Before we look at two instances of prejudice in the bible, I have a true story for you. It happened at this year’s Thanksgiving that my cousin’s oldest daughter, Michele, hosted. Present were Michele and her new husband, her sister, Brooke, their mother who is my cousin and her husband, who had just completed a round of chemotherapy, and his elderly mother, Joyce, who would consider herself a devout Christian and the only Christian there. All in attendance were caucasian.
Brooke has a boyfriend who couldn’t make their Thanksgiving but he is a black man. The subject of his ethnicity came up and Joyce spoke up and said some snide remarks that she would just have to picture him with a white face. Feelings were hurt. Brooke left. Mickey, Joyce’s post-chemo son cried.
This was their first Thanksgiving together in some time. The girls had been off at college and had settled elsewhere. Mickey had just survived a close call with cancer. What could have been their most thankful time together in years turned sour with one self-righteous, prejudice person, but let’s see what the bible says about prejudice.
Our first account is with Aaron, Miriam and their brother, Moses, who had taken a wife of Ethiopian descent after the Zipporah incident. Turn with me to Numbers chapter 12, which reads:
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. - Num 12:1
Aaron and Miriam were being prejudice. What happened? Let’s see.
4) Suddenly YHVH said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!” So the three came out. 5) Then YHVH came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward.
What happens next is that YHVH takes up for Moses! He verbally chastises Aaron and Miriam and then strikes Miriam with leprosy!
9) So the anger of YHVH was aroused against them, and He departed.
10) And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper.
So, because they were prejudice regarding a black woman, the woman of the them was turned snow white with leprosy!
Our second example involves Yeshua (Jesus) Himself and the mixed race of Samaritans. Samaritans were looked down on because they were considered an impure race. The self-righteous Pharisees avoided all contact with them. In John chapter 4, we have a tired Yeshua sitting by Jacob’s well at noon, needing a drink. The verses following read:
7) A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Yeshua said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
8) For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9) Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
Already we have the woman surprised just because Yeshua spoke to her. It continues with Yeshua and her having a conversation about Him being her Messiah. He ends up spending a couple of days in their town. Later we have Yeshua explaining who our neighbors are and uses a good Samaritan as the example. The story can be found in Like chapter 10, starting just past verse 25.
You may know the account well. A man is beat up, robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. A priest passes by, steering clear of the naked man and likewise, a Levite, but here comes our good Samaritan. He scoops him up, bandages him up, places the man up on his donkey and takes him to a motel, paying for it himself. Of the three, he is the most righteous in the eyes of the Father. Not the priest. Not the Levite. They were jerks.
Lastly, there is a song we used to sing at our church when I was a child. You may know it. The words go:
🎶 Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world,
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world. 🎶Clare Herbert Woolston, late 1800s
Here is the song: https://youtu.be/gWXGubEi8hY
Where did we lose the path?