Everyone who saw it said, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!”
April 18, 2011
Today’s reading – Judges 19: 1-30
Before you begin, let me tell you that this reading is very difficult because of the violence. This is the story of a concubine who belonged to a Levite. Now depending on the translation of the Bible you are using, verse 2 can be confusing. The concubine is a slave with a step-up status, she is not his wife; and she either got angry with him or cheated on him. The Hebrew word used there can mean either in this case and really should not matter. What happens to this woman is not because of anything she does but as a result of all he does to her. She ends up leaving him and going back to her father’s house. Now it may seem all warm and wonderful that he chases after her and some might think this is love. Love is nowhere in this story. This woman is a concubine, a slave with whom he has sexual relations and she just left him. He lost control over what is rightfully owned by him. He goes after her to bring her back home and her own father tries to stall that from occurring. I wonder if her father sensed the evil man he is and was worried about the fate of his daughter.
Once he has her they travel to a city and sit out in the center waiting for someone to invite them to stay for the night. Eventually an elderly man makes his way to them and invites them to stay with him for the night. This man traveled with the concubine to this city because he felt it would be safer to be among his own people. While they are in this man’s home a perverted group of men come knocking on the door demanding the man who is a guest to be given to them for sex. The concubine is property, she is a slave and a woman. The elderly man will go to extreme measures to keep the Levite safe and offer not only this concubine to satisfy their perversion but also his virgin daughter. The men don’t want the women, they want the Levite. Hearing this, the Levite then takes his concubine and opens the door up just enough to push her out into this mob. See, I told you that there was no love, nothing endearing about this man and his going back to retrieve the woman. This woman is then raped, beaten and tortured all night long, crawls back to the house and collapses on the threshold. The next morning the Levite sees her and orders her to get up. When she doesn’t, he tosses her over a horse to go home.
A fellow Seminary student shared with me last week that the two cities in America who do the most trading and selling of sex slaves are New York and Chicago. Do not think because they are slaves in today’s day that they are treated any better because they are not. They are still raped and recorded for adult porn films. They are beaten or drugged into submission and they get tortured all day and night long for entertainment and profit. Their captors do not care about them. If they die, they will burn them or bury them and steal or purchase another child. The captors are male/female, white/black, Jew/Gentile, white collar/blue collar people. The porn industry is booming and could buy and sell America. Human Trafficking is this century’s biggest slave trade.
The women/children who are slaves in this industry are kidnapped, drugged, deceived and some are runaways. They all come to this trade unknowing and believe that the man or woman who is with them is safe. That is until they learn the truth, see the money exchange between hands and get their clothes ripped off of them. Then they realize the hell on earth they have entered, and if they are lucky they will die fast.
Why do I even bring this up? I want us to be a Church that does something about that. We cannot stay quiet any longer or pretend it does not happen. It does happen and it continues to happen because we do nothing to stop it. Once God makes you aware He does expect you to do something about it. We need to be a Church that demands this trade be shut down. We need to be forceful and move with determined steps. I cannot express the urgency any greater than what I have already in trying to help the sex slaves. This atrocity is how we will be remembered long after we are gone, and we can determine what of us will be said. We can be the Church that knew but did nothing or we can be the Church that fought and conquered this crime.
To learn more on what you can do, please contact: International Justice Mission @ www.ijm.org.
I am ending our devotional for today with the trailer for the Lifetime movie from Amnesty International. It is about human trafficking and while it may be hard to watch, keep in mind it is harder to live.
Go to You Tube and put this link in the search bar than click on the Human Trafficking Trailer. This is the movie which opened my eyes to the truth of this horrible injustice.
In His love,