There has been considerable news coverage over recent days about a 17-year-old girl out near Los Angeles who called police to report that her parents had been holding her captive. When the police arrived at the home, the grizzly discovery was made that the girl has 12 siblings, ranging in ages from two up to twenty-nine, who were all malnourished and chained to their beds. Can you even imagine what it took mentally and emotionally for that young girl to call the law on her mom and dad?
The story is tragic. I am often troubled by how much pain and suffering humans heap upon one another, but this is a new low . . . parents doing this evil to their own children, in their own home? The terribleness of it all just sucks the breath out of me.
The police cut the fetters from those abused- and neglected-siblings and sent them off to the hospital for medical attention, but the kids will carry unseen chains, scars, and stains from this abuse and neglect all of the days of their lives.
As this story was surfacing, I was studying and preparing my lesson on the subject of “Value all.” This is the week SBC leaders set aside annually to focus on the tragedy of abortion and to stand for the ‘Right to Life’ . . . and remind worshippers that abortion is sin.
As I examined the ways that some ignore other’s value, my study led me to the terrible issue of human-trafficking. I had no idea that it is now being described as ‘a multi-billion dollar per year industry’ and that it is believed there are some 21-million victims across the world. Reports are that much of it involves women and young girls being used in prostitution.
I know that as God . . . who is defined in Scripture as “Love” looks down on it all, it must surely break His heart . . . I know it breaks my heart, troubles my mind, and unsettles my soul.
A lawyer once tried to fence with Jesus and asked “What is the greatest commandment?” to which Jesus answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
It Seems to me . . . that our world is far off course from what the Master called. The truth is that many totally disregard His instruction . . . and do so ignorantly . . . failing to grasp the truth that His words were not merely a suggestion. Those words were and are His law . . . He is coming back and will make it all right! Woe unto evil doers . . . woe unto those who abuse the weak and vulnerable.