All over the world, racist people exist. From the White House to our next door neighbors, there are people in this world who don’t like you simply because of your color, sex, race or creed. But did God intend it to be this way?
Some would argue yes, with examples from the Bible. Others would argue no, because God loves and created us all in His image. I don’t believe that racism will ever fully go away, until God comes back and takes us home, however I wanted to observe racism in the Bible. When did it start and why is it still relevant today? Did our God create racism?
Before we can determine if God is racist or not, let’s first look at..
Racists in the Bible
“Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.” – Psalm 69:4
Starting in the book of Genesis 28:1, Isaac told Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman. The Canaanites did not worship God, however Isaac wanted his son to marry within his race (who were descendants of Abraham). According to God’s commandments, this was requested to live a long and prosperous life. In Genesis 43:32, the Egyptians wouldn’t even eat with the Hebrews, because they found it detestable.
Even in the book of Numbers Chapter 12, Moses sister, Miriam, and brother, Aaron, began to speak against (or jealous of) Moses, because he married a Cushite woman. They started questioning his authority with God and asked why the Lord chose only to speak through him? But when God heard them, he became angry and told them that Moses was the only person he spoke face to face with because of his faith. And Because of God’s anger he caused Miriam to have leprosy for seven days, confining her outside of camp until healed. Clearly it appears that racist people existed.
The Book of Esther
The book of Esther tells the story about a beautiful Jewish woman who became Queen of Persia. When King Xerxes disposed of his queen, because she disobeyed him, he put out an announcement that he was looking for a new wife. Mordecai was Esther’s uncle, who raised her when her father and mother died. When she went to the palace, he told her not to reveal her race.
The King was attracted and married her, after twelve months of preparation. After some time, Haman, who had the highest seat of honor, wanted everyone to kneel down to him. Mordecai refused because he worshipped God. Instead of killing him, he wanted to destroy the Jewish people. And he convinced the King to do so.
After Mordecai found out, he told Esther’s maids, who in turn, told her. Esther requested a banquet with the King and Haman. And after Mordecai continuously refused to kneel down to Haman, his wife and friends suggested to have him hanged on a gallow specifically built for him.
The night before the banquet
King Xerxes couldn’t sleep and asked to read his book of Chronicles. There he found that Mordecai had saved him from two door keepers, who wanted to assassinate him. No honor had ever been bestowed upon him. After Haman approached the King to request Mordecai’s hanging, the King asked him how he would choose to honor a man who did this for him.
Haman said he should be given the royal robe and horse that the King had used and lead him through the streets, honoring him. After he found out it was Mordecai that was to be honored, Haman was ashamed and decided not to ask the King to put him to death.
At Esther’s dinner, she requested that the King spare her life and her people, because she was Jewish. She also told him of Haman’s request to kill them. Haman was hung on the same gallow that was built for Mordecai because of the King’s anger. Thankfully her people were saved. Mordecai eventually became second in charge to King Xerxes and held in high esteem by his fellow Jews. However, racist people still existed.
There are tons of stories in the bible about blatant racists, but Is our God racist?
Let’s continue and find out… Meet me here next Monday for What If God Were Racist? An Observation – Part 2