Slavery has existed throughout human history, but from the 15th to the 20th century, Europeans took it to new heights. As Europe conquered and dominated the continent of Africa to gain control of its rich resources, many Africans were killed or enslaved. Colonialism led to the brutal African American bondage. Today Africa is emerging from that long night of oppression, even though a lot of work is yet to be done. While we cannot fully fathom why one nation chooses to dominate another, it happens. But we know that when it occurs, God has a plan to judge those who do so. God is neither blind nor deaf to the cries of those who suffer, and when the time is ripe, He takes action. In Exodus chapter 6, God expresses His attitude toward the enslavement of ancient Israel. God speaks near the end of their 400-year ordeal of Egyptian slavery: “I am Yahweh—‘the LORD.’ … You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them. Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the LORD. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment.’” When people suffer enslavement, exploitation, and injustice, God grieves. That is why His people today work hard to liberate those in bondage; they work to eliminate or reduce injustice and exploitation everywhere.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More