Acts 8:27 – So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship…NKJV
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that people of different colors are mentioned in the word? Or do you think all people in the word ofGod are of one ethnic background? Maybe you’ve been taught that the Bible is the white man’s Bible, and have felt no connection to it, or to the God in whom it boast. Well, I have some great news for you today, Black people are mentioned favorably in the Bible and they are people you should know.
In America, we are celebrating Black History Month, and so this week, I want to highlight my culture, my people, and the richness of our heritage. Starting with the word! The Lord immediately brought the Ethiopian in the book of Acts to my mind.
Ethiopia, in Biblical times, from what I have learned, is the land of Cush. Cush, according to ancient maps, included present day Sudan and Ethiopia. It appears that in the Old Testament, its citizens were of Cush, and in the New Testament, they were of Ethiopia. Whether this is accurate or not, we know that these individuals were Black people.
In the book of Acts, we have this Ethiopian, riding in his chariot towards home from Jerusalem. Scripture lets us know that he had come to worship. In this chapter, we also learn some other things about this eunuch. He was a man of great authority. He served in the court of the queen, who was believed to be one of the mightiest queens of Ethiopia. He was in charge of all of her treasury, obviously a very intelligent man, and he had a hunger for God.
As he was traveling home, reading the scriptures, the Holy Ghost sent Philip to share the gospel with him. He believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, was baptized and went home a new believer in Christ. The area of ancient Cush is being excavated and many churches are being found in the land. I can infer from this, that the eunuch went home and shared the gospel in his country, resulting in many coming to Christ.
Another person of Ethiopian descent was Moses’ wife. Some scholars believe that Moses had taken a second wife, and this is not Zipporah. There is no further reference to suggest that she is Zipporah, nor is there any to refute that she isn’t. But what is clear, is that she is a Black woman, and she is married to Moses, the leader of the Israelites.
What is also apparent is that Aaron and Miriam have a problem with her, possibly because of her skin color. This was such a problem for them, that it caused them to question Moses’ spiritual authority over them. Isn’t it interesting to note that racism against Black people could have been recorded so early? God ended up dealing with the situation by calling a meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, Miriam was punished with leprosy. I’ve often wondered why God didn’t punish Aaron, because he was angry with both of them, but it is believed that Miriam was the instigator. Not certain of that accuracy.
In the book of 2 Chronicles we learn more about the Ethiopians. They were a people with a strong army which boasted of many chariots and horsemen. As a matter of fact, you can say that they had the first “Million Man March” in the Bible, for that is how many men, Zerah, the Ethiopian, led against Israel. They didn’t win the war, but they were a mighty people, an advanced people, demonstrated by their horses and the number of chariots. Job spoke of the topaz, that came from Ethiopia which was apparently, a beautiful stone, and part of the treasures of Ethiopia.
Black people, world-wide are often looked upon as if we are second class citizens. When you look at Africa today, which has been raided and exploited for its diamonds, people, and exotic animals, you may walk away with a distorted view of its people and their descendants. Many parts of Africa were, and are, glorious regions full of history, culture, treasures and beauty. Africa was created by God, blessed by God, and used by God for His glory. The people of Africa and her descendants world-wide are not forgotten by God. Black people are not forgotten by God. We have not been cursed by God, and we are not under the curse of Ham. (A blog for another day.)
The Bible isn’t European in nature. People didn’t begin as white Europeans. Civilization began in the land of the Fertile Crescent, not Europe. Yet, somehow, we read the Bible through European eyes, thus making it seem like God has forgotten the other nations of the world.
Jesus made it quite clear that the gospel is for us all and to us all when He said:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 – NKJV
To answer my question, whether or not we are a forgotten people, I can prove without a doubt, that He hasn’t forgotten any of us. If we look closer at the word of God, we will see ourselves in scripture as we identify people who looked like us, all of us. Now be encouraged for this Bible doesn’t belong to any one group of people, it belongs to us all! Wonderful Jesus!