Most of us can hardly imagine the horrors of slavery.  To be held against our will, unable to make our own choices, is foreign to our modern society.  But tragically, it is not foreign to millions around the globe.  According to Time Magazine, January 2010, “Despite more than a dozen international Conventions banning slavery in the past 150 years. There are more slaves today than at any point in human history.  It is estimated that 20,000,000 to 30,000,000 men, woman and little children are enslaved against their will, with little or no remuneration for their work.  Child slaves are forced to work in cocoa fields under brutal conditions and long hours to supply the ever-present demand for chocolate dainties around the world.  From fields to mines; to textile industries to fishing boats, slaves can be found.  Most modern slaves are found in Asia and Africa, but slavery exists in the United States, as well, with an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 slaves, mainly young women.  In the Saharan nation of Mauritania, slavery was outlawed in 1981, but was not criminalized until 2007, and to date, only one has been prosecuted, despite the fact that an estimated 10-20% of the population is enslaved.  Tragically, this terrible curse is reality to millions of people today.

Over 150 years ago, sister White saw that slavery would continue until Jesus came.  skeptics and critics thought she was mistaken when she wrote words such as these: “I saw that the slave master will have to answer for the soul of his slave whom he has kept in ignorance; and the sins of the slave will be visited upon the master.”  Early Writings, 276 (originally published in 1858).

Tragically, she was writing not just for her time, but for our time today.  When we think of the millions enslaved in literal slavery today, we have a mission to join in Jesus’ mission of “proclaiming liberty to the captives,”  (Isaiah 61:1).  But more than that, we have a mission to proclaim liberty from the bondage of sin which holds billions captive in its grasp.  In Mauritania, many who live in slavery do not even realize it.  They believe that their masters are their family members who take care of them, never mind the beatings and abuse, and more.  They were born into slavery, owned by their masters by virtue of their birth, and it is all that they have ever known, for how many years chained to the slavery of sin, is it the same?  They actually believe that their captor, (sin) is their benefactor!  Jesus’ mission then and now, is still the same—to set the captive free!  If the Son, therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  John 8:36   Are we enslaved by the deceitfulness of sin?  Jesus wants to set us free, and He want to make us abolitionists—setting others free, as well.  May we see the enormity and awfulness of the slavery of sin and work tirelessly for the time when sin will enslave no more!




Cody Francis