Exodus 3: 7 – 9
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.”
There has of course been endless talk of Corvid 19 and pandemics over these last several weeks, but also recently talk of slavery and its long lasting after effects. We can of course kid ourselves that slavery died along with the Confederate States of America as soon as Lincoln signed the Proclamation of Emancipation. Sadly that was not the case and as late as 1896 Britain was building forts in Nyasaland to prevent the transportation of slaves out of the country.
I am not here going to start discussing whether to destroy statues or not, partly because this is not the place and partly because the cases for and against are more complex than I can do justice to in a few hundred words anyway.
The Israelites, God’s chosen people, were suffering under the Egyptian oppression and in their anguish they cried to God for help. It may well have appeared to them at times that God was not listening to them, but he was not only listening but putting into place his plan for their deliverance. To move a large mass of people several hundred miles cannot be done overnight. God needed to find a leader capable of pleading their case to Pharaoh, and if the pleas fell on deaf ears of organising an escape and a decades long trek through the desert. Only when everything and everybody was in place did God call on his chosen one, Moses, to act. Einstein said God does not play marbles with his creation, and also God does not put his children in too much peril. Had the exodus occurred at the wrong time or with the wrong leaders the result could have been calamitous and indeed have led to the total destruction of the Israelite nation and people. God could not and would not allow that to happen.
God, it has been said, often takes a long time to act but he is never ever late.
The enslavement of the Israelites was as abhorrent to God as it is to us, yet we must not forget that when they achieved their promised land they too took slaves. As much as modern people we condemn those of the past who practiced or facilitated slavery let us not fool ourselves that slavery no longer exists. Many reports will tell you more people are enslaved today than at any other time in history. The Guild has done sterling work in both exposing and helping the victims of sex slavery, they provide an ear that hears and pleads their case with governments and God.
We all have a role to play even if that role is to pray long and earnestly so God can hear the pleas, see the suffering and bring about freedom for all.
Once years ago I told someone I was sorry I could not do much other than pray for them, the answer I got straight away from the person was “Bob if you can pray for us you are doing a great thing
Let us all do great things to help those caught in enslavement today and pray.
Lord God our loving Father, we come and go as we want, we work as and how we want, we marry or not as we want, we take our freedoms for granted. Hear us Lord as we call to you for those who lack our freedoms, those who are compelled to work with no chance of rest or freedom, as you saw the Israelite’s oppression may you come to see and free all who are enslaved today.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,