What Would you Do?

Posted in Blog, Front Page, General, Mind | 3 comments

What Would you Do?

I heard about this video a few days ago and decided to check it out. Although the acting isn’t great, the honest and spontaneous responses by the non-actors are riveting.

What would you do if you faced a similar situation? (Click here to watch the clip.)

According to the Department of State’s statistics from 2000, there are approximately 244,000 American children and youth who are at risk for trafficking each year. We can’t possibly know all of their stories or the horrors that each one faced. We do, however, have stories that we can draw from scripture.

Do you mean to say that this trafficking thing has been infecting our culture since Bible times? Yep, it’s been a seeping and festering wound on the human race, almost since the beginning of time.

I’m reminded of the story of Joseph, son of Jacob.

To give you a little back-story, Jacob was the guy who fell in love with Rachel at first sight but who was tricked into marrying her sister Leah instead. When he finally attained his beloved Rachel, she remained barren while Leah kept popping little tykes out like gumballs. Several years passed, and finally Rachel bore a son—Joseph.

You can imagine Jacob’s complete and utter joy. He was like a kid with a new puppy. “I’m gonna love it, and hold it, and pet it, and feed it, and teach it, and….” You can further imagine how this type of attention affected the other sons.

The brothers’ scheming begins in Genesis 37, but let me highlight a portion for you:

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.

19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.

26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.

28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

The story doesn’t end there. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was grieved by the actions of Joseph’s brothers. Yet, He had a plan for raising Joseph up. His plan and His purpose would not be deterred by the actions of men.

It wasn’t an immediate restoration. There must have been many times when Joseph thought YHWH had forgotten and abandoned him.

Upon arriving in Egypt, these Ishmaelites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

Since the Lord was with Joseph, he prospered in all he did. Potiphar put him in charge of his household. He entrusted to Joseph’s care everything he owned.

Joseph would have most likely remained there, had Potiphar’s wife not taken a shine to him. After Joseph rejected her advances, the woman falsely accused him of attempted rape in an effort to save her own skin.

This false allegation landed him in prison, but the Lord was with Joseph. He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.

Because the Lord was with Joseph, he had been given this uncanny gift of interpreting dreams. Pharaoh had a disturbing series of dreams, and so Joseph was called out of prison to interpret them. The dreams served as a stern warning to Pharaoh over a famine that would soon ravage the land.

Pharaoh knew he needed someone to oversee the storing up of grain in the good years to cover the years of drought and famine. So he said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

Had it not been for this sordid chain of events, Joseph would not have been in place to save the lives of his entire family and, thereby, assure the continuance of the line of Jacob — the father of the twelve tribes of Israel — for all time. The Lord was with Joseph. What his brothers had meant for evil, God intended for good.

So does God have a plan for every child who is taken against his will and sold into sexual or manual slavery? I cannot pretend to understand it all. It’s too big, too complicated, for me to reconcile. My attempts, though sincere, would fall far short in soothing the troubled hearts of the mothers and fathers searching every day for their missing children.

And yet there are a few truths on which we can all firmly rely:

  • The heart of God is grieved by the ugliness of human trafficking. It is against His plan. It is against His purpose. It is in direct contradiction to His sense of justice.
  • God loved Joseph. Yet He loved him no more, no less, than the child who is plucked from his life today and plunged into a life of obscurity tomorrow.
  • Man still means to harm, to see to his own pleasures at the expense of others. God still means to work that harm together for good — to heal the sick, to bind up the wounds, to raise the hearts of the broken.
  • Joseph could not know the “why,” but he knew the One who did. He trusted that One to make sense of it all. (Tweet that.)
  • Just as YHWH called upon man to bring about His purpose all those hundreds of thousands of years ago, He calls upon you today.

You are His vessel. You are His tool. Will you allow yourself to be used of Him?

Will you have the courage to look into the eyes of the hurting? Will you be so bold as to step between the abuser and the abused? Will you be the voice of the one who is too weak, too scared, to speak?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

P.S.: Remember. God’s plan and His purpose will not be deterred by the actions of men. Don’t be part of the problem. Be part of the solution.

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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/geezaweezer/5634185742/”>geezaweezer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

 

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3 Comments

  1. Very well done, my friend. Thank you for addressing this problem that threatens so many innocent souls. Lord bless your home.
    Kittye Sharron, Author (soon to be published)
    The Longest Letter: Incredible Hope

  2. Very informative, Anna. I enjoyed the writing as well…popped kids out like gumballs…:) The video experiment was impactful, thanks for sharing. I appreciate your love for the Lord. God bless

  3. Once again I am amazed with your God given talent to relate scripture to today’s sometimes confusing word.

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