I was sitting at my book table after speaking at an event when the woman broached the question: If God is good and loves people, why doesn’t He come down and stop this evil?
Indeed, why doesn’t God stop human trafficking? Why doesn’t He rescue afflicted women, keep children from being exploited, stop pimps and johns from causing such pain? Why is it possible that there are more slaves in the world today than ever before?
Sometimes when Jesus was asked a question, He replied with another question that hit the heart of the matter. I’d like to try the same.
What if God made a perfect plan that would wipe slavery from the planet? What if He gave specific instructions to certain people, and resourced those people with everything they needed to succeed?
And what if those people,
who had been given such an important task,
REFUSED TO DO IT?
There are an estimated 20-30 million slaves in the world today. The number seems huge. Insurmountable. Impossible. However, over 1 BILLION people in the world claim to be Christian. If only ONE-TENTH of the people who claim to be followers of Christ did what it took to rescue just one person, the world would run out of slaves before even half of that one-tenth could succeed.
We’ve been given clear instructions. God has a lot to say to us about justice and oppression and our responsibility to those most in need. Here are just a few verses:
Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3-4)
For I, the Lord, love justice. (Isaiah 61:8)
Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out? (Isaiah 58:6-7)
Jesus Himself said God sent Him to “heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives” (Luke 4:20). If we truly long to follow Him, to be like Him, we will care about what He cares about. We will do what He did.
We’ve been fully equipped. We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. If we have more than one outfit, and more than enough food to survive today, we cannot say we do not have resources to give. How can we claim money is tight, too tight to share, when most of us have so many things we need spaces in our homes to store the stuff we aren’t using? We have resources in abundance. That is not the true barrier.
Then what is? Fear perhaps? Indifference? Sheer laziness? Any excuse can be narrowed down to one simple thing:
We love ourselves more than we love our neighbor.
Mathematically speaking, it should not be difficult for God’s people to eradicate slavery from the earth in one generation. Perhaps the fact that slavery thrives today is not God’s fault, but rather the fault of those who say they are Jesus’ followers but do not want to actually follow Him if it means self-sacrifice.
That can change. Instead of asking God why He doesn’t do something, we could be asking what we are to do in His name. We could give, go, pray, weep, and care enough to do whatever it takes to set the captives free.
We could change the world. If we did, people would stop asking why God doesn’t stop human trafficking. They would be able to see that He is, through us.
If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Ways Christians Can Fight Human Trafficking Here in the US