Sermons

Summary: Only the believer can see race from within the kingdom of God, and through the mind of Christ. We cannot expect that non-Christians will share this view. It is an exclusive Christian view.

A boy in Harvard College, many years back, got his father

in Maine to come to Cambridge and see the football game

between Yale and Harvard. As they sat down, the boy

slapped his father on the back and said, "Dad, for three

dollars you are going to see more fight than you ever saw

before." The old man smiled and replied, "I'm not so sure

about that Son, that's what I paid for my marriage license."

Marriage is like football in several ways. It covers a lot of

ground, and their are many obstacles to overcome. Whoever

is not prepared to face obstacles had better not plan to play

football, or get married.

The football player faces two kinds of obstacles. There are

those built into the game, and which must be accepted to

give the game meaning. Then there are the illegal, or unjust,

obstacles, which we call dirty playing. Sometimes the dirty

player is penalized, and sometimes he gets by with it, and the

innocent player suffers unjustly. Those who enter into

marriage face obstacles they know to be part of the game.

There are natural and normal trials, struggles, and

adjustments. Marriage partners also face the obstacles of

dirty play also. They face the opposition of the ignorant, the

cruel, the prejudiced, the jealous, and those with numerous

other evil motives.

Moses had to face this kind of dirty play when he chose to

marry across the race line. He chose an Ethiopian, who was

a descendant of Ham, to be his wife. His sister and brother

were offended by this union, and they made it known

publicly. They sought to degrade Moses because of it.

Hastings Dictionary of the Bible says concerning the

Ethiopian, "It is likely that a black slave girl is meant and

that the fault found by Miriam and Aaron was with the

indignity of such a union." Most are convinced she was

black, or at least dark, but there is a possibility that she was

no darker that Moses himself. She could have been a part of

the Cushites who were of Arabian stock, and less dark that

the Ethiopians. This is really irrelevant since the major fact

is that it was an interracial marriage.

The text indicates that Miriam did not approve of the

union, but it does not give the slightest hint as to why. It

could have that it had nothing to do with her race at all,

even though this is assumed by almost everyone. It is

possible that she was jealous of the woman. There is an

ancient translation that reads, "Because of the beautiful

woman he had married, for he had married a beautiful

woman." Jealousy could have been the problem, and not

racism, for it was thought to be a disgrace at this early stage

for a Jew to marry a Gentile.

Many find a typology here. Moses is like Christ marrying

a Gentile, who represents the church. Miriam and Aaron are

the angry Jews who oppose this union. All of this is

historically true, but we have no basis for reading it back

into this text as a prophetic type. We cannot read race

hatred and prejudice back into the hearts of Miriam and

Aaron. All we can say is that we have here an instance of

interracial marriage by one who is a great man of God, and

that he was upheld by God, and the opposition was judged.

Moses was not lowered in his dignity before God, or the

people, but is exalted as being a servant of God. His

marriage across race lines did not reduce his role in the least.

God appears to be highly indifferent to the matter of race or

color in marriage. There is not biblical evidence against

interracial marriage, but much that would show it to be

perfectly normal and honorable.

But why would anyone marry a person from another

race? Why do you suppose Moses married an Ethiopian

when there were all kinds of Jewish girls he could choose

from as the leader of his nation? Solomon, no doubt, had

dozens, if not hundreds of dark skinned wives, or

concubines. Many were gifts from foreign governments.

Moses, however, freely chose to marry one outside of his own

race. The reason is likely the same as the one that accounts

for interracial marriages all over the Western Hemisphere.

He fell in love with her. It is a human fact that where any

two races are in frequent contact, there will be

intermarriage. People will fall in love with people of any race

if they are in contact.

A little known fact is that when Israel was delivered from

Egypt a great many people of mixed races also went out with

them. In the 400 years of captivity there was a good deal of

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