Published on February 17, 2014
Black History Is Our History Lessons to Grow on
Black History Begins Acts 17:26: “From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” ! Mankind eventually existed in many shades of color but all came from one man, Adam. Genetically, we are all brothers and sisters of the Father God Who made us all.
Ham, one of the three sons of Noah, had a son named Cush, which means "black" in Hebrew. Cush is the most common term designating color in reference to persons, people or lands used in the Bible. It’s used 58 times in the King James Version. The Greek and Latin word is Ethiopia. In classical literature, Greek and Roman authors describe Ethiopians as black. In the book of Jeremiah, the question is asked, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin?” ( Jer. 13:23)
Genesis 10:6-20 describes the descendants of Ham as being located in North Africa, Central Africa and in parts of southern Asia. Psalm 105:23 mentions the "land of Ham" in Egypt Psalm 78:51 connects the "tents of Ham" with Egypt.
Hagar the Egyptian, Ishmael and his Egyptian wife, and Ishmael’s sons, especially Kedar may represent black people in the Bible. ! The Kedarites are mentioned many times in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Nehemiah, and the word kedar means “blackness as in the Song of Solomon where the bride of Solomon ( 1 of 700) admits she is dark like the dark tents of Kedar. I am very dark, but lovely,O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar,
Joseph married an Egyptian woman, Asenath, who was descended from Mizraim (brother of Cush & Hebrew for Egypt), which made her Hamitic. Thus there is a strong possibility that Asenath was black. She was the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh, two of the future tribes of Israel ! Joshua, who replaced Moses, came from Ephraim. Also Samuel was from this tribe. ! The Judge Gideon was from the tribe of Manasseh ( 12 tribes – 1 (Levi) – 1 (Joseph) + 1 (Ephraim) + 1 (Manasseh) = 12 tribes)
New Testament Blacks Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry His cross to Calvary. Cyrene is in Libya, North Africa. Acts 8 tells the story of the Ethiopian eunuch, one of the first Gentiles to be baptized. He came from a black region, so he may have been black. In Acts 13, we read of Simeon, called Niger, the Latin term for black. There is also Lucias from Cyrene, a city in North Africa.
Christianity in Africa The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch described in the Book of Acts predates the apostle Paul's first missionary journey into Europe by a number of years. There is clear, historical documentation of the church in Africa by the third century. Christianity was the dominant religion in North Africa and most notably Egypt. Egyptian and North African scholars such as Clement, Origen, Tertullian, and Athanasius are widely recognized as Fathers of the Early Church. By the year 300, Egypt had more than a million Christians. In the sixth century, Christianity spread to the Nubian Kingdoms, soon becoming the dominant religion. Muslim Crusades invaded Christian N Africa in 639, then invaded Christian Spain by 711. Tens of thousands of Christians killed. Islam was the greatest military aggressor against Christian lands for 1000 years. Their third attempt to invade Christian Europe was successful until Sept 11, 1623 outside Vienna, Austria again. They lost the next day.
Augustine of Hippo Augustine of Hippo: (354 – 430), also known as Saint Augustine was an early Christian theologian whose writings were very inﬂuential in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy! ! This North African ( Algeria) bishop is one of the most important Church Fathers in early Christianity. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue to be read widely today. Possibly a black man.
The New Testament makes it clear that no one is excluded from God’s love and purpose. Paul tells us that there is "neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ" (Galatians 3:26-29). God’s Word concerns, involves and speaks to all people inclusively. We could sum it up in the words of the popular song: Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight Jesus loves the little children of the world.
African-American History • Almost unbelievable story of cruel, often savage, treatment by the white communities of America against blacks for almost 400 years, especially in the South. • Black History glows bright with biblical values • White history stained dark with persistent bigotry and continual persecution of blacks in America by whites, many of whom called Jesus Lord.
Lessons to be learned • The failure of the Church to protect and the complicity of the Church to oppress vulnerable blacks from 1619 to now. • The legacy of biblical non-violent resistance in the Black community is so valuable for Christians today. • The other biblical values seen in Black History:
• Willingness to forgive, endure, return good for evil, to love their enemy, to return good for evil. • Deep trust in God to protect, provide and vindicate them in a hostile white society. • Strength of godly black mothers/ grandmothers to nurture children without men at home. • Blessing of God in African-Americans in sports, the arts, politics, shaping culture and in war as soldiers.
Tens of thousands of Blacks ﬁght in America’s Wars ( Red Tails) Marines will not enlist until after 1942 Segregated Army units until 1944 Jim Crow laws forbid them to use Thousands of blacks build American same restaurants, stores, schools, water economy & nurse white children fountains or hospitals as whites Peaceful ﬁght for desegregated schools Many states resist the law for years to comes in 1954 keep schools segregated. Emancipation Proclamation made them citizens in 1864 Voter registration opposed until Federal Voting rights Act of 1965 Blacks almost always responded to white oppression with non-violent responses for almost 300 years. By 1900, there were still about three lynchings of blacks in the South per week, often with picnic crowds.
• African-Americans are a noble people • White Christians need to repent for sins of ancestors • We all need to imitate the peaceful, godly of oppressed blacks as Christianity comes under increasing ﬁre by our modern culture. • Thank God for African-Americans! America would not be the great nation it is without them. • Pray for the Church to protect the weak and to publicly stand against all forms of injustice.
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