Daily Thoughts from Exodus: The Pitfalls of Prejudice

These are the heads of their fathers’ houses: the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the clans of Reuben. The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the clans of Simeon. These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, the years of the life of Levi being 137 years. The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their clans. The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, the years of the life of Kohath being 133 years. The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their generations. Amram took as his wife Jochebed his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being 137 years. The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. Aaron took as his wife Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the clans of the Korahites. Eleazar, Aaron’s son, took as his wife one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites by their clans.

These are the Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said: “Bring out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt by their hosts.” It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the people of Israel from Egypt, this Moses and this Aaron.

On the day when the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, the LORD said to Moses, “I am the LORD; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.” But Moses said to the LORD, “Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?”  (Exodus 6:14-30 ESV)

It seems odd to us to stop in the middle of this narrative of events to give a genealogy of the main characters of the events (Moses and Aaron).  But it is critical from an Israelite viewpoint because God has made promises along genealogical lines and the house of Levi will be granted the priesthood in Israel.  So the pedigree of Moses and Aaron must be given to establish their origins and we also have highlighted for us the origins of some key players in the near future (the sons of Korah and Phineas).

The kingdom of God is inextricably linked to Israel.  God’s promise to Abraham that He would bless all nations through him is still in play.  God has sent the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), the Messiah, through the line of Israel and particularly through Judah and David.  We cannot understand what God is doing if we leave out the Jews.  Of all the peoples of the earth they will be at the forefront of God’s establishment of His rule once again on earth.  All non-Jewish peoples, the Gentiles, are brought into the kingdom on the coattails of Israel, being grafted into this vine (Romans 11) and made partakers of God’s promises.

This has implications for how we view all peoples.  We are so prone to prejudice, to pre-judging a people based on their appearance, ethnicity, language and beliefs.  From God’s perspective, however, we are all just different brands of the same product and equally loved.  His plan for all of us centers around Israel but is impartial toward all people.  Bias against anyone is like telling God He made a mistake…it is stupid.

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