The Black Heritage Bible Lessons Volume 1 and 2.
From the dusty beds of Africa, comes a story more exciting than fiction. Civilizations long dead now speak with thunderous tones to this generation, saying in the words of Marcus Garvey: "Stand up, you mighty people, you can accomplish what you will." We ruled the world, built centers of learning, understood the stars, left our bones and our gold in hidden caves and decorated pyramids with drawings and writings that still tell of our accomplishments. We gloried in our golden empires, our wealth, and our fame. Things Europeans now claim as their own. Nevertheless, the sons of Africa create new history every day.
In their determination and ability to succeed against all odds our ancestors forged new paths across time, forcing some to wonder how in the world they did it. The massive pyramids of Meroe and Egypt send their voices ringing from the distant past, telling the story of ancient Africans who tried to defy death by building structures that defied time and embalming their bodies with ointments that defied aging. Men of color, Africans of the highest order who sat in the seats of greatness, now lie beneath sand and massive stones, breath returned to the God who gave them life. Yet the ancient empires of Ghana, Mali, Songhi, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Ashanti nation bear evidence to this generation that here on the continent where civilizations originated lived a people who feared no one but God and whose greatness is now abated because they thought themselves gods.
Long before we were conceived, Yahweh had declared, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," but we would not heed (see Genesis 3:19). God sent us word through the prophet Jeremiah, who lived and died on the continent of Africa. His message: "Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 9:23,24, KJV)
God knew there would eventually be a point where Africans would acknowledge Him. "Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God" (Psalm 68:31, KJV). Even Zephaniah, the prophet, saw them drawing closer to God: "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering" (Zephaniah 3:10, KJV). In fact, Ethiopia, called the land of the gods, became a center of Christianity, where churches flourished in magnificence and beauty. It was Cyriacus, king of kings, as he was called in Africa, who marched against Islamic-ruled Egypt with 100,000 soldiers and commanded that the Muslims refrain from destroying churches and persecuting Christians.
One who considers the American slave experience will soon discover that most slave rebellions took place around 1840, during a time of great religious awakening. It was as if Black Americans sensed that it was a time of judgment and that liberation was imminent. In fact, Leonne Bennett, in his book Before the Mayflower, states that during this time there were people on the plantation telling their slave masters that they would no longer work, because the Lord was coming soon. Slaves could not read the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, but a divine hand must have directed them in understanding that the time of liberation from slavery was at hand. Thus Nat Turner, Denmark Vessey, and others took on the role of a modem day Moses who sought to free God’s children. Even when the Emancipation Proclamation was made, it was only God who helped the ex-slaves. Here they were liberated from slavery with no jobs, no homes, no money, and ex-slave masters roaming the streets looking to kill any Black person they could find. The slaves never for one moment imagined that the United States of America would set them free without some sort of remuneration— at least a piece of land to cultivate.
One thing is very clear. No people could have survived, through the historical events that took place, as the people originally from Africa have, unless a supernatural force had continuously been with them. There is no doubt God’s divine providence ensured our forebears’ survival.
In my mind’s eye I see the Diaspora of African people not as they are, but as God would make them in heaven. I see them dressed in their royal robes, wearing crowns of glory, sitting on their braided hair. I see their kente cloth and dashikis blowing in the wind, as they follow Jesus from world to world. I see them in the great number which no man could number, drawn from every nation on earth. African mothers who cried at night over their children will cry no more. African fathers who died in the lynchings, riots, and slave rebellions will be remade by the Potter’s hand. I see them working on the earth made new, again building their pyramids, not for the body of death, but a place of eternal life, a place from which their legacy will never be removed.
Therefore let not the Ethiopians glory in their knowledge.
Let not the Egyptians glory in their pyramids.
Let not the Ghanaian glory in their golden empire.
Let not the Ashanti nation glory in their mighty warriors.
Neither let the sons of Songhi glory in their great universities. But let all Africans and their descendants glory in this—that they know and understand Yahweh, that He is Lord, who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness. In this shall the sons of Africa glory.
Let us now turn our attention to fourteen powerful lessons designed to teach the history of the African Race directly from the Bible.