One of my favorite songs is, “What a Wonderful World.” God has given us such indescribable beauty in His creation. But as beautiful as this world is, it is marred by the ugliness of sin. And perhaps there is nothing uglier in this world than what Niki Grover saw at a recent exhibit at Kansas State University. “It makes me feel sad, disgusted. It makes me realize how broken the world is,” said Grover, a junior in psychology.
What could cause that kind of absolute morality from a college student in a post-modern world? Grover had just been to “Empathy Week,” put on by iEmpathize, an organization that raises awareness about sex trafficking. And, as if awakening from a deep slumber, America is learning how severe this sinister profession has become. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today.” And it is the fastest growing.
Worldwide, there are nearly 2 million children in the commercial sex trade according to UNICEF. According to the Department of State there are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people trafficked across international borders annually, and approximately 80 percent are women and girls. Perhaps the most sickening thing about this industry is that over 50 percent are minors.
In the book of Hosea, we read of Gomer, a woman who was caught up in “sex trafficking.” God instructed Hosea to buy her back, illustrating how He will “buy back” His people (Hosea 3). I used to read Hosea and ask whether I would have bought Gomer back. I see now that I am Gomer, and you probably are too. Sold into slavery by sin and Satan, each of us has been bought back from the market by the blood of Jesus. How will we respond? Will we turn a blind eye to the precious price God paid for us? If we have been redeemed, what will we do to protect Gomers being sold into sin today? He paid the price, it is up to us to go get them (MT 28:19).