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Archive for July, 2014

Prejudice is always an injustice, and we should not misjudge the Bible’s stand against it. The tint of our skin is never justification for prejudice. Miriam, the sister of Moses, displayed prejudice against his Ethiopian (Cushite) wife, but God rebuked Miriam (Numbers 12:1-15) allowing her skin to temporarily become “white as snow.”

The Bible’s teachings regarding marriage between “believers,” and “unbelievers,” do not reflect prejudice, but were given for the sake of children, and as a safeguard for marriage. The differing viewpoints of believing and unbelieving spouses can create extra conflict within the close confines of marriage, and turn children against God. God knows there will be enough stress without those differences, and doesn’t want families fighting over everything under the sun. The Bible is promoting peace, and not prejudice.

There are special instructions in the Bible concerning marriages where only one spouse is a believer (1st. Corinthians 7:12-17). There are also a few special cases for such marriages (ref. Ester 2:1 through 4:14), though it is never wise to think of ourselves as a special case.

Besides that of Moses, there are other examples in the Bible where marriages between people of different nationalities were not condemned. God is not prejudiced (Acts 10:22-43). Whether we descended from Shem, Ham, or Japheth, is cause for neither pride, nor shame. Actually, we’re all so mixed up that it would hardly matter except for certain genetic diseases and things. Consider this; God, in becoming a man and uniting with us, took upon himself our sicknesses and our sins (Matthew 8:17, Isaiah 53:4,5). He became sin, who knew no sin (2nd. Corinthians 5:21). He did not become a sinner, yet he died because of our sin.

There are many prophecies throughout the Bible hinting that he would do this, thus the genealogies given in the Bible are primarily intended to help us identify the living God in a world of false ideals about God. They establish the bloodline of the God-Man, the Messiah (the Christ), the anointed sacrifice. The Bible genealogies begin in Genesis, and keep branching off until they lead to Jesus, and there they end. Another reason for the genealogies is to inform us that we all descended from Noah.

The Lord chose a family through which he would enter our world. Jesus, the only begotten son of God (John 1:14), was born of the virgin Mary, as foretold in Isaiah 7:14. The lineage of Joseph, his stepfather, is given (Matthew 1:1-16), as well as that of his mother (Luke 3:23-38). The lineages of Mary and Joseph converge at David, the King of Israel.

Jesus was of the bloodline of Noah’s son Shem, but some of his ancestors were not Semitic. Rachab (Rahab), of Matthew 1:5, was the Canaanite woman of Jericho who hid the Hebrew spies. The scarlet line that she hanged from her window to identify her family for protection during the siege (Joshua 2:18,21) is symbolic of her faith in the lifeline of God. She is in the bloodline of Jesus.

The Hebrew word translated as “line,” in these two verses, is in other Bible verses translated as “hope.” Many times in life, hope is the only lifeline that we have. Without hope, life becomes meaningless. Hope often makes the difference between life, and death. This lifeline is something God has labored to make real. Though secularism and false religion have striven relentlessly to hide the fact, the hope of Jesus is affirmed by history, science, and the experience of life. It isn’t an immaterial, empty wish that we grasp for in the mist.

In accordance with the prophecy in Isaiah 53:8 (ref. Acts 8:26-35), Jesus did not marry. He had no physical children. From Jesus forward, the bloodline of God runs in children of faith such as Rahab became.

The genealogies of the tenth chapter of Genesis are a significant part of the history of the nations of the world. I won’t go into detail, but Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, expands upon this historical chapter. He also refers to “secular” historians of other nations, to validate material included in this section of the Bible.

On this subject, as with everything that I have written about in this blog, great and wonderful books could be written. Some good books have been written, of course, but there are none which do full justice to the subject matter of the Bible. I can only attempt to give a reader a little glimpse into them. Mysteries will remain until the Lord returns.

The prophetical genealogies of the Bible lead us not only to the family of the Lord, but to where he would be born, and to the place where he would live his life, and it is the land of Canaan. If there was a “curse” on the descendants of Ham, (ref. My preceding post on Canaan), then it was largely that Canaan chose to settle in an area that would later become a crossroads, trampled by most of the warring empires of history.

It is the land of the cross. Most of the land once occupied by Canaan is held today by the tiny nations of Israel, and Lebanon. Consider this also, that a town called “Cana,” in this land of Canaan, is the place where Jesus performed the first miracle of his earthly mission. Many of the miracles of Jesus took place in Samaria, and Galilee, which were areas of mixed populations. The Lord wants to include everyone in his bloodline (Revelation 5:9).

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