Since their rise to world power from out of the dark ages and into the Renaissance, western scholars, historians and theologians have always tried to paint Africa and its people in the most savage way possible. Africa is associated with poverty, suffering, being under-developed and uncivilized even unto this day.
Scholars have lectured to undermine the development of African nations throughout time; historians write to hide the great achievements of the continent, and theologians attempt to cast doubt on the humanity and morality of the country. Regardless of their attempts, historical discoveries, ancient writings and sacred text all unfold the truth over time.
In this study, we are going to reflect on world history and take passages from the Holy Bible that dissect the origin of humanity and the beginning of nations to reveal that Africa, its’ people and its’ descendants, are not a discarded and forgotten people, but a nation blessed and loved by God.
Despite long-taught theories of wealth and power equaling God’s favor, the Bible says many times over that God identifies more so with the poor and the wrongfully persecuted. Human will also identify and intervene when weaker people are oppressed and abused by people in power.
Since the rise of the western nations, however, Africa as a nation has been abused and persecuted, robbed, and lied on; and also, God’s chosen nation of the Hebrews and their generations. The reason they have been persecuted is because they refuse to submit to God’s authority and have chosen to mingle with the Pegan nations of the world. So let us breakdown the mystery.
The Fathers of the Nations
After the biblical flood, or what some scientist would consider one of the few Ice Ages in history, humanity did a reboot and repopulated the world. The continents were geologically split, spread, and settled around the earth and humans were scattered according to environment, language, and culture.
The most populated area was centered around the current middle east and northern Africa area, what historians consider to be the cradle of civilization. According to the Bible, Noah had 3 sons; Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These are considered the fathers of the nations.
“And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. Genesis 9:18, 19.
These sons had sons of their own and families and nations began to spread out around the earth. From the loins of Sham came Abram (Genesis 11:10, 26), who would later be called Abraham, the father of many nations. According to Bible scholars, Jesus is a descendent of King David, who was a descendent of Abraham.
The Abrahamic nations later became known as the Hebrew Israelites, who were given the land of Canaan by God. Originally, Canaan was a land based in the middle east and northern Africa and belonged to the Canaanites, the son of Ham. “And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. Vv. 19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza.” Genesis 10:6, 19.
Today, these lands are called Syria, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Gaza. The people were of a darker hue from an adaptation of the humid environment, which is also documented by historians of today. As humanity evolved and spread to other areas of the world, skin tone lightened according to environment, i.e., the colder the climate, the lighter the hue.
Japheth also had sons that were dispersed throughout the earth as the Gentile nations. “The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras…By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” Genesis 10:2,5.
The Curse of Ham
Many scholars and theologians interpret Genesis 9:26, 27 to mean that the children of Ham, who are Canaanites of African descent, are cursed because of the scripture below:
“And he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; And Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; And Canaan shall be his servant.” Genesis 9:25-27.
Noah spoke these words after he found out that Ham had saw his nakedness while he was in a drunken sleep. From this passage, theologians conclude that Africans were cursed to serve the rest of the nations of the world; some even claim that Africans were cursed by God to be slaves, but neither theory is accurate. God did not curse Canaan, Noah did. God in fact, blessed the children of Canaan and promised to make of him a great nation, as later scriptures reveal.
The result of Noah’s curse on Canaan was that he would not inherit the promise which was later given to Abraham, and that Canaan would lose his land to the children of Abraham and would have to resettle elsewhere. The status of servitude was an agricultural burden on the nations whose land was not as fruitful. It was not about slavery to other men, but dependence on resources.
Genesis 12 reveals this starting at verse 1: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:… and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”
The above passage clearly reveals that God hand-picked Abraham to make his own nation and gave him his own land, which happen to be the land of Canaan. The people of Canaan were moved southward deeper into the continent of Africa, and outward toward the east where the deserts made it virtually impossible to farm.
During Abraham’s sojourning, a famine hit the land of Canaan and he had to go down into Egypt to seek relief. Verse 10 reads: “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.”
The Pharaoh’s ruled Egypt at the time and history tells us that the Kingdom of Egypt was the largest and most prosperous nation throughout the world. They were master builders, scientist, and physicians using technology discovered in ancient ruins, yet hidden from the rest of the world as of today. This is also where Abraham’s wife Sarai took a handmaid named Hagar the Egyptian woman.
The Birth of Ishmael
“Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.” Genesis 16:1-3.
After Abraham took Hagar as his wife, she got pregnant with his first child. But Sarai despised Hagar after she got pregnant and confronted her, which made Hagar flee and hide. But an Angel of the Lord came and “said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.” Genesis 16:7-11.
God promised Hagar, the Egyptian woman, that he would multiply her seed, which are the children of Canaan, the son of Ham. And God kept his promise. Throughout history unto this day, Africa is a massive land with many nations and with histories of kings and princes. “And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.” Genesis 16: 15,16.
After Ishmael was born, God promised Abraham that Sarai would also bare him a son. “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” Genesis 17:19,20.
Therefore, Ishmael the Canaanite, is also the half-brother of Isaac, Abraham’s first born by Sarai, who was later called Sarah. So, God never cursed the children of Ham, but blessed them and multiplied them exceedingly, which is now the African continent and parts of the middle east. The lands are rich with wealth and resources and hold some of the world’s most mystifying wonders and ancient cultures.
As for the other son, Japheth. The sons of Japheth are the gentile nations spread throughout the east such as China and India, and later in time as far north as Europe. And as history tells us, branched off into other lands and cultures such as the Americas and the many Isles of the world. These nations did not inherit a covenant with God (until the New Testament), but were used throughout the Old Testament to punish the generations of Sham and Ham.
The Covenants of God
God promised Abraham an everlasting covenant through his son Isaac, that He will be their God and they will be His people, but he also made a promise for the other son Ishmael, that he would make a great nation because he was Abraham’s seed also. Sarah did not want the bondwoman’s son to inherit the promise so she demanded that Abraham cast her and her son out of the land.
“Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” Genesis 21:10-13.
The two covenants serve as an allegory as spoken of in the New Testament book of Galatians chapter 4; the promise of bondwoman and the promise of the freewoman. The allegory represents the struggle today’s church has when relating to the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh holds us in bondage yet the Spirit makes of free. We should always serve through the Spirit.
“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: For the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.” Galatians 4:21-30.
The Gentile Nations
Today, the Gentile nations have inherited the promise of the grace of God and eternal Life and share in the covenant with the other two nations, but only by faith and not by law. If the other two nations, Isaac and Ishmael submit to God’s new covenant by believing in the power of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, they will inherit the promise of eternal life also.
“And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, And he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; In him shall the Gentiles trust.” Romans 15:12.
As of this day, the Gentile nations are in power over those who have not received Jesus as the Messiah and the nations that rejected God when He sent prophets to them to warn them about their rebellion against Him. The nations of Israel and Africa must suffer under the rule of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24.
In conclusion, God loved the seed of Abraham, both Isaac and Ishmael and fulfilled His promises to them. But He also forewarned Abraham that they would suffer at the hands of strangers during their existence but He would deliver them in His compassion.
“And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their's, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” Genesis 15:13, 14.
God has never abandoned his children and have always kept his promises. When things look bad and his people suffer at the hands of evil nations, it is not because His children are weak or forgotten or cursed, it is because God is waiting for His time to be fulfilled, and then he will judge that nation. We must believe and trust in Him.