1619 – 2020
~By: Lindsey Whitmore~
There are four hundred years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Four hundred years went by where God seemed to be silent. No more prophets were recorded talking to us, and there are no chapters in our Bibles from that time frame to glean wisdom from. Instead, we know from our history books the many catastrophes that occurred. One of the major tragedies was man’s decision to deem another one of God’s creation as lesser than themselves, despite what God clearly wrote in Genesis that He created ALL people, men and women, in His image.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us…” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NLT
God created a perfect world with perfect people in seven days. It took less than seven sentences in the Word for us, His perfect creation, to ruin it. Our lack of self-control and inner desire to be like God perverted His will and caused division between us and Him. This division began by entertaining Satan and giving him audience. We allowed ourselves to turn our necks, and therefore our eyes’ focus, from God to something, or someone, else. The rest of Genesis reflects the full effects of our fall. Immediately, relationships were challenged. It started with God's first creation in Adam and Eve, then Cain, their son, murdered his brother and separated tribes, nations, and people because of it. They became separate in language, living regions, work, and beliefs.
Later in the Bible, we see the enslavement of the Israelites, the division between Jews and Gentiles, and the gross abuse of God's intent of submission, leaving the female as property, without voice and/or choice. However, no matter how complete in our sin we became, falling short of God's mark, God always had a plan of redemption for us. His perfect creation would be redeemed through His one and only perfect Son, Christ Jesus.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10 NIV
Yet here we are four hundred years new and repeating the same exact patterns of our ancestors. It started with the same warped agenda that leads a man to deem another one of God’s creation as lesser than themselves. The year 1619 was the first time African slaves were brought into the ports of North America. One hundred and sixty eight years later, in 1787, our known United States Constitution was written and adopted. It has had to be amended many times due to the lack of admittance to every man. Then, another forty six years went by before slavery was abolished and no longer legal in this country. Yet, it does not seem to have left our hearts. The deeming of someone as less than another, the poor treatment, and limited equality still continue.
Something that was made clear by another recently is, “We cannot pass a law that will change a person’s heart! Only Holy Spirit can change the heart and mind's perspective.” I am writing this as someone whose eyes have been opened after a very long sleep and is trying to process all that is coming into focus, and hopefully help another on the same path.
Recently, while spending time with God reading my Bible and praying over what He wanted me to speak to His church, His elect, that would bring refreshment and renewed hope, He highlighted Psalm 37. The entire Psalm, I believe, brings Christians of every race and nation back into focus on the main thing; GOD. God is just, and He will not tolerate wickedness. He sees all! We must keep His eternal view and realize God's judgment is far more perfect than ours.
The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. Proverbs 15:3 NIV
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV
However, now I realize that we all have very different experiences in this world from which we view this call. The verse that God brought home for me, in light of my new understanding, is very difficult for me to speak. However, when God has a message, it is not the messenger’s job to change it or shrink back from it. I believe God wants His people, black, white, and everything in-between, to heed the message of Psalm 37 with the understanding that it will be worked out in very different ways. For my white brothers and sisters, we need to wake up and shape up so we can start being part of this nation's healing and ‘become the bridge.’ For my black brothers and sisters, God is saying, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fear about their wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:7)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.””
However, God is saying to ‘wait’ and to do it ‘patiently.’ This waiting is not the same as described in the Psalms just following. Both words in this instance actually have the same meaning in the Hebrew; chuwl, which means: to twist, writhe, fear, tremble, be in anguish, be pained, to be made to bear; wait carefully, be wounded.
The statement “justice too long delayed is justice denied,” is not true for those of us who resolve to keep our eternal view in sight at all times. There is no sinking for those whose eyes are fixed on Jesus.
Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. Proverbs 11:21 NIV
The world is waiting, but waiting in terms of the Hebrew definition of qavah, which means: to wait for; to lie in wait for. This is not wrong, it’s just not the same type of waiting God is telling us to do. The Church needs to be burdened, pained, and angry to the point that we do not sin, but that we also no longer sit, and instead we pursue real change; change of hearts and minds toward understanding what Jesus meant by ‘love your neighbors as you love yourselves.’ History will continue to repeat itself until we stop, remember, repent, and return to the One who sets all crooked paths straight!
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 NIV
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also said, "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."
May we all choose to do the work it will take to undo what started in the Garden, so that Jesus Christ can truly be seen through each of our lives.
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 1 Peter 1:22 NLT
May we learn to love as God commands us, which is with His love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV
May we choose to allow God to transform our minds and hearts through Christ Jesus.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV