Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are full of the first laws we ever received to care for the poor. God tells us to give the poor equal opportunity, to set them free of their slavery (Jubilee) and to not take advantage of their vulnerability. Because of sin in our world, the dichotomy between God’s laws and what humanity does is quite large. My hope with this art piece was to create a visual that brought to life God’s laws for justice in these three books while juxtaposing his laws with the brokenness of humanity in disobeying them as we take advantage of the poor.
The image on the left is a depiction of what God is laying law against: in other words, how humanity would treat the poor if it wasn’t for God’s law, and how those who don’t follow God’s law treat the poor. The background to this image is one I took in Thailand of a young woman who had been trafficked from Burma into Thailand. She was undocumented, meaning that she had no legal protection around her due to lack of any citizenship or identity. This left her at the disposal of those wealthier than herself. Because of her poverty, she was forced into sexual slavery due to lack of other options and a need to support her family financially. Humanity took advantage of the poor and this young woman sees no opportunity at freedom (Leviticus 25:39).
The image on the right expresses God’s heart for the poor as seen in Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus. The background to this image is one I took in India of a young woman who had been rescued from slavery and was given a second chance at life. She was given help so that she may continue to live (Leviticus 25:35). She received job training, schooling, and therapy so that she could become a self-sustainable and active member of society (Exodus 23:6). She had a Moses in her life: someone that fought for her freedom and listened to God’s directions with patience and faith.