Nepotism is defined as patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationships, as in business and politics. Some synonyms for the word nepotism are: bias, partisanship, partiality, preferential treatment, preference and discrimination. (Dictionary.com)
It is common today to hear complains when people discover blood relations in a working place especially when it involves the boss. Is there nepotism in God’s work? In the mission of reaching out to those still in darkness? In the mission of Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”? Does He favor or give preferential treatment?
God appointed Moses to redeem Israel from Egyptian bondage. He appointed Aaron as a high priest and mouthpiece to Moses; these two were brothers but they were given co-leadership role in this great mission. God showed special favor upon some people and gave them special responsibilities that would continue in the family as long as they remained faithful to him one such position was that of Priesthood. When God was unhappy with Eli he declared the end of that favor for the house of Eli. 1 Samuel 2:30 [ASV] “Therefore Jehovah, the God of Israel, saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now Jehovah saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” the story did not end with the death of Eli and his two sons, God’s word continued to be fulfilled long after that as recorded in 1 Kings 2:27 “So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord; that he might fulfill the word of the Lord, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.”
Mordecai who was serving the king introduced Hadassah famously known as Esther his cousin who later ended her up as a queen in the same palace. The same later saved her uncle and all Jews from Haman’s evil destruction. Could that have been nepotism in people’s eyes?
What about the disciples that came from one family and wanted to be on the right and left side of Jesus whom Jesus had called to be his disciples, (Matthew 4:18-19 and also James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother.) What about Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother the fishermen, whom Jesus called, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” were among the disciples of Jesus. Was Jesus practicing nepotism?
We can continue siting such situations in the bible but the most important thing here is; God’s appointments are not as those of men. We place people with favor because they are our close friends or family members, ability to perform or not, self-centeredness is the drive behind our nepotism. But God is looking at potential and the heart of obedience to his guidance. After all He is not self-centered, before him we are all equal, his brothers and sisters. “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12:50.
Nepotism may not be bad after all, if we apply the heavenly principle not worldly myopic view.
By A. Eliamani