You and over 115 million of your closest football friends probably tuned in to watch the Super Bowl last night. Official viewership numbers are expected later today, but the viewership is expected to set a record for the most people watching ever! And that's not the only record that the Super Bowl last night may have set. The Super Bowl is purported to be the largest venue for human trafficking of the planet. With a huge influx of tourists, the message boards to arrange meeting and ads for sex online were hopping to keep up with demand.
And disturbingly enough, most of the demand is for underage girls.
Often prostitution was viewed as a voluntary profession, but attitudes have been evolving to recognize that many women are raped and physically and psychologically assaulted as a way to be forced into prostitution. They are trafficked for sex. Several studies suggest that between 60-80% of women enter into prostitution in America before the age of 18.
It's our daughters and their friends, our next door neighbor girl with the bad home life, and the rebellious runaway teen who is just looking for some fun. It's happening everywhere around the world, and often times right under our noses.
Sex trafficking at the Super Bowl and in your town. Biblically, should we do something about it or care? Yes and yes.
The Psalms and Proverbs, and New Testament are full of instances that should inspire us to act.
Psalm 82:3-4 says, "Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." (NIV)
Proverbs 24:11-12 says, "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?" (NIV)
And if those verses aren't challenging enough to move us to rescue the oppressed and those being led away to death, and that we will be held accountable for our actions...
Jesus himself even interacted with a few loose woman of his day. The woman at the well in John 4 (read it!) was very likely a loose woman in town. She had five husbands and was currently living with a man who wasn't her husband. If she wasn't the town prostitute, she was certainly considered a sinful woman by everyone in town. Jesus met her right where she was at and spoke truth into her life. He revealed himself to her. He loved her when many didn't. And she in turn told everyone about Jesus!
And the woman who was caught in the act of adultery in John 8 (read this one too!) who was about to be stoned? Yep, Jesus talked to her as well. He rescued her from death, forgave her, and told her to go and leave her life of sin.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us to see him everywhere. He says that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for him. And whatever we don't do for the least of these, we don't do for him.
Prostitutes and pimps just may well be considered the least of these in our modern world. What are you doing for the least of these?
Read the challenging verses in our devotional this week, and let them speak to you. Consider the problem of sex trafficking in your world. What would God have you do?