We have certainly been inundated by an ongoing conversation of slavery and human rights over the past few years.

I suspect like me, if you have genuine compassion for the human race, you wonder what can we possibly do to rectify the apparent injustice that at least seems so prevalent.

Such injustice is not new. Over our long-recorded history, civilized people have dominated other civilized people, oppressing their freedom for their selfish personal gain.

As an example, the Israelites were oppressed by the Egyptians more than 3,500 years ago. The Book of Exodus chronicles their several hundred years of enslavement and their eventual release from bondage with the miraculous help of God Almighty.

Perhaps no people have gone through more persecution than the Jews. Then again, what I feel we really need to address is not a people or a race, but we to discuss finding freedom from oppression!

After all, what I believe we are all seeking is our individual and corporate freedom. It’s natural to not want to be constrained.

We’re simply looking for a way to express our opinions and make a significant impact in this world or at least in our small area of influence.

We want to be respected and appreciated.

According to Merriam-Webster, oppression is the unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power. We can expand on that short definition, but these few words give us adequate fodder to continue the dialogue.

Here’s the point: humankind has a huge problem with the sin of self-aggrandizement. In essence, many sadly believe they are significant while the masses are of little or no value.

God’s Word presents a totally different picture of humankind. We are all precious in His eyes. Let’s dig deeper into Scripture.

Unfortunately, when some people gain power and prestige, they quickly forget that we are all made in God’s image and take advantage of certain people groups who are less fortunate and easily deceived.

Slavery certainly has a place in this discussion, but so does the immense persecution that goes on in many third world countries.

In my opinion, the answer cannot be found in reparations. What has happened in the past is in the Hands of the Lord. He will take care of those who have caused irreparable damage to others.

In Isaiah 34:8, we are promised “For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause.”

Then in Hebrews 10:30-31 we read, “For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Consider the wrath of God that will be forthcoming to those who oppress others. Yet we still need to demonstrate compassion for those who are less fortunate and defend their rights and ours.

Through the centuries we’ve faced many despots and truly evil people who have brutally treated others for their own personal gain.

For me, knowing what Scripture says about such individuals and their inevitable demise is sufficient for me.

Let me end with these words of Solomon, from Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Passage to Ponder

Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at jim@fourthquarterstrategies.com for more information. The opinions expressed are his own.