“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil” (Jer. 13:23).
“And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:26-39).
We are living in a generation that is acutely aware of the color of skin. Some nationalities have found a way to exploit their skin color to demand reparations for the sins of past generations. Others use their skin color to receive a government handout, preferential treatment in the field of academia, or a job placement.
The dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that people live in a nation where they are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, has been cast aside by a vicious ideology of racism whereby the white race is denounced and diminished in value, and people of color are set forth as being more virtuous.
One prominent voice in the revision of American history and the assault on “men cast in alabaster in the nation’s capital” is Nikole Hannah-Jones, a staff writer and investigative reporter for the New York Times Magazine and author of the lead essay for the 1619 Project.
The result of her 7, 400-word lead essay, titled “The Idea of America” has resulted in riots against white people, promotion of racial bigotry, and the destruction of public and private property by those who want to believe the American Revolution was not fought for the principles of freedom, but for the preservation of slavery.
What Is Wrong with the 1619 Project? It a misguided approach to History. “The method Hannah-Jones adopts dooms the project as an inaccurate depiction of American history. She approaches history as if it were a zero-sum game, where highlighting black American contributions required subtracting white American contributions, especially the most iconic ones, such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln…
“According to the 1619 Project’s lead essay, there is no tension, no debate, no struggle by the white Framers of the 1787 constitution in their efforts “to form a more perfect union.” In fact, the historical record does not show that the Founders were uniformly dedicated to preserving slavery. To leave out this significant element of the Founding era is to miss an incredibly important aspect of American history—namely, that America is a nation born of debate, and has developed through argument, and, for the most part, peaceful resolution of its political conflicts. If there is any “framing” of history, and “narrative arc” that should be taught in K–12 schools, it is this broader account of the nation’s Founding and history. It is at once truer to the facts, and a more engaging account to teach youth. The resulting civic education will ultimately be more constructive as they learn about the noble ideals, and leading actors of the nation’s history, alongside the ways they fell short of the ideals of the nation’s true Founding, the Spirit of ’76” (Lucas Morel, Ph.D., John K. Boardman, Jr. Professor of Politics, Washington, and Lee University).
While the Bible does not address the founding of America, America was guided by the Bible.
On February 15, 1954, Time magazine reported on a prayer breakfast convened by the International Council for Christian Leadership. In attendance were President Eisenhower, “the Chief Justice of the United States, Cabinet members, Congress men, [and] businessmen.” Chief Justice Earl Warren spoke and noted the historic role of Christianity in the national life of America saying… “I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Saviour have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses…I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it…”
The Bible does have something to say about race. Specifically, the Bible says there is but one race, the human race. The Bible says that God has “made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).
Any attempt to pit one color of skin against another is wicked, and an assault on the divine design of God for brothers and sisters to live and dwell together in harmony.
In Jesus Christ, the people of God come together from every nation and tongue under heaven to worship the Lord. Therein is the harmony that Fallen society seeks. In Christ, there is love for all people. In Christ, there is an essential connection to all nations. In Christ there is true fraternity and love.
While the Bible does not tell us where all the skin colors come from, biology does. For those who are interested in genetics, there is an abundance of information in the resource materials provided by the Creation Research Institute, and by Answers in Genesis.
What is more important than the color of one’s skin, is the acknowledgement that God is the Father of every person that has ever been created. Because this is true, God is worthy of worship, honor, and obedience.
However, sin has made that impossible to do. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden he doomed all of his posterity to a darkened mind and death. Sin came to separate men from God. After Adam sinned, he did not want to walk with the Lord in the cool of the day as was his custom. Adam did not want to worship the Creator. Adam has disobeyed his Creator and died the death of the wicked for sin separated his soul from spiritual life in Christ.
What happened to Adam happened to each of his descendants. Thoughtful individuals, such as the prophet Jeremiah, understood the problem of sin, and the dark stain it has left of the soul, making a person helpless in the sight of God to be fundamentally and forever different.
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?”
The answer is, “No. Of course not. Such a change is impossible.”
“Then neither may you also do good, that are accustomed to doing evil” (Jer. 13:23).
The honest heart will confess its inability to change. All the self-help books in the world has never made one person do good in the sight of God that is accustomed to doing evil. Why? Because only Christ can change the heart.
That is the truth the Ethiopian came to understand one day when he was reading the words of Isaiah the prophet in a biblical scroll he had purchased during a visit to Palestine. The man, who as a member of the royal court, had come to Jerusalem to worship. But he left in the same condition in which he came to the Holy City, and that is a soul in search of salvation.
The Ethiopian came as a Natural Man to worship in Jerusalem, and he left as a Natural Man. Why? Because, as the leopard cannot change his spots, as a person cannot change the pigmentation of their skin, so the Natural Man cannot change himself. So the African went away from Jerusalem with a heavy heart. He was highly educated, he was rich, he held a prominent position in society, he was trusted by Candance, the Queen herself, and yet his heart was not satisfied. His life was not changed. Why? Because God must work a work of grace in a person’s life.
The grace of God came to the Ethiopian first, by allowing him to secure a copy of the Bible. The Psalmist said the truths of Scripture are, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalms 19:10).
The grace of God continued to come to the Ethiopian, for God sent him a preacher of the gospel. “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things! [Isa. 52:7]” (Romans 10:15).
Finally, the grace of God cascaded over the African, for the darkness of his understanding was dispelled, by the Holy Spirit and he saw Jesus through the eyes of the prophet Isaiah.
Have you ever seen Jesus as He is spoken of by Isaiah?
Have you seen Jesus as a sheep who was led to the slaughter, not for Himself, but as a sacrifice for others?
Have you beheld Jesus, like a lamb, dumb before His shearer, so opened He not his mouth to protest His innocence?”
Have you understood the great humiliation of His judgment for Jesus died without clothing, shamed in public, covered with blood from lashes upon His holy body?
Have you imagined how Jesus was taken away to an unjust execution by soldiers without mercy, one of whom thrust the end of a sharp spear into His side.
Do you know His life was taken from the earth so that others might have eternal life in heaven? Is this your testimony?
“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
If you can enter the death of Christ then you can learn to love Jesus, and receive Him as Lord and Savior.
That is exactly what the African man did. The Ethiopian made his confession of faith and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” After saying that, he was baptized upon public confession of his faith.
May God’s grace come to you so that you follow in the footsteps of the African. May today be your day of spiritual awakening.