This episode includes these segments: Order Up (an invitation to a rule for living), Sermon Prep (xaris and sin), and On the Homefront (life with a big puppy). The theme throughout is the value we place on particularity. Visit our Gofundme page to support our ministry of building an intentional, missional community in Wake Forest, NC. Send us an email to let us know what you think of our podcast.
Elijah faced a crisis. People were turning away from God and worshipping idols, to the point that over 800 priests had been appointed to facilitate Baal and Asherah worship. And by facilitate, I mean killing children in the name of those gods. You probably remember the story of the Mt. Carmel showdown. All those false priests on one side and Elijah alone on the other, so many who represented injustice and violence with one lone champion of justice and mercy to oppose them. Elijah won the day on Mt. Carmel in dramatic fashion. What else can you say when God provides the pyrotechnics?
But those false priests had the favor of the king and queen, who were not pleased at all with Elijah’s victory. So just after God showed up in a spectacular way, Elijah had to run for his life and hide in a cave. He nearly despaired because he felt all alone. He thought the Carmel moment was an accurate picture of the whole thing, that the whole world had gone over to evil. How could such victories as Carmel be anything but fleeting in the face of so much turning away?
But Elijah was wrong in his thinking. He wasn’t alone at all. God was with him. And God let him know there were 7000 others who were also on Team Yahweh. Right after this, Elijah met Elisha, who became his friend, apprentice, and successor.
When confronting the massive problem that is human trafficking, it is easy to feel the same way Elijah felt in that cave. Alone and very small against the tide of evil. But none of us is alone in this fight. For one, working for justice always puts us on God’s side because justice is a prime concern for God. Showing mercy to those who have been harmed, who have been taken advantage of is as close to the heart of God as we can come. And like Elijah, there are actually other people who are also already on this team. One of the most important things we can do is to become aware of them and the work they are doing. So we can help them. So we can pray for them. So we can be encouraged to work and not give up.
Here are some organizations doing important work against human trafficking that have a scope broader than local. You can find helpful resources (like flyers you can print and give out/put up in public spaces). You can also pray for these folks.
A quick Google search will also turn up organizations in your area that are working to end human trafficking already. Here are some in the Raleigh-Durham area:
This is just a sample. You can easily find others. I encourage you to spend time this week getting to know the 7000 (or more, its a metaphorical number) teammates you have in this fight. And spend time praying for them. Everyone who joins in this effort is on Team God, Team Justice, Team Mercy. Let’s pull together and pull for each other and be encouraged by each other. It sure beats sitting alone in a cave and whining. Pray something like this:
Thank you, God, for everyone who has it on their heart to work to end modern day slavery. Thank you for all the people in my area and around the world working for justice, showing mercy, and offering protection to those who have been harmed, enslaved, or are in danger of such. Strengthen our hands, Lord. Give us the resources we need to do this work. Encourage us. Inspire us. Guide us. Unite us as a team. And pyrotechnics once in a while would be cool too. Thanks for being the God of justice and mercy. Make us into people of justice and mercy. People after your own heart.