How the False Lens of Deception Leads to the Sin of Racism

When we see that we are the problem, then G-D can heal our hearts. (Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash)

You would have to be blind to not be aware of the race issues that have infected our society, which, in many ways, are more dangerous than the pandemic of COVID-19. The protests and riots which are taking place are not a response to the murder of George Floyd or any of the other recent deaths which resulted from the interactions of black people and police officers.

No. This plague is thousands of years old and what we are seeing take place today are simply volcanic eruptions that were set in motion from the time when sin entered to corrupt mankind.

The answer to this epidemic is not simply new laws, although I am not against new common-sense laws. Laws do not stop crime from taking place, otherwise we would have no murders, rapes, assaults, drug problems or anything else for which we have laws in place in attempts to keep people from violating the law. The only thing that can stop crime is to understand that all crimes are the result of sin. And the only cure for sin is righteousness.

However, like most sicknesses, the sin of racism requires a diagnosis from our Great Physician. This diagnosis is provided when G-D allows us to see our disease. In the case of racism, we have a biblical example of exactly what I am speaking about in Numbers 12:1-10 (TLV):

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Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on account of the Cushite woman he married, because he had married a Cushite woman. They asked, "Has Adonai spoken only through Moses? Hasn't He also spoken through us?" Adonai heard it. Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone on the face of the earth. Immediately, Adonai said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "The three of you, come out to the Tent of Meeting." So the three came out. Adonai descended in a column of cloud, stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and called to Aaron and Miriam. The two of them stepped forward. "Hear now My words!" He said. "When there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal Myself in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses. In all My house, he is faithful. I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai! Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?" Adonai's anger burned against them, and He left them. When the cloud lifted up from above the Tent, behold, Miriam had tza'arat, like snow! As Aaron turned toward her, behold, she had tza'arat!

In these verses, we find that Aaron and Miriam had a heart problem. They were upset that Moses had married a woman from Cush. For those unfamiliar with Cush, it was believed to be the area of ancient Ethiopia. Moses married a black woman, and Aaron and Miriam were not happy. This caused a spiritual issue and division between Aaron, Miriam, and Moses.

How did G-D fix this problem? He opened Miriam's eyes.

G-D struck Miriam with tza'arat (leprosy). To understand what takes place here, we need to remember that leprosy caused one's skin to turn white. So, here we have Miriam complaining that Moses married a black woman and G-D causes Miriam to have leprosy, thereby showing Miriam that she isn't white either.

You see, Miriam had a heart problem (sin sickness) that caused her to see herself differently than what was true. G-D then caused her to see that how she saw herself was inaccurate.

Miriam had a heart problem: the sin that today we call racism. She had this heart problem because she had an eye problem. She saw herself through the false lens of deception. In order to correct Miriam's eye problem, G-D showed her that she was deceiving herself. Miriam's eye problem went away and with it her diseased heart was healed.

The truth is that all of our sin is the result of a heart problem, which is the result of our eye problem, which is really our "I" problem. When we see that we are the problem, then G-D can heal our hearts and then (and only then) will we stop being divided by lies and self-deception.

Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.

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