Rev. Mark E. Whitlock II
By Rev. Mark E. Whitlock IISenior PastorChrist Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church
Scripture: Isaiah 8:13
This is Black History Month and we are reminded of Public Enemy, the legendary rap group who performed the hit song, ‘Don't Believe the Hype.'
The words tell the story of the stereotypical, negative media imaging of young Black men in America. In a real sense, we believe the hype that creates a conspiracy against the oppressed powered by what the Bible says is a ‘created fear.'
Don't believe the negative hype about young Black men and women. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power, therefore, man creates fear to control you.
"The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread." Isaiah 8:13. Fear the Lord and not the hype.
The people of Judah feared the Assyrians. The Assyrians were bullies. They created fear in the minds of the Judah. They created fear in the mind of Ahaz, the king of Judah.
King Ahaz paid Assyria silver and gold to appease the bullies. The fear of a bully is antithetical to the belief that God is the Creator and Sustainer of life. Isaiah warned them to not believe the hype.
Have you ever made a decision to do something because you believed the negative hype? It seemed right to do wrong, it feels right to do wrong, and it even seems like you got away with it, but it was wrong that leads to tragedy.
The truth is, King Ahaz was wrong. Wrong never makes right! Praise God, King Ahaz did not partner with the Assyrians. God defeated them without Judah lifting a finger. God will make your enemy your footstool!
If the King Ahaz had entered into an alliance with the Assyrians, history would have said that there lived some slaves who were satisfied with bowing and scraping the floor to a false God.
If King Ahaz had entered into an alliance with the Assyrians, history would have read that there were a people who preferred the indignity of slavery to the sunlight of liberation.
When the people of God put faith in God, history reveals that God delivers them into salvation. God does deliver us into salvation, but we must not fear man. Don't believe the hype. The story of black America parallels the Jewish story of liberation. Let me share a few historic facts.
If Black America had been afraid to stand up against the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, and skinheads, American history would have recorded Blacks as a people content to live on the plantation of cowardice and fields of shame.
If Black America had been afraid to let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia, Lookout Mountain of Tennessee and the curvaceous slops of California, America history would have recorded a people unwilling to cross the rough side of the mountain.
If Black America had been afraid to witness a 5'6" Atlanta, Georgia, itinerant preacher by the name of Martin Luther King give a speech about a dream he had, history would have recorded Blacks as a people that do not have backbone, dignity and self respect.
God does deliver us into salvation, but we must not fear man. Don't believe the hype.
If Jesus had been afraid to stand up against the Roman Empire and religious persecution, history would have recorded a preacher who practiced a form of religion, but denied the significance therein.
Because Jesus stood up, God pulled Jesus up from a borrowed tomb to sit on the right hand of the God. Because Jesus stood up, Blacks continue to stand up with power from the Holy Spirit.
I'm so glad Black America did not believe the hype. The truth is Blacks, Whites, Browns and Asians did not believe the hype. Because we stood up, doors opened up. Because we stood up, voting booths open up.
Because we stood up, walls came down. Because we stood, laws changed. Because we stood up, Barack Obama became the 44th President of America.
Don't believe the hype! Stand up!