Injustice infuriates me. I hate it when the wicked prosper at the expense of the weak. I’m so tired of seeing demonstrations of the abuse of power in the media, in education, in scientific research, in religion, in families, in politics, in… well, in every sphere of life.
With the Psalmist I cry out, “How long, Lord? How long?”
Lately I have been drawn to Psalm 37, as my agony increases over the abuse of women, and especially children, who are victims of sex trafficking. I’ve known about it since I overheard people I worked with say that part of the cost of getting a producer to consider their project involved buying a boy for his use for the night.
Now even more is coming to light despite many cover-ups. Sometimes this world is so ugly. Why do the wicked prosper?
I am reminded of William Wilberforce, who spent his whole adult lifetime working for the abolition of slavery in Britain. Sometimes change is a very slow process, at least by our concept of time, but what an example of endurance and perseverance!
In the late 1800’s and into the 20th century American doctor, Kate Bushnell, and her colleagues worked tirelessly to expose government sanctioned sex trafficking in the brothel camps provided for British soldiers overseas. Later she uncovered similar practices in logging camps and mining operations in North America. With day by day dogged determination she pursued and shamed authorities until laws and policies and were changed.
Sometimes it feels like a dreary long road, but David understood when he wrote: The steps of the God-pursuing ones follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord. And God delights in every step they take to follow him. (Psalm 37:23)
In the end Kate Bushnell realized that real change required more than revised laws and policies. She saw that what was required was a heart change. Without it the demand for human beings who could be used and dominated continued. It’s not just a matter of prosecuting the people who sell captives, it’s a matter of changing the hearts of the apparently massive number of people who pay to use them. And those people are often also slaves – slaves to lust. Many, many people are realizing they are held captive by an addiction to pornography and illicit sex and cry out for freedom themselves.
A heart change is what God promises when people turn from their own ways of coping with personal pain and disappointment or feeling out of control and instead trust in Jesus Christ.
This is what we pray for. Freedom for all captives and an awakening of the realization that our hearts can only find healing and restoration in the heart of the One who created us for greater things. An awakening to new life as the Holy Spirit moves through our land.
So we press on, day by day cultivating faithfulness, trusting His promises, walking in his path and praying without ceasing.
So don’t be impatient for the Lord to act;
Keep moving steadily forward in his ways,
And he will exalt you at the right time.
And when he does, you will possess every promise,
Including your own inheritance.
You’ll watch with you own eyes
And see the wicked lose everything (verse 34)
But the Lord will be the Saviour of all who love him.
Even in their time of trouble
God will live in them as Strength.
Because of their faith in him, their daily portion will be
A Father’s help, and deliverance from evil.
This is true for all who turn to hide themselves in him!
(verses 39 & 40 The Passion Translation)