want to do with this.  Before you turn me off, I’ll shut up, and let you hear what God has to say about racism. 
Moses was a beloved prophet of God.  In Numbers 12:6-8, God says:

“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream.
Not so with My servant Moses;
He is faithful in all My house.
I speak with him face to face,
Even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the Lord.”
Long before the day in which God said these words, Moses had escaped from Egypt and went into Ethiopia.  That’s right folks, Africa.  While he was there he was given Zipporah to be his wife (Exodus 2:21).  But things weren’t much different back then between the races of God’s children than they are today. 

On the day of Numbers 12, a dissention started against Moses, and of all things, it started with his own brother and sister-in-law, Aaron and Miriam.  Why the sudden turn on Moses?  I’m thinking it wasn’t so sudden.  Numbers 12:1 says “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”  It wasn’t Moses they had a problem with.  It was the fact that he had married a black woman, and Ethiopian.  They stated their racist claim as if Moses had sinned.  They questioned whether God had truly spoken to Moses at all.
Oh, friends, be very careful when you talk about one of God’s called servants.  God does not take it lightly.  And God hates racism, make no doubt about it.

God immediately called Aaron, Miriam, and Moses together to talk to them.  Note that He didn’t bother Zipporah with this.  She’d had no part in it.  But after they finished speaking with God, and God explained to them who Moses was to Him, He sent punishment on Miriam.  Immediately her skin became white as snow with leprosy.  That’s right…God made her white.  He affected her skin color.  Got a knot in your throat yet? 
Aaron then did something that showed what was in His heart.  He turned to his brother Moses, who he had just talked down, and begged him to intercede with God and save his wife.  And, Moses being the man of God he was, did just that and begged God to save her.  God kept Miriam in her leper state for seven days as punishment.

Now I know the Bible verses going around in a lot of folks heads because I’ve heard them all my life.  There’s the one a lot of people will half-quote that says “Do not be unequally yoked”.  Read the whole verse in 2 Corinthians 6:14, because the rest of that verse says “with unbelievers”.  It’s not talking about skin color.  In fact, the only ruling God gives on the person you marry is that they should be a believer.  Not one verse says not to marry another race.  Even in the old testament when he told them not to marry other tribes, such as the Amorites, or the Jebusites, it was because they practiced idolatry – not because of their color.
What God does say about race or origin is in 1 John 4:20-21 when he says:

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar;
for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
how can he love God whom he has not seen?
And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
Consider your heart.  God does.  God looks upon your heart, not your skin color (1 Samuel 16:7).  To Him, who you are is not a factor of what color skin He made you no more than you eye color or your hair color.  It’s a matter of who you are at heart.  If any kind of bigotry or hatred resides in your heart, God sees it.  You should see it too. 



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