September 12th Honoring the Sabbath

w.prestwood2012

Honoring the

Sabbath

September 12th

Edition


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 2 of 23

What if I told you that every form of social injustice could

be solved by answering a single question?

You’d probably think I’m crazy and oversimplifying— and

understandably so. The world is filled with injustices, many

of which are deep and complex, with roots stretching back

hundreds or even thousands of years. It seems impossible

that a single question could untangle and solve all those

issues in one fell swoop.

But I believe it could.

Racism. Sexism. Nationalism. Bigotry in all its shapes and

forms, every last scrap of prejudice in the world—it could all

be ancient history if we all agreed and acted on the answer to

one short question:

What determines our worth?

It’s not exactly a new question—philosophers and average

laymen have been trying to sort it out for ages, and everyone

seems to have his or her own answer.

For some people, the answer is money.

Possessions. Stuff. The more we have, the better we are— and

right there, we can see the start of a prejudice. “I have more

than you, which makes me better than you.”

Or, on the other end of the spectrum, “I have less than this

person, and that makes me less than this person.”


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 3 of 23

Wrong answers create prejudices

But money isn’t the only answer that causes trouble. There are

a thousand variables we could plug into that equation, and the

result would be a thousand different prejudices.

At best, that approach can leave us with a false sense of

superiority around others. We might judge them by the clothes

they wear, the brands they buy, the teams they cheer for, the

part of town they live in, the way they talk—any number of

ridiculous things.

But the ugliest, most dangerous prejudices happen when we

answer that question with traits people are powerless to

change. Race. Sex. Age. Country of birth. When we make

those things the measure of human worth, when we start

believing that others have less worth because of the color of

their skin or the place they were born or some other trait, that’s

how we create some of the most twisted moments of history:

The Nazis and the Holocaust. The Khmer Rouge and the

killing fields. The Hutus and the Rwandan genocide. Sudan

and Darfur.

Even when prejudice is fueling something other than genocide,

the resulting injustice can leave marks that take generations—

even centuries—to fade. Slavery in the United States didn’t end

until a little over a century and a half ago, and its impact

through the years is unmistakable: The Three-Fifths

Compromise. The Jim Crow laws. The Ku Klux Klan. Police

brutality. Slavery is gone, but the prejudice remains.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 4 of 23

That’s what bigotry does. It becomes a catalyst, an excuse, a

justification for every kind of injustice. “The other side

deserves it,” prejudice says. “They’re inferior. They’re not as

important. They’re the problem.”

Lessons from ancient examples of prejudice

The New Testament Church had to wrestle with prejudice in its

early days. For centuries, the Jews and their Israelite brethren

were God’s chosen people, “a special treasure above all the

peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6). The

gentiles—that is, the rest of the world—never had that

relationship with God. That made the Jews different from

everyone else. It made them special and unique—and, quite

frankly, it caused tensions.

As the message of the Kingdom of God spread through the

first-century world, the earliest converts (who were exclusively

Jewish) believed that the message only applied to their fellow

Jews (whether natural-born or converts). Who else could it be

for? Only the Jews had a relationship with God; only the Jews

knew His divinely ordained laws; only the Jews worshipped

Him the way He was supposed to be worshipped.

It took a divine vision and a powerful miracle (Acts 10:17,

44-45) before the Jews of the early Church started to

understand that God was expanding His people— that being

Jewish wasn’t a prerequisite for having a relationship with the

God of all creation (Acts 11:18).


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 5 of 23

It still wasn’t an easy transition. The Jews and the gentiles both

had centuries’ worth of prejudices and misgivings to work out.

There were growing pains.

Even Peter—the Jewish apostle God sent to baptize the first

gentile converts, who said, “God has shown me that I should

not call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28), who

testified before the gentiles, “In truth I perceive that God shows

no partiality” (verse 34)—that same Peter found himself too

embarrassed to sit with gentile Church members when his

Jewish brethren were around.

Another Jewish apostle, Paul, had to address that publicly,

because “the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with

him” (Galatians 2:13). Their actions were so disconnected from

the message Christ had sent them to preach that Paul remarked,

“They were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel.”

—Verse 14

The answer to the question of our worth

That gospel—that message of the coming Kingdom of God—is

critical to finding the answer to our question: “What

determines our worth?”

Without the gospel, we can only answer that question with

imperfect knowledge and flawed opinions—and our answers

will only allow us to mentally sort our fellow human beings

into buckets of “worth more” and “worth less.”

That’s not good enough. That doesn’t solve the problem of

prejudice; it just rearranges it. Different answers, different


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 6 of 23

prejudices, same problem. There is only one real answer to our

question, and that answer can only be found in the truth of the

gospel message.

When a group of gentile philosophers asked Paul to elaborate

on that message, he told them that God “made from one blood

every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth ... so

that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might

grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each

one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

One blood. Paul was hinting at a truth revealed in the earliest

pages of the Bible: that God “created man in His own image; in

the image of God He created him; male and female He created

them” (Genesis 1:27).

In the beginning, there were no Israelites or gentiles. There was

only one man and one woman living in a garden planted by

God (Genesis 2:8, 22), and that woman became “the mother of

all living” (Genesis 3:20).

Paul didn’t say, “God created one nation to be better than all

other nations, to have a superior bloodline and greater worth

than anyone else.” He looked back to the very beginning of

human history and said in essence, “We all share the same

blood. We all come from the same place. And we were all

created for the same purpose—to seek God and to find Him.”

You were created by God in the hope that one day you would

search for Him and find Him. You were created with the

potential to become His child and to live forever as part of His


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 7 of 23

family. But that’s not just true for you—it’s true for everyone.

Every man, every woman, every child, regardless of race,

nation or creed, was created with that purpose and with that

potential.

And that’s what determines our worth.

How the end of prejudice would change the world

When we answer our question that way, it changes how we see

everything—and that should change how we treat everyone.

When every person we meet is either a child of God or a

potential child of God—when we see everyone as a human

being created from the same blood as us with the same purpose

as us—it doesn’t leave a lot of room for prejudice. It doesn’t

leave a lot of room for saying, “I’m better than you,” or, “I

deserve more than you.”

Instead, what we’re left with is, “You are my family,” and,

“You are my equal.” If the whole world believed that and really

truly internalized it, how much would that transform—well,

everything?

On a global scale, the changes would be huge. It would mean

the end of genocides and racial killings, for starters. How could

one man kill another—or even treat him unfairly—when he

knows they both share the same blood, the same value in the

eyes of the God who created them?

What about all the sexual assaults that prompted the #MeToo

movement? What man would dare take advantage of a woman


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 8 of 23

if he understood and always remembered that God intended

them both to have a place in His family?

The more we zoom in, the more we can see how that one little

truth could change the world. If we all understood that God

created us as equals in worth and potential:

• would a car dealer lie to a customer in order to squeeze a

little more money out of a sale?

• Would the media skew their reporting to grow their

subscriber base?

• Would neighbors and families feud for years over

misunderstandings and grievances?

• Would marketers promise the moon, knowing they couldn’t

deliver?

There wouldn’t be any place for it. There wouldn’t be any

place for deception, hate, mistrust, theft, cheating or murder.

And in the absence of those things, and with the help of God,

we might instead find a place for love, respect, kindness, trust,

generosity, patience and understanding.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 9 of 23

A world without prejudice must begin with us

But that’s not the world we live in. That day is coming— God

promises a future where “the earth shall be full of the

knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah

11:9)—but until then, it’s up to us to be the example.

A long time ago, a prophet named Samuel learned that “the

Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward

appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Paul expanded on that: “For you are all sons of God through

faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into

Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there

is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for

you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).

Not everyone has made the commitment to be baptized and

live according to God’s way of life. Most of the world doesn’t

even understand what that way of life really is. But there are

more than 7 billion people covering the surface of this little

blue-green planet of ours, and every single one is a potential

future child of God.

So here’s what we do.

It’s radical. It’s crazy. But it’s worth a shot: We treat them like

what they are. We treat every one of those people like family.

Like a potential child of God—because that’s what determines

their worth.

Not the color of their skin or the arrangement of their

chromosomes or the place of their birth, but the simple and


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 10 of 23

irrefutable fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived a

perfect life and died to pay the penalty for their sins—and ours.

That’s not to say that things like our ethnicity or our sex can or

should be ignored. Those traits are part of us; they play a big

role in shaping who we are. They’re not insignificant or

meaningless, but they don’t play a role in our worth—or in the

worth of others. It was Paul again who wrote, “Let nothing be

done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of

mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of

you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the

interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Bigotry and prejudice cannot survive under the weight of the

truth of the gospel. One day all the people of the world will

come to understand that truth—but until then, it’s our job to

show them what it looks like in action.

They’re worth it.

To learn more about the process of becoming a child of God,

download the free booklet “Change Your Life!” Just follow this

link: tap here → Change Your Life


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 11 of 23

Ecclesiasticus Chapter 24

Navigating life is not always smooth sailing.

THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF WISDOM

1. Wisdom will praise herself,* And will glory in the midst of

her people.

* Wisdom will praise herself. Or “Wisdom will praise her

own soul.”

2. She will open her mouth in the congregation of the Most

High, And glory in the presence of his power.

3. I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, And covered

the earth as a mist.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 12 of 23

4. I lived in high places, And my throne is in the pillar of the

cloud.

5. Alone I compassed the circuit of heaven, And walked in the

depth of the abyss.

6. In the waves of the sea, and in all the earth, And in every

people and nation, I got a possession.

7. With all these I sought rest; And in whose inheritance shall I

lodge?

8. Then the Creator of all things gave me a commandment; And

he that created me made my tabernacle to rest, And said, Let

your tabernacle be in Jacob,* And your inheritance in Israel.§

* Let your tabernacle be in Jacob. The tabernacle of

Wisdom is in Jacob.

§ your inheritance in Israel. Wisdom’s inheritance is in

Israel.

Here is the role played by different locations for Wisdom:

VERSE LOCATION ROLE

Verse 8 Jacob Wisdom’s

tabernacle

Verse 8 Israel Wisdom’s

inheritance

Verse 10 Zion Wisdom was

established

Verse 11 Jerusalem Wisdom’s authority


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 13 of 23

9. He created me from the beginning before the world; And to

the end I will not fail.

10. In the holy tabernacle I ministered before him; And so was

I established in Sion.*

* I established in Sion. Wisdom was established in Zion or

Mount Zion, the holy Mount Jerusalem was built on.

11. In the beloved city likewise he gave me rest; And in

Jerusalem was my authority.*

* in Jerusalem was my authority. God chose the city of

Jerusalem to place His authority and Kingdom

government on Earth. Jerusalem was indeed the very

authority of wisdom.

12. And I took root in a people that was glorified, Even in the

portion of the Lord’s own inheritance.

13. I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, And as a cypress tree

on the mountains of Hermon.

14. I was exalted like a palm tree on the sea shore, And as rose

plants in Jericho, And as a fair olive tree in the plain; And I was

exalted as a plane tree.

15. As cinnamon and aspalathus, I have given a scent of

perfumes; And as choice myrrh, I spread abroad a pleasant

odour; As galbanum, and onyx, and stacte, And as the fume of

frankincense in the tabernacle.

CPR Exodus 30:34. The LORD said to Moses, “Take to

yourself sweet spices, gum resin, onycha, and galbanum;


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 14 of 23

sweet spices with pure frankincense. There shall be an

equal weight of each.

16. As the terebinth I stretched out my branches; And my

branches are branches of glory and grace.

THE EFFECT OF WISDOM UPON THOSE WHO

DRINK OF HER

17. As the vine I put forth grace; And my flowers are the fruit

of glory and riches.

NAB translation. I bud forth delights like the vine, my

blossoms become fruit fair and rich.*

* fruit fair and rich. Wisdom is alluring. It draws people

in. It delights and does not entrap.

18.

This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.

19. Come to me, you that are desirous of me, And be you filled

with my produce.

CPR Matthew 11:28-30. Come to me, all you who labor

and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take

my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and

humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

20. For my memorial is sweeter than honey, And my

inheritance than the honeycomb.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 15 of 23

21. They that eat me will yet be hungry;* And those who drink

me will yet be thirsty.

* will yet be hungry. Wisdom is delightful. Once we taste of

it, we want more.

CPR John 6:35. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of

life. Whoever comes to me will not be hungry, and

whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

22. He that obeys me will not be ashamed; And those who

work in me will not do amiss.

23. All these things are the book of the covenant of the Most

High God, Even the law which Moses commanded us for a

heritage to the assemblies of Jacob.

24.

This verse is omitted in the best manuscripts.

25. It is he that makes wisdom abundant, as Pishon, And as

Tigris in the days of new fruits;

26. That makes understanding full as Euphrates, And as Jordan

in the days of harvest;

* see note on vss. 25 & 26 in the KJV.

27. That makes instruction to shine forth as the light, As Gihon

in the days of vintage.

28. The first man knew her not perfectly; And in like manner

the last has not traced her out.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 16 of 23

29. For her thoughts are filled from the sea, And her counsels

from the great deep.

30. And I came out as a stream from a river, And as a conduit

into a garden.

31. I said, I will water my garden, And will water abundantly

my garden bed; And, behold, my stream became river, And my

river became a sea.

32. I will yet bring instruction to light as the morning, And will

make these things to shine forth afar off.

33. I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy,* And leave it to

generations of ages.§

* I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy:

The Old Testament foresees Gentiles [people of other

nationalities—black, white and brown, all are welcome]

coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts

to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »

And in our day, the Lord Jesus Christ calls us Christians

to take his Gospel to the whole world. Here are the key

Bible verses about this »

*leave it to generations of ages. The Jewish people took

God’s wisdom and message to the ends of the world. As

they traveled, as they migrated, as they met people, they

spoke God’s wisdom and message aloud. They actually led

us Gentiles to faith in their One God.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 17 of 23

This tiny people-group currently numbers only 16 or 17

million. But there is not a single nation on earth that has

not been influenced positively, by their witness to the

LORD God.

How can we Christians speak the message of Jesus Christ

to our world? How can we influence others for Christ?

The thought of explicitly sharing our faith in Jesus Christ

might be terrifying: don’t confuse your own fears with the

negative leading of the Holy Spirit.

Every impulse of laziness and sin within us tries to

squelch the sharing of this life-giving message with those

who need it. “I’m not gifted in evangelism,” we might

think. “I’m not called to share my faith,” we say as we try

to excuse ourselves from our God-given mandate.

34. Behold that I have not labored for myself only, But for all

those who diligently seek her.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 18 of 23

Ecclesiasticus Chapter 24

—King James Version

Navigating life is not always smooth sailing.

(From the original King James Version of 1611 with explanatory

notes in italics)

The Creation and Nature of Wisdom


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 19 of 23

Compared with a godly woman of devotion, wisdom is

personified as one of the earliest of God’s creative works.

1 Wisedome shall praise her selfe, and shall glory in the midst of

her people.

2 In the Congregation of the most high, shall she open her

mouth, and triumph before his power.

3 I came out of the mouth of the most High, and couered* the

earth as a cloud.

*couered. (covered): remember that u=v in this early King

James English language

4 I dwelt in high places, and my throne is in a cloudy pillar.

5 I alone compassed the circuit of heauen, and walked in the

bottome of the deepe.

6 In the waues of the sea, and in all the earth, and in euery

people, and nation, I got a possession.

7 With all these I sought rest: and in whose inheritance shall I

abide?

8 So the creatour of all things gaue mee a commandement, and

hee that made me, caused my tabernacle to rest: and said, Let

thy dwelling be in Iacob, and thine inheritance in Israel.*

* Wisdom is said to be dwelling in Jacob (Israel) because

this is the nation and people through whom God provided


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 20 of 23

His written Word, as well as the Word in the flesh—the very

Son of God, Jesus Christ. see John 1: 1-5.

9 Hee created mee from the beginning before the world, and I

shall neuer faile.

10 In the holy Tabernacle I serued before him: and so was I

established in Sion.

11 Likewise in the beloued citie he gaue mee rest, and in

Ierusalem* was my power.

* Jerusalem: the holy city of Israel where God placed his

temple, the arc of the covenant, and the very seat of His

Kingdom rule through the Kings of Judah, beginning with

King David.

12 And I tooke roote in an honourable people, euen in the

portion of the Lords inheritance.

13 I was exalted like a Cedar in Libanus, and as a Cypresse tree

vpon the mountaines of Hermon. [Mount Hermon is the highest

peak in Judah]

14 I was exalted like a palme tree in Engaddi, and as a rose-plant

in Iericho, as a faire oliue tree in a pleasant fielde, and grew vp

as a planetree* by the water.

* planetree: Any of various trees of the genus Platanus. A

luxurious leafy tree that took deep root and grew beside the

Jordan river.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 21 of 23

15 I gaue a sweete smell like cinamon, and aspalathus, and I

yeelded a pleasant odour like the best mirrhe, as Galbanum and

Onix, and sweet Storax, and as the sume of franckincense in the

Tabernacle.

16 As the Turpentine tree, I stretched out my branches, and my

branches are the branches of honour and grace.

17 As the Uine brought I foorth pleasant sauour, and my flowers

are the fruit of honour and riches.

18 I am the mother of faire loue, and feare, and knowledge, and

holy hope, I therefore being eternall, am giuen to all my children

which are named of him.*

* all my children which are named of him: the Israelites

and by extension all the people of God in the Kingdom—the

Christian congregation.

19 Come vnto me all ye that be desirous of mee, and fill your

selues with my fruits.

20 For my memorial is sweeter then hony, and mine inheritance

then the hony combe.

21 They that eate mee shall yet be hungry, and they that drinke

me shall yet be thirstie.*

* Like our science knowledge today, spiritual knowledge is

such that the more we know, the more there appears to be


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 22 of 23

that is beyond our understanding. Thus the students of the

Holy Word of God will ever be “yet thirsty” for more.

22 He that obeyeth me, shall neuer be confounded, and they that

worke by me, shall not doe amisse.

23 All these things are the booke of the Couenant of the most

high God, euen the Law which Moses commanded for an

heritage vnto the Congregations of Iacob.

* Why is it often said that wisdom begins with the law of

God? It is because the fear of God and obedience to His

righteous requirements gain God’s approval and those

approved are led by his Holy Spirit into accurate

knowledge of the truth.

24 Faint not to bee strong in the Lord; that he may confirme you,

cleaue vnto him: for the Lord Almightie is God alone, and

besides him there is no other Sauiour.

25 He filleth all things with his wisdome, as Physon, and as

Tigris in the time of the new fruits.

26 He maketh the vnderstanding to abound like Euphrates, and

as Iorden in the time of the haruest.

* On vss. 25 & 26: the Physon, the Tigris and the

Euphrates were all rivers that skirted around the original

garden of Eden in the Creation epic.


September 5th Sabbath Prejudice—Why? Page 23 of 23

27 He maketh the doctrine of knowledge appeare as the light,

and as Geon [the city of Gihon] in the time of vintage.

28 The first man knew her not perfectly: no more shall the last

finde her out.

29 For her thoughts are more then the Sea, and her counsels

profounder then the great deepe.

30 I also came out as a brooke from a riuer, and as a conduit into

a garden.

31 I said, I will water my best garden, and will water abundantly

my garden bedde: and loe, my brooke became a riuer, and my

riuer became a sea.

32 I will yet make doctrine to shine as the morning, and will

send forth her light afarre off.

33 I will yet powre out doctrine as prophecie, and leaue it to all

ages for euer.

34 Behold that I haue not laboured for my selfe onely, but for all

them that seeke wisedome.

I realize that the English language has changed much since the days of

King James, but I like to get back to the translation that is the oldest, and

still most widely accepted version of the Holy Writing. Any questions about

the subject matter or meaning thereof should be included in an email

message to myself at:

w.prestwood2012@outlook.com

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome too.

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