Slavery was abolished 158 years ago. President Lincoln granted freedom to an entire people group who had been considered property when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. A day of freedom for the enslaved. But not an end to slavery.
Today it is referred to as human trafficking; it is illegal but rampant around the world. This terrorist of humanity does not discriminate based on race, gender, class, or ethnicity. It is a cancer on society that steals all human dignity from people around the globe. They are stripped of their humanity and treated as property for whatever use their “owner” deems most profitable. Often, it means a life of being a sex toy for whoever is willing to pay. Many victims are pumped full of drugs to keep them enslaved mentally as well as physically. Tortured, drugged, and subjected to physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, they live out their lives without hope.
There is hope for them. There are groups of people searching for the lost and striving to restore them. New homes, new lives, new hope. Those who are rescued must free themselves from the identity others forced upon them so they can receive the truth and hope of their God given identity. Child of God.
A21 is a ministry that seeks to free the world of slavery. I thought today was a fitting day to bring their mission to your attention. They fight the good fight every day as they seek the lost and free slaves around the world. Check out their website if this subject is near to your heart.
Where is God’s heart on slavery? What does God think about slavery? Wasn’t slavery in the Bible? Why didn’t God forbid it? I’m not an expert on the subject, but here are a few things I found.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”
In the beginning, God made man in His image. Clearly, we were not made to be slaves. God gave mankind dominion over the earth and all creatures on the earth. But notice, He didn’t give us dominion over each other. We were created to be equals with each other. We were created in God’s image. And the New Testament tells us that followers of Christ are given the right to be called children of God! God didn’t create slaves. He created family.
After the fall of humanity, sin and slavery entered the world. God gave some interesting and sometimes confusing rules about slavery in the Old Testament. But He also left clues about His heart for freedom.
“When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.”
This confirms for me that His will is our freedom. He did not forbid slavery, but He did provide the way to freedom for His people. Slavery, specifically for fellow Hebrews, was sometimes the only way to pay a debt. They offered themselves in exchange for the debt owed. It was only a life sentence if the person chose not to leave his master’s house after serving six years.
Following the captivity of Israel, God desired freedom for His people and sent prophets to give them hope.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”
Let’s pray for those caught in the horrors of human trafficking and help organizations who take on the challenge of fighting for the lost. Since we’re in a season of celebrating freedom in America, we should remember those whose freedoms have been stolen. Pray, donate, help where and how you can. The lost still need the good news that God speaks. News of healing, liberty, and freedom from their prisons.
Freedom isn’t limited to our physical or national freedoms. I’ll continue this series for another two weeks so we can consider our own status as free or slave. When we get caught in the shackles of sin, shame, and hopelessness, we can find hope and freedom in Christ.
May our walk with Jesus lead us to a deeper understanding of God’s love.
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.