Is God a Racist?

In a manner of speaking, yes, he is.

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When the daughters of Zelophehad asked for a judgment from Moses about inheriting their father’s land, God told them they are to marry within their own tribe (Numbers 36:6.) God also said that when dealing with other peoples, the children of Israel are not to intermarry, and repeats this constantly throughout the Bible (Deut. 7:3; Joshua 23:12; 1 Kings 11:12, just to name a few places.)

So it is pretty clear that God is a racist, wanting to maintain a pure-blooded nation to serve him; in other words, there are to be no Mudbloods (for you Harry Potter fans) within the children of Israel.

Even Yeshua tells the Samaritan woman that he has come only for the lost sheep of Israel, going as far as to imply she and her people were like dogs ( Matthew 15:26).

Yet, we know that God is a God of love and compassion for all people. He has told us that he doesn’t want any sinner to die (Ezekiel 18:23), which includes Gentiles. So how can he love everyone yet tell his chosen people to be racist?

Well, the answer is fairly simple: God is not a physical racist, he is a spiritual purist, meaning he doesn’t want anyone to worship other gods. He wants spiritual purity, not racial purity.

We can see this throughout the Bible. For example, Rahab was a Canaanite, but she was accepted and adopted as a member of the people of Israel when she converted. Moses’s wife, Zipporah, was raised as a Midianite and her father was a chief and priest of Midian, yet when she married Moses she converted to his form of worship. And when Ruth converted from her Moabite paganism, not only was she accepted by God, but he made her an ancestor of the Messiah!

Many times in the Torah we read how God commands that any person who sojourns with his chosen people, meaning converts to worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and lives by God’s instructions, is to be considered as much a child of Israel as a native-born.

People who are racists hate those who are of different skin color or nationality or religion; they judge by what they see. However, as we are often told, God doesn’t judge as people do because he sees the heart and mind. Yes, God is a racist, in a way, but not based on the color of their skin or the place they were born- God judges based on what they worship, how they live, and how they treat others.

If we want to label the type of racism God demonstrates, it is the type where he is against all who worship any other god or thing than himself and reject his instructions on how we should live and treat others.

God isn’t concerned about marrying out of your religion or someone of different skin color; what God is concerned about is that you both believe in him, accept Yeshua as your Messiah and Savior, and live your lives in obedience to the instructions he gave us as best you can.

I am Jewish, my wife was raised Catholic, so within Judaism, I was wrong to marry her, but we both believe in God and Yeshua and try to live as God wants us to live. And, yes, there are some things that are different: we have different levels of spiritual maturity, we aren’t both exactly on the same page when it comes to Kashrut, and we differ in passion for reading the Bible, but what is important is that we both worship God and accept Yeshua as our Messiah; the rest of the stuff we are constantly working on, as is everyone else.

God is not a racist like we understand racism, and he is not a bigot as we understand bigotry, but he is absolutely determined that everyone should worship him and live their lives as he has instructed us. If that is racism, well, so be it!

Here’s the difference: human racism condemns the racist to hell, whereas God’s form of racism saves their life and brings them into eternal joy.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!