Our World Aflame Part Three: Every Tribe and Nation

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 | 4 comments

Our World Aflame Part Three: Every Tribe and Nation

The Bible says that some day, every tribe and nation will worship Jesus as Lord. However, we hear of more hate, more death, more acts of violence every day. They are perpetrated against people of different ethnic backgrounds, religions, and philosophies. Hatred has not run so rampant since the days of the Civil Rights movement. Why are differences the reason for hate and violence rather than celebrations of the ultimate outworking of a loving and creative God? I would love to hear your comments! 



2MefromHim Devotionals

Every Tribe and Nation

There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. Revelation 7:9

Five little girls skipped back and forth on the wide sidewalk, filled with kindergarten giggles and enthusiasm. White-blonde, Hispanic, Native-American, black, and brown-haired, America in microcosm, they played with the innocence of children.

Twenty-five years later, my daughter asked, “Mom, what is the deal with all this racism? Maybe I was just overprotected, but I don’t remember ever hearing race discussed when I was growing up. It was never a problem with the people I knew.”

Through the eyes of children, there is no such thing as race. My daughter wanted cornrows like her black friend. My son would introduce me to his ‘new best friend”, usually someone whose name he never asked. They could be any color, age, or sex, but for that moment on the playground, they were his best friend. Attending a unique, racially mixed elementary school, they went to birthday parties and sleepovers, never noticing the difference of race, culture or socioeconomic class. Perhaps, if every child had that experience, the world would be a kinder place.

As I talked with my daughter about the learned nature of prejudice, I remembered another snapshot moment. She was in college, anxious to move out of the dorm and experience all the independence a 19-year-old craves. We sat in a small fast-food restaurant awaiting the arrival of her new roommate. I faced the door, so she described her roommate for me.

A young black woman entered a few minutes later, and was introduced as my daughter’s new roommate. As we drove to the house, I asked, “Why didn’t you tell me she was black?”

“Does it matter?”

“Of course it doesn’t matter, but it might have helped me recognize her when she walked in.”

“Oh, well, I never really thought about it.” Every Tribe & Nation 2

Shouldn’t we all be like that—able to see people as people, not as different, not as less than or more than—just as people, fellow children of God? Prejudice is learned. God created skin, hair, and eye colors as He created flowers. You remember the song: “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” It’s a pity no one sings it anymore.

Our world is aflame with hatred. The older members of my family grew up in the 30’s and 40’s with an immense prejudice. In a small town of 300 people, where a particular racial group murdered their grandfather and uncle in front of their family, prejudice grew out of fear, hurt, and anger. The mindset created by staying home behind locked doors when certain people came to town etched indelible impressions that have not disappeared over time.

Likely, Adam and Eve were of a medium-brown skin color with dark eyes, indicative still today of natives of the Middle East. The Garden of Eden is said to have been in what is now Iraq, the cradle of civilization. Jesus was not the blond, blue-eyed version often depicted in pictures, but also the same brown-skinned, brown-eyed man like any native to that area of the world today. Out of the vast gene pool present within every human being, they would have had children of all varieties in skin and eye color.

The seldom understood explanation for differences comes from the Book of Genesis. When the people refused to do as God commanded and spread out to fill the whole earth, trouble started. They only had one language, and they plotted to build a tower to reach heaven. Remember the Tower of Babel? God was not pleased, and scrambled their language to disperse them.

Perhaps God confused the language according to families. Unable to communicate, they finally scattered over the whole earth. It explains great technology in some civilizations, while others were quite primitive in what they were able to build, but excelled at farming and hunting. Quarrels and disputes grew out of an inability to understand one another, jealousies over the advancements of one group over another. It continues to this day. It wasn’t God’s plan that they should fight. It was the sin nature that entered man at the Fall in the Garden, when men first began to descend into sin. The first crime was brother killing brother over differences and jealousy. Does that sound familiar?

As they scattered, some families had darker skin and eyes, some lighter, but divided into small groups, certain characteristics became dominant in some areas of the world. Light-skinned people could survive in the cold areas of the world because their lighter skin allowed them to absorb more Vitamin D. Those with darker skin thrived in areas where the sun shone bright most of the year.

Nothing has changed. It grows worse by the day. But the New Testament shows that God desires unity in spite of differences. God allowed everyone to hear the gospel message in one language at Pentecost in Acts 2. The ministry of Jesus’ disciples in the first century crossed all ethnic boundaries, reaching out to people of every tongue and nation. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) We are called to be instruments of God’s love and peace wherever we are.

The hate and violence must stop. Lord, help me to remember that every tribe and nation are precious in your sight and let your love shine through me.

© Copyright, Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, August 2, 2016

Norma 2015About the author:

Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

Connect with Norma:

Website: www.normagail.org

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Book Links:

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Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore: http:// lpcbooks.com/product/land-of-my-dreams/

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  1. People fear what they do not understand, and usually it’s because of differences in beliefs, culture and practices. Many will make the decision to try to understand and accept the differences. But many will also see the differences as ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ and allow their fears to manifest into hate. Hate takes so much more effort than love because one has to constantly remind themselves of the differences, which aren’t always visual.

    The world is in tatters, and I’m seeing and hearing things in this country I thought died down (and out) with my mother’s generation.

    We must hold on to our faith in Christ as the prophecies play out…and raise our children with and in faith.

    Prejudice is a learned behavior, and we must stop allowing it to taint children and let them continue with the accepting, loving nature they begin life with.

    Hatred benefits no one and is counterproductive, and, it blocks our blessings. If we’re occupied with hatred, how can we have a personal relationship with Christ…who loves us all?

    Excellent commentary/devotion, Norma! Definitely sharing!

  2. Wow. I think often of the day when people from every tribe, tongue and nation will join together and worship Jesus, and none of us will care about anything but pouring out our adoration upon Him. I think on that day as we behold His beauty and character in full, we will also see the beauty of ourselves and each and every person He created. Love will abound from each of us for each other even as it pours out upon Jesus in worship. What a day that will be! 🙂 Thank you for bringing my thoughts to think on this again and come to such a beautiful thought that is to be reality one day.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Amanda! I appreciate it!

  3. love this. we taught our children to love people – not to see color because it truly doesn’t matter. People loving people. that’s what we need to be

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