Every 7th day, Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh Day Baptists, Jews and countless other Sabbath keepers around the world gather together to rest and remember that God is our creator and redeemer. Inherent in this belief is the reality that we do not belong to ourselves or to one another but to God. We are Gods creation, created in his own image. The very first thing God did with Adam and Eve after creating them was call them apart to rest. That is what the word Sabbath means. It means rest. God created us, not to be mindless working machines, but to be companions with him. Every Sabbath we are called apart from the bussyness of life to rest and remember that we are his and that we were created to be in a relationship with God.
And yet, from the entry of sin into our world there has not been a single generation in which slavery has not existed. In one form or another, this evil has always been a part of the human experience since the fall of Adam and Eve. Today, millions of people worldwide, from children to the elderly, are subjected to some of the most cruel forms of slavery. Some are forced to work countless hours without rest or pay. Others are forced into brothels where they are prostituted. Worst of all, children are not exempt.
When the Sabbath arrives I forget about school, work, and stress. I forget about the errands and the hustle and bustle. I rest. However, I wonder if, like the rich man who hoards his riches while millions starve; do I horde the rest I enjoy while millions are subjected to the never ending horrors of slave labor? In other words, How can I, a Sabbath keeper, enjoy Gods day of rest each Sabbath without stopping for one moment to think of the 29 million who have no idea what rest is? I am reminded of Gods words against the city of Sodom, "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy" (Eze. 16:49).
The Sabbath is a weekly reminder that we were not created to be walking factories. We were created to rest. As a friend of mine once said, "we are human beings not human doings." I appeal to Sabbath keepers everywhere: Don't miss the message that Gods day of rest is screaming at us. It is a call to rest, but so long as we live in this broken world it is also a call to action. Millions of slaves are in need of rest. As you rest this coming Sabbath think of them. Think of the child locked in a brothel. Think of the teen barred in a factory. Think of the woman forced into a mansion. Think of the father kept hostage in a diamond field. They need rest.
Perhaps you are wondering, What can I possibly do to help? Below are a list of organizations that fight against slavery. Support them. Sign up with them. Sign their petitions. Donate money to them. And simplest of all, share their links and articles on Facebook, Twitter or email. You may not have a penny to spare but raising awareness wont cost you anything but time.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. - Isaiah 1:17
The Civil War Did Not End Slavery
Adventism and Activism
Free the Slaves
International Justice Mission
Not For Sale