Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#42 God's Use of People of Color

Biblical Revelation of Race

# 42 God’s Use of People of Color
Vernon M. Herron

With this blog, we conclude the three-part discussion on the biblical revelation of race and to quickly state that God calls and uses all people in ministry. The teachings and message of the scripture are that people are of great value regardless of color. We must see that all races were the ‘good guys’ in the Bible. All races contributed to the betterment of a world order.

When Japheth became the father of the Caucasian race in Europe, that continent grew and developed empires and systems for the good of the world.

When Shem moved southeast and became the father of the Hebrews, one could see the occupation and development of Syria, Assyria, the Persian Gulf and a large part of Arabia. The world has utilized many resources from these areas.

When Ham’s sons settled Palestine/Canaan, Africa, Asia, India, the Island of Pacific, Australia, Central and South America, one could see 2/3 of the world’s population was dark skinned; that these regions produced civilization, cultures, systems, religions and even a Messiah which have forever changed the face of the world. ALL RACES HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO A BETTER WORLD ORDER.

From these three sons, the entire human race has come. Those divisions are important to one’s identity. Upon inquiry, one could always go back to one’s roots. But the New Testament speaks of a new nation—
with a new identity—the household of God.

Eph. 2:19
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and the household of God.

When we go to the book of Acts, we discover a man who is a Shemite. He is Jewish and is converted. He is the Apostle Paul.

A descendant of Ham, the Ethiopian’s treasurer, on his way to Ethiopia, was converted.

Those who come from Japheth are represented in the New Testament by Cornelius and those of European descent.

Now identity is no longer racial. Our identity is ‘the household of faith.’

   Same Father

   Same Brother/Christ Jesus

   Same Companion/Holy Spirit

God has called people from all walks of life to do His work: Abraham, a man of wealth; Moses, the keeper of the flock; Amos, the herdsman from Tekoa; Peter, the fisherman; Paul, the tentmaker; Jesus, the carpenter; Lincoln, the rail-splitter; Booker T. Washington, the enslaved; Albert Schweitzer, the learned physician---all have been called to do the mighty work of God.

According to the late Benjamin E. Mayes, “it is true that God reached up and took John Milton, somewhat of an aristocrat, and made him a great poet. But it is also true that God reached down and got Horace, the son of a former enslaved and made him perhaps the greatest Roman writer. ‘Tis true that God reached up and getting wealthy George Washington, made him the father of his country. But it is also true that God reached down into a Kentucky log cabin and made Lincoln the great emancipator. God made Caruso a great singer of the world but God also reached over to the south side of Philadelphia and out of the Union Baptist Church, picked Marian Anderson and made her the voice of the century.”

God’s work must truly be our own. God even used people of color in ministry.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

# 41 A Historical Perspective of the Israel/Palestine Arab Conflict

Biblical Revelation of Race

# 41 A Historical Perspective of the

Israel/Palestine Arab Conflict


Vernon M. Herron

The late Benjamin E. Mayes and the World Book Encyclopedia helped me greatly to understand the century old conflict between Israel and Palestine. I have wondered why half brothers and sisters, and cousins could not get alone. What is the rationale why biblical scholars have long said that ‘contrary to our prayers for Jerusalem’s peace, it is ordained that there will be no peace.’

A Historical Perspective of the Israel/Palestine Arab Conflict

Research shows that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), chaired by the late Yasir Arafat, is in alliance with Palestine Arab groups that work to establish an Arab state in what was once Palestine. The area that made up Palestine now consists mainly of Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

During the Truman Administration, Israel was declared a state. The PLO did not recognize Israel’s right to exist but in 1988, Arafat persuaded the PLO to accept Israel’s right to exist alongside a Palestine state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

In 1993, the PLO and Israel gave recognition to each other but that truce did not last long. There remains conflict and war between these groups even until this day.

What Is The Biblical Reference to This Conflict?

The account can be found in Genesis 16 and 17. The conflict stems from hostility which has existed since the birth of Ishmael and Isaac, sons of Abraham. Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid while Isaac was the son of Abraham and his wife Sarah. The Arabs are of the descent of Ishmael while the Hebrew people are of the descent of Isaac.

Genesis 16:1-4, 15

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife bare him no children:

and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

And Sarai said unto Abram,

Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing:

I pray thee, go in unto my maid;

it may be that I may obtain children by her.

And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

And Sarai, Abram’s wife took her maid the Egyptian.

After Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan

and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

And he went in unto Hagar and she conceived

and when she saw that she had conceived,

her mistress was despised in her eyes.

And Hagar bare Abram a son:

and Abram called his son’s name,

which Hagar bare, Ishmael. (Arab decent)

Genesis 17:19-21

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed;

and thou shalt call his name Isaac:

and I will establish my covenant with him

for an everlasting covenant and with his seed after him.

And as for Ishmael,…I will make him a great nation.

But my covenant will I establish with Isaac,

which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

# 40 People of Color in the Bible

Biblical Revelation of Racial Identification

# 40 People of Color in the Bible
Vernon M. Herron

Today, we begin a three-part discussion on the Biblical revelation of race.
We will discuss the identification of races, purpose and destiny. We will briefly reflect on the Israel/Palestine Arab conflict, and God’s use of all peoples, so stay tuned and don’t turn your dial.

According to demographic and statistical reports, there are five billion peoples on the face of the earth and the majority of them are people of color. Modern man often wonders about the origin of races. Biblical records significantly include people of color in God’s panorama of history. First, we must get certain geographical concepts in place and therefore must have some insight of the lands of the Bible. There are overwhelming facts designating Africa as the birth place of humanity. According to Kun-jun-fu, “the original man was an ETHIOPIA.” He continues, “Africans lived almost 4 million years ago; Asians lived over 700 thousand years ago; Europeans lived over 70 thousand years ago.”

During the Great Flood, the ark with its eighty occupants was lifted from the continent of Africa and rested on the continent of Asia-Mt. Ararat. All human life after the flood is credited to Noah’s family. His three sons SHEM, HAM AND JAPHETH are responsible for the fathers of all races.

Gen. 9:18-19.
“And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.” These are the three sons of Noah: and of them the whole earth was overspread.

In Genesis 11:7,
God confounded their language, which compelled them to separate according to Noah’s sons. By this act, new nations were formed.

Japheth and his family traveled north, settling north of the Mediterranean Sea. He became the Father of the Caucasian race in Europe.

Shem and his family moved southeast occupying Syria, Assyria, the Persian Gulf and a large part of Arabia. He is the father of the Hebrews.

Ham had four sons, (Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan. Gen. 10:6) but only three of them went with him south to Africa. His youngest son, Canaan settled an area known, today as Palestine, which was originally called Canaan. The Canaanites were a Black race of people who ruled Canaan- land for nearly one thousand years before losing it to the children of Shem. In Gen. 9:18. God called Ham, who was Noah’s third son, the father of Canaan before His children entered the land of Canaan.

Ham’s descendants settled Palestine, Africa, Asia, India, Islands of the Pacific, Australia, Central and South America. 2/3 of the world’s population is brown and dark skinned. This is why people of color are numerous in the Bible.

Gen. 10 tells us about Nim-rod, the grandson of Ham. It was Nimrod who built the towel of Babel.
II Samuel 11, names a black Hittite—Uriah, whose dark skinned wife was Bathsheba.
Caphtor: Crete was the grandson of Ham and father of the Black Philistines. (Jer. 47:4).
According to I Sam. 17, the most popular Black Philistine in the Bible are Delilah and Goliath.
Moses was a Black skinned Hebrew living in the Negro land of Egypt during the period of Israel’s enslavement.
Ex. 2, tells us how Moses out of fear fled Africa to the land of Midian, where he found his Black wife Zip-porah.
Three wise men journeyed to Bethlehem to greet the savior. One of the three, Balthazar-(Ba-tha-zar) was Black. Matt:2:1 reports that gold, frankincense and myrrh were the gifts presented to the newborn King

Luke 1 speaks of Mary: “The Black Madonna”. Mary was the mother of the Immaculate Christ. She was a distant relative of David and Solomon who were of the lineage of Boaz, direct son of Rahab. “the Black Canaanite.” (Ruth 4:13)

Then there is “Jesus: Salvation” His existence can be found from Genesis to Revelation since He is Alpha and Omega. His earthly maternal genealogy can be traced from Adam to Noah and Ham.

Mark 15:21 tells of Simon, a Black Cyrenian helped the Messiah bear his cross.

There are many more, but last example I leave with you is that of Solomon and Mekeda, the Queen of Sheba. Solomon was one of Judah’s earliest kings to have Negro blood in his veins. His great-great grandmother was Rahab, the “Black Canaanite” who was an offspring of Ham. (Gen. 10)

The Queen of Sheba was a Black woman who resided in Africa and Arabia. She was an Ethiopian by blood, land and culture; a descendant of Ham’s first son Cush, same as Ethiopia. (Gen. 10:7) The visit of the Queen of Sheba is one of the most enchanting stories of the Bible found in II Chron.9 and I  Kings 10:

Solomon had a throne set up for Mekeda beside his. He called her the “Beautiful Queen of the South.” Solomon at that time had 700 wives, all princesses and 300 concubines. To the great dismay of all of these, Solomon now made Mekeda his favorite queen.

Some of them began to reproach Mekeda about her darkness of her skin. Mekeda’s responds:

Song of Solomon 1:5
I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon,
look not upon me, because I am black, because
the sun hath looked upon me:
they made me the keeper of the vineyards;
but my own vineyard have I not kept.

“Comely” means “beautiful” and the “but” gives a negative connotation. “Black but beautiful is a poor translation. Using "and" instead of "but" or "yet" as the operative conjunction, the verse should read, “I am Black and Beautiful.”

From identification, we move to purpose and then on to destiny. These will be our discussions in blogs to follow.