Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Desperate Measures

"[Lot] said, 'No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them.'" Genesis 19:7-8

Two angels arrive at Sodom in the evening and find Lot sitting at the city gate. Lot greets them by bowing down face to the ground, out of respect. He insisted that the men (angels) stay at his house for the night. After a good meal, as they are preparing to go to bed, men of all ages surround the house and call to Lot. They want him to send his male guests out so they can have their way with them. This vile behavior is where our word "sodomy" comes from.

Because the men (angels) were his honored guest and under the protection of his roof, Lot denied their request. Instead of saying "no" to all sin however, Lot chooses what he must have thought to be the lesser of two evils -- he offers the men his two virgin daughters instead. This is the first recorded attempt at human trafficking recorded in the Bible. Lot was ready to prostitute his own girls! As I read that the angels were under Lot's protection while under his roof I wanted to raise my voice to Lot and beg the question, "Why aren't your daughters under your protection in their own home, Lot?" Unfortunately, not all dads protect. Not all dads are safe. Some dads make really bad decisions.

Such decisions are how abuse and trafficking begin: desperate people taking desperate measures, selfish people making selfish decisions. "[Lot] unadvisedly and unjustifiably offered to prostitute his two daughters to them, v. 8. It is true, of two evils we must choose the less; but of two sins we must choose neither." (Matthew Henry, emphasis added.)

Thankfully, this story didn't stop there. The angels opened the door and pulled Lot back inside after making such an appalling proposition. Then they struck the men outside blind so they couldn't find the door. The girls were safe that night.

Tonight and every night, so many girls are not safe. Millions have been trafficked into the commercial sex trade. It's happening in my own backyard. The Tampa area ranks #1 in human trafficking in the state of Florida, and #3 in the nation. Trafficking people is the second largest business in the world, second only to trafficking drugs, and is on the rise. An estimated 27 million men, women and children are coerced, abused and held against their will for slave labor, domestic servitude and prostitution worldwide. In my city, the average age a child is trafficked is 10 or 11 years old. Now that we know, we can't turn our backs. We must work to bring an end to this injustice. But for the grace of God, it could have been me...

Father God, there is so much desperation in the world. So much depravity. I know it breaks Your heart. I know it's breaking mine. God, would You shine a light in the darkness and help us expose this injustice? My own community is in dire need. By a mighty move of Your hand would You remove the blinders and bring awareness that leads to action, that leads to abolishing slavery? You are mighty to save. Save the innocent now I pray and bring justice where justice is due. In Jesus name I ask these things, amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment