Genesis 43:19–34 ‘Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians.’ (v32)
Today’s story is one of segregation, division and prejudice. Egyptians saw eating with Hebrews as detestable. We see examples of prejudice and segregation throughout the Bible and in more modern times. The way Jews treated Samaritans and other Gentiles in Jesus’ time or conversely how the Jews were treated in Nazi Germany.
It is easy to think we have moved on, as we seem to live in a more inclusive society than ever before. Yet often if we scratch the surface, old wounds or beliefs about a certain set of people arise. Sometimes these beliefs may have a grain of truth in them, but they have often been embellished, or perhaps certain behaviours misunderstood.
We allow ourselves to judge instead of trying to understand the other’s point of view. It is certainly true that the more we try to understand another and choose to judge them less, prejudice is squeezed out. None of us like to think of ourselves as prejudiced, but can we honestly say that we love all people equally? This is what we are called to do.
A Prayer to Make:
‘Lord, search me and try me and show me if I carry any prejudice in my heart towards another. Amen.’
An Action to Take:
Search your heart and ask yourself if there is a particular group of people whom you struggle to love or understand. Ask yourself where that prejudice might have come from.
Scripture to Consider:
Matt. 8:1–4; John 4:4–9 & 13:31–35; 1 Cor. 12:21–25; Gal. 3:23–29