“There is nothing new under the sun,” the preacher said in Ecclesiastes 1:9. This is an indispensable truth; what has been will always be. More than ever, this generation faces the battle of character versus pleasure. There is a real struggle to either walk the right path or to fulfil the inner longings of short-lived pleasure. Just the other day (10th October 2022), the NTV aired a story titled ‘Sold Unborn’, which featured two men exposed for selling unborn babies. They would find pregnant ladies who didn’t want to keep their babies and desperate families who wanted babies. The cost of babies sold in this way ranged from Ksh600,000 to 1 million Kenya Shillings. These men would then keep the lion’s share and give the baby’s mother a mere Ksh150,000. Some of the ladies who wanted to sell their babies were married; however, there were single ones too. In this article, we will consider unmarried ladies (married ladies to be addressed in a future article). Why would anyone want to sell their babies? Is there a price tag for human life? How did we get here?
A crucial verse to help us delve into this matter is Proverbs 9:17: “Stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” These are words by the woman Folly (Proverbs 9:13). She uses these words to lure the simple into her accursed premises (Proverbs 9:19). To connect this scripture with the story of the unmarried young lady above, we must go way back, before the pregnancy and address the root of the matter; stolen waters of sex and promiscuity. The media has cultured today’s young people to think it is foolish to uphold sex as sacred. However, even from a psychological point of view, we know that sex is not merely a spontaneous activity. The scriptures clarify that sexual intimacy is a sacred engagement meant for the glory of God (Ephesians 5:21-23) in a marriage set-up. Everything God created is good, including the sexual act (Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).
However, as the Fall took over from Genesis 3 when Satan came in and destroyed everything good that God had made, sex was also affected. The passing pleasure of sex has blinded many young people into pursuing temporary pleasures without thinking about the risks or consequences that will follow. For instance, David had a scenario of stolen waters with Bathsheba, and things didn’t go down so well (2 Samuel 11-24). He was punished as the consequences of his actions befell his family (2 Samuel 12:10). Numbers 25:6-9 tells of an Israelite man who took a Midianite woman and lay with her. Phinehas went ahead and stubbed the man in the tent but not after the Lord’s anger had already burned against them in the camp. There is no true joy in enjoying stolen water of sex outside marriage. Instead, there is value in restraining ourselves hence why the preacher says in Proverbs 5:15 that we should drink water from our wells.
We have enough appeal in scripture regarding the value and dignity of our bodies. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). We must ask ourselves, as believers, what this implies and the expectations at hand. Is it okay to join the holy with the unholy? Uniting the temple of the Lord with immorality is an act of disdain that we must reject. Our bodies were bought at a high cost (1 Corinthians 6:20); the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ. No value could beat the worth that Christ has placed on us. No promise of pleasure, money or whatever else could match our God-given value. Our sexuality is a precious fountain (Proverbs 5:16-18). Our responsibility is to take care of this fountain and guard it with our all.
At the Heart of Stolen Water
Of all the consequences we might mention, the critical one is rebellion against God. Sin uses pleasure to lure its victims into destruction. There is no eternal joy in sin, just a temporary fling of excitement and disaster. When we choose to go out of the way and enjoy the stolen water of sex, we outrightly rebel against God’s command, even though we may feel we have a legitimate need. Genesis 3:4 lets us in on the deceptive voice of Satan when he quips to Eve, “You shall not surely die.” From this point, it is clear that Satan is cunning, sly, and ruthless; he makes calculated moves. Eve fell prey to his schemes, which cost her and Adam a life of bliss with God. This was a consequence they had to face since they knew God’s command: “You shall not eat of it.” It was outright rebellion.
Some may qualify that girls are too appealing or boys are irresistible. However, at the core of it, rebellion is in our hearts. A desire to live without any guidelines or principles indicates a rebellious heart. When we call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20-21), we are making ourselves enemies of God, and if we claim to be in the faith, we lie to ourselves.
The Beauty of Sacred Fountains
At the end of the day, if we do not see ourselves through the eyes of the Master, then we will mishandle our fountains and spill our water everywhere. Stolen water always leaves a terrible taste of shame, guilt and eventual death, as Paul cites in Romans 6:21. The promised pleasure is a temporary lie.
However, for those who stay close to Christ, Paul says in Romans 6:22 that the reward is freedom, sanctification, and eternal life. We are blessed when we resist being hard-pressed by society to participate in the enjoyment of illicit sex. In our obedience, we know we shall reap a righteous reward in due season.