Posted in Love

We live the His-Story as shared in The Word…


https://youtu.be/mHWsO0eJILk

God’s Story HAS been told beginning to end! We exist in The Story…

Trust in The Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God, and He shall direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5,6

So to have God make straight paths for your feet in whatever you do take time to learn who you are in Christ. Get completely focused on Him and who He has made you to be.

https://abideingodsword.com/2012/11/06/110512-he-will-make-your-paths-straight/

I started this share pondering the ‘Nations’ from one seed, we have ALL. come. Language, color, heritage, culture… differences by geography.

The Bible is a book of beginnings. The reader of the Scriptures is introduced in the very first verse of the Bible to the sweeping statement “In the beginning God.” The eternal God who knew no beginning is the source of all the beginnings which follow. In the original creation, the material universe was brought into being with all its complexity and natural law seen today in the organic and inorganic world. In this universe of mass and motion were introduced the first moral creatures, the holy angels. Each angel was the object of immediate creation. They were moral agents with moral will and intelligence capable of serving God. Some of these left their first estate in rebellion and headed by Satan became fallen angels (Isaiah 14:12-15Ezekiel 28:12-15).

Creation Of Man

The holy angels and the fallen angels, those who left their first estate, were not created in the image and likeness of God. Adam and Eve were created to fulfill this lofty purpose here on earth, and were designed to be morally like God. There is some evidence that the world of Adam and Eve was a re-creation and not the original creation of the heavens and the earth. The introduction of man, however, was something new and was the beginning of the divine purpose in which ultimately God would become man in Christ.

From Adam To Noah

The early history of man from Adam to Noah is summarized in a few short chapters which graphically picture the introduction of sin into the human race through Satanic temptation and man’s choice to disobey God. The downward course of humanity was rapid. Genesis 6:5-7 depicts God observing the great wickedness of man, “that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” and God declared His purpose, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air” (Genesis 6:7). The only bright spot in the unrelieved depravity of man was that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). Of the many thousands which populated the earth at that time only Noah and his wife and three sons and their wives were worth saving from the flood which God declared would compass the earth.

2. The Beginnings Of The Nations

The Beginning Of Creation

The Bible is a book of beginnings. The reader of the Scriptures is introduced in the very first verse of the Bible to the sweeping statement “In the beginning God.” The eternal God who knew no beginning is the source of all the beginnings which follow. In the original creation, the material universe was brought into being with all its complexity and natural law seen today in the organic and inorganic world. In this universe of mass and motion were introduced the first moral creatures, the holy angels. Each angel was the object of immediate creation. They were moral agents with moral will and intelligence capable of serving God. Some of these left their first estate in rebellion and headed by Satan became fallen angels (Isaiah 14:12-15Ezekiel 28:12-15).

Creation Of Man

The holy angels and the fallen angels, those who left their first estate, were not created in the image and likeness of God. Adam and Eve were created to fulfill this lofty purpose here on earth, and were designed to be morally like God. There is some evidence that the world of Adam and Eve was a re-creation and not the original creation of the heavens and the earth. The introduction of man, however, was something new and was the beginning of the divine purpose in which ultimately God would become man in Christ.

From Adam To Noah

The early history of man from Adam to Noah is summarized in a few short chapters which graphically picture the introduction of sin into the human race through Satanic temptation and man’s choice to disobey God. The downward course of humanity was rapid. Genesis 6:5-7 depicts God observing the great wickedness of man, “that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” and God declared His purpose, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air” (Genesis 6:7). The only bright spot in the unrelieved depravity of man was that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). Of the many thousands which populated the earth at that time only Noah and his wife and three sons and their wives were worth saving from the flood which God declared would compass the earth.null

The Flood

The story of the flood must have been important in the eyes of God for more space is given to it in Genesis than the whole story of creation and more than the whole history from Adam to Noah. This was another new beginning, a wiping out of that which was spoiled and impossible of restoration, and a beginning with a godly family which, in the midst of universal corruption, had found faith and grace and manifested a determination to do the will of God. Noah lived to the ripe old age of 950 years, one of the oldest men in the Bible, exceeded only by Methuselah who lived 969 years. Most important, however, is the historic fact that Noah became the father of the entire human race. His three sons born before the flood, Japheth, Ham, and Shem were to be the progenitors of mankind subsequently born on the earth. There is no record of any other sons of Noah, and his three sons who shared with him the task of building the ark and who survived the flood were to be the means by which God repopulated the earth.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7rm4x

Introduction Of Human Government

The new beginning with Noah and his sons also marked the progression and the unfolding of the divine purpose in human history. In Noah and his family for the first time were exercised the prerogatives of human government, the right of man to rule his fellow men. Adam had been given the charge to “subdue” the earth (Genesis 1:28), but he did not properly execute his responsibility. The commission, therefore, was renewed with enlargement to Noah in Genesis 9:1-6 embodied in the dictum, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Genesis 9:6).

The sword of divine retribution was placed in the hand of man in an attempt to control the natural lawlessness of the human heart. The principle of government thus introduced is reinforced throughout the Scriptures and is reiterated in Romans 13:1-7. In Romans the political ruler is declared to be “ordained of God” (Romans 13:1) and “the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4). The human conscience proved unreliable when operating individually and thus the corporate responsibility of human government was introduced.

The place of human government in the world looms large in much of the history of the race as well as in prophecy of the end time. God has declared His concern for governments which God has recognized and with whom He is going to deal. The ultimate human government will be that of Christ Himself as He rules in the millennium and in its eternal form in the new heaven and the new earth. Earthly governments though ordained of God have largely been in rebellion against Him. As the psalmist said, “Why do the heathen rage?” and, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the ruler take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed” (Psalm 2:1, 2). God’s answer is, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion” (Psalm 2:6).

Prophecy Concerning Noah’s Sons

Early in the history of the race prophecy begins to cast its guiding light upon the course of future human events. God promised that never again would the waters of the flood destroy all flesh (Genesis 9:15). The rainbow was made a symbol of this covenant (Genesis 9:13-17).

The most important prophecy relating to the nations which has laid the guidelines for all subsequent human history was the aftermath of a dark chapter in the life of godly Noah when he drank wine from his newly planted vineyards and became drunk (Genesis 9:20, 21). The irreverence of Ham in comparison to the respect of Shem and Japheth as they dealt with their father in his weakness led to Noah’s solemn words recorded in Genesis 9:25-27, “And he said, Cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

This prophetic utterance reveals that the human race would be divided according to the natural divisions stemming from the three sons of Noah. Canaan or the descendants of Canaan, the youngest son of Ham, were to be cursed, a servile people. By contrast Shem is to be the master of Canaan and “blessed of the Lord God.” It was through Shem that God’s divine revelation was to come, the Scriptures were to be written, Israel to be chosen, and ultimately the Saviour and Redeemer was to appear. The contrast between Canaan and Shem is a prophetic one, not an exhortation or justification to mistreat the descendants of Ham. These broad prophecies were to characterize the people as a whole. It was not to prevent those who sought the Lord among the descendants of Ham from enjoying His blessing nor was it to assure those who were descendants of Shem that they would avoid the righteous judgment of God so largely written in God’s dealings with Israel in the captivities and similar chastisements. https://bible.org/seriespage/2-beginnings-nations

Like many Christians, I grew up thinking the Bible was a story about people who looked a lot like me. This natural assumption was strengthened by my pictorial Bible (with Renaissance-era paintings of European-looking characters), Sunday school material, and Hollywood movies like The Ten Commandments (with Charlton Heston playing Moses). Perhaps you grew up with this same impression.

As I grew older and began to study the Bible more seriously, however, I realized this was a rather naïve and immature perspective. I discovered that the Bible’s storyline reflects quite a bit of fascinating ethnic diversity. And this diversity appears to be an important part of the storyline.

Here are six brief observations that changed my understanding of ethnic diversity in the Bible—and thus my perspective on ethnic diversity in the church.

1. All People Are Created in God’s Image

Interestingly, the Bible doesn’t begin with the creation of a special race of people. In Genesis 1 and 2, the first human is simply identified as ādām, which means “humankind.” Adam and Eve are not Hebrews or Egyptians or Canaanites. Their “race” or “ethnicity” is not identified. And they become the mother and father of all peoples and all ethnicities. The beginning of the biblical story, then, is not about white people or black people or brown people. It is a story about all people.

Further, Genesis 1:2627 tells us that God created them (“humankind”) in his image. This truth has profound implications, for it insists that people of all races and ethnicities are created in the image of God. And since all bear his image, all deserve to be treated with special dignity and respect.

2. Israel Was Ethnically Diverse

The composition of ancient Israel reflected the multi-ethnic makeup of the biblical world. The Old Testament world was multi-ethnic, and the ethnicities of the biblical characters reflected that.

While many of the characters in the Bible are Semitic (and thus looked like modern-day Israelis or Arabs), the story frequently includes individuals and groups from a wide spectrum of ethnicities. Abraham, for example, was from Mesopotamia, and ethnically he was probably an Aramean/Amorite. He and his family migrated to Canaan, where two of his descendants (Judah and Simeon) married Canaanites, while their brother Joseph married an Egyptian.

Later, when God delivered Abraham’s descendants from Egypt, a “mixed multitude” went with them as they left Egypt (Ex. 12:38), implying that people from other ethnic groups accompanied them and thus became part of Israel. Indeed, throughout the Old Testament there is a frequent influx of persons from other ethnicities into the people of God, including the Cushite wife of Moses (Num. 12), Rahab the Canaanite (Josh. 26), Ruth the Moabite (Ruth 14), Ebedmelech the Cushite (Jer. 3839), and so on.

3. Black Africans Were Involved in God’s Plan of Redemption

One distinctive ethnic group that shows up repeatedly in Scripture is the Cushites. The terms “Cush” or “Cushite” occur in the Hebrew Bible more than 50 times. In English Bibles it’s often translated as “Cush,” but sometimes as “Nubia” or “Ethiopia.” Cush was a powerful Black African kingdom located along the Nile River just to the south of Egypt.

Black Cushites were active players in the geopolitics and economics of the ancient Near East throughout most of the Old Testament period. The Cushites even controlled Egypt for a short while (during the time of Isaiah) and allied themselves with Jerusalem against the Assyrians. Later, the Black African Ebedmelech played a crucial role in Judah’s theological history, saving the prophet Jeremiah and symbolizing the inclusion of future Gentiles who will come to God by faith (Jer. 3839).

The first non-Jewish believer in the New Testament was a Black African.

In the New Testament, this region is usually referred to as “Ethiopia,” even though it differs from modern Ethiopia. The “Ethiopian Eunuch” in Acts 8 was a Black African from this region along the Nile River, south of Egypt. He was the first non-Jewish believer in the New Testament and, like Ebedmelech in the book of Jeremiah, he seems to symbolize or foreshadow the approaching Gentile inclusion in the rest of Acts.

4. Moses Married a Cushite (Black African) Woman

In Numbers 12, Moses, while walking faithfully with the Lord and in the power of the Lord, marries a woman from Cush. There is little doubt that this woman was a Black African. And in the story, God seems to give his total approval to this marriage.

This is a strong statement on the biblical acceptability of interracial marriage. In other Old Testament texts there are prohibitions against marrying Canaanites and other inhabitants of Canaan, but these prohibitions weren’t due to ethnic differences but theological differences, since the Canaanites worshiped pagan gods. The prohibition was against marrying outside of the faith.

5. People from All Ethnic Groups Are United in Christ

In the New Testament, Paul demands active unity in the church, a unity that explicitly joins together differing ethnic groups because of their common identity in Christ. Paul proclaims that, in Christ, believers form a brand-new humanity. The old barrier of hostility and division between ethnic groups has been demolished by the cross; and now, all peoples are to be one in Christ (Rom. 4; Gal. 34; Col. 3; Eph. 2).

Christians of other races aren’t just equal to us; they are joined to us.

Paul insists that the primary identity of Christians is to be based on their union with Christ—not on traditional sociological, geographical, and ethnic connections. Again, the implications are profound. Christians of other races aren’t just equal to us; they are joined to us. As Christians, we’re all part of the same body, united by the presence of the same Holy Spirit who indwells us all. We’re not just friends or fellow worshipers in the same religion, but brothers and sisters in the same family.

6. The Book of Revelation Portrays a Multi-Ethnic Congregation

John gives us a glimpse of the people of God at the consummation of history, describing them as people from every tribe and language and people and nation (Rev. 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15). This fourfold formula of tribe, language, people, and nation stresses the ethnic diversity of the people of God who will worship around the throne. It’s a picture of the climactic kingdom of Christ, and, as such, provides a model for us to strive toward. John clearly sees the kingdom of Christ as a multi-ethnic congregation.

23rdThese six brief observations are far from exhaustive, but hopefully they will help you get started on rereading and rethinking what the Scriptures really say about ethnic diversity.

https://youtu.be/Z53FflOPVQQ

https://youtu.be/5w6qbfyNWAM

https://youtu.be/Ne5cgAXxiXc

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrene,_Libya

Like many Christians, I grew up thinking the Bible was a story about people who looked a lot like me. This natural assumption was strengthened by my pictorial Bible (with Renaissance-era paintings of European-looking characters), Sunday school material, and Hollywood movies like The Ten Commandments (with Charlton Heston playing Moses). Perhaps you grew up with this same impression.

As I grew older and began to study the Bible more seriously, however, I realized this was a rather naïve and immature perspective. I discovered that the Bible’s storyline reflects quite a bit of fascinating ethnic diversity. And this diversity appears to be an important part of the storyline.

Here are six brief observations that changed my understanding of ethnic diversity in the Bible—and thus my perspective on ethnic diversity in the church.

1. All People Are Created in God’s Image

Interestingly, the Bible doesn’t begin with the creation of a special race of people. In Genesis 1 and 2, the first human is simply identified as ādām, which means “humankind.” Adam and Eve are not Hebrews or Egyptians or Canaanites. Their “race” or “ethnicity” is not identified. And they become the mother and father of all peoples and all ethnicities. The beginning of the biblical story, then, is not about white people or black people or brown people. It is a story about all people.

Further, Genesis 1:2627 tells us that God created them (“humankind”) in his image. This truth has profound implications, for it insists that people of all races and ethnicities are created in the image of God. And since all bear his image, all deserve to be treated with special dignity and respect.

2. Israel Was Ethnically Diverse

The composition of ancient Israel reflected the multi-ethnic makeup of the biblical world. The Old Testament world was multi-ethnic, and the ethnicities of the biblical characters reflected that.

While many of the characters in the Bible are Semitic (and thus looked like modern-day Israelis or Arabs), the story frequently includes individuals and groups from a wide spectrum of ethnicities. Abraham, for example, was from Mesopotamia, and ethnically he was probably an Aramean/Amorite. He and his family migrated to Canaan, where two of his descendants (Judah and Simeon) married Canaanites, while their brother Joseph married an Egyptian.

Later, when God delivered Abraham’s descendants from Egypt, a “mixed multitude” went with them as they left Egypt (Ex. 12:38), implying that people from other ethnic groups accompanied them and thus became part of Israel. Indeed, throughout the Old Testament there is a frequent influx of persons from other ethnicities into the people of God, including the Cushite wife of Moses (Num. 12), Rahab the Canaanite (Josh. 26), Ruth the Moabite (Ruth 14), Ebedmelech the Cushite (Jer. 3839), and so on.

3. Black Africans Were Involved in God’s Plan of Redemption

One distinctive ethnic group that shows up repeatedly in Scripture is the Cushites. The terms “Cush” or “Cushite” occur in the Hebrew Bible more than 50 times. In English Bibles it’s often translated as “Cush,” but sometimes as “Nubia” or “Ethiopia.” Cush was a powerful Black African kingdom located along the Nile River just to the south of Egypt.

Black Cushites were active players in the geopolitics and economics of the ancient Near East throughout most of the Old Testament period. The Cushites even controlled Egypt for a short while (during the time of Isaiah) and allied themselves with Jerusalem against the Assyrians. Later, the Black African Ebedmelech played a crucial role in Judah’s theological history, saving the prophet Jeremiah and symbolizing the inclusion of future Gentiles who will come to God by faith (Jer. 3839).

The first non-Jewish believer in the New Testament was a Black African.

In the New Testament, this region is usually referred to as “Ethiopia,” even though it differs from modern Ethiopia. The “Ethiopian Eunuch” in Acts 8 was a Black African from this region along the Nile River, south of Egypt. He was the first non-Jewish believer in the New Testament and, like Ebedmelech in the book of Jeremiah, he seems to symbolize or foreshadow the approaching Gentile inclusion in the rest of Acts.

4. Moses Married a Cushite (Black African) Woman

In Numbers 12, Moses, while walking faithfully with the Lord and in the power of the Lord, marries a woman from Cush. There is little doubt that this woman was a Black African. And in the story, God seems to give his total approval to this marriage.

This is a strong statement on the biblical acceptability of interracial marriage. In other Old Testament texts there are prohibitions against marrying Canaanites and other inhabitants of Canaan, but these prohibitions weren’t due to ethnic differences but theological differences, since the Canaanites worshiped pagan gods. The prohibition was against marrying outside of the faith.

5. People from All Ethnic Groups Are United in Christ

In the New Testament, Paul demands active unity in the church, a unity that explicitly joins together differing ethnic groups because of their common identity in Christ. Paul proclaims that, in Christ, believers form a brand-new humanity. The old barrier of hostility and division between ethnic groups has been demolished by the cross; and now, all peoples are to be one in Christ (Rom. 4; Gal. 34; Col. 3; Eph. 2).

Christians of other races aren’t just equal to us; they are joined to us.

Paul insists that the primary identity of Christians is to be based on their union with Christ—not on traditional sociological, geographical, and ethnic connections. Again, the implications are profound. Christians of other races aren’t just equal to us; they are joined to us. As Christians, we’re all part of the same body, united by the presence of the same Holy Spirit who indwells us all. We’re not just friends or fellow worshipers in the same religion, but brothers and sisters in the same family.

6. The Book of Revelation Portrays a Multi-Ethnic Congregation

John gives us a glimpse of the people of God at the consummation of history, describing them as people from every tribe and language and people and nation (Rev. 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15). This fourfold formula of tribe, language, people, and nation stresses the ethnic diversity of the people of God who will worship around the throne. It’s a picture of the climactic kingdom of Christ, and, as such, provides a model for us to strive toward. John clearly sees the kingdom of Christ as a multi-ethnic congregation.

These six brief observations are far from exhaustive, but hopefully they will help you get started on rereading and rethinking what the Scriptures really say about ethnic diversity

To be continued….

Author:

To God be The glory. Let us praise God together for His ALL in our lives, Amen.

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