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.”
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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
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
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.
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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).
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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.”
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
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
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,
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
• Would neighbors and families feud for years over
misunderstandings and grievances?
• Would marketers promise the moon, knowing they couldn’t
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.
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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
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
* Wisdom will praise herself. Or “Wisdom will praise her
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
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
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
Here is the role played by different locations for Wisdom:
VERSE LOCATION ROLE
Verse 8 Jacob Wisdom’s
Verse 8 Israel Wisdom’s
Verse 10 Zion Wisdom was
Verse 11 Jerusalem Wisdom’s authority
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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
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.
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
Your thoughts and comments are always welcome too.