My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil;Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse” My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path;For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners.
In the passage above, cited from the book of Proverbs, the writer admonishes his son against being enticed by the wicked to join forces with them in taking advantage of the innocent. He goes on to describe what the wicked aim to gain from such an enterprise. A description of these expected gains is what they use to entice others to join in the ominous expedition. “But” says the writer, “they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives.” And ‘so are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain, it takes away the life of its owners.
The recent mass looting of the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya by a myriad of its customers, is nothing but an illustration of this evil principle at work. What was discovered to be a technical glitch in the system for purchase of the Platinum data plan that allowed purchase of bundles at no cost, was followed by disclosure by the initial looters followed by an unscrupulous stampede by the masses to join in the plunder
That this is a revelation of the state of men’s hearts cannot be further from the truth. Whereas we go up in arms when we are on the receiving end of social vices such as corruption, we are quick to go in for the kill when the opportunity presents itself. Such conduct is nothing but shameful, disgraceful, evil, unkind and certainly ungodly for the following reasons:
- God has ordered nature in such a manner that we justly reap what we sow and to take advantage of a breach to reap where we did not sow is outright rebellion against God.
- Trade operates on the same principle of payment in return for goods or services. Where a good or service is obtained without payment and that without the consent of the party involved, it is robbery.
- Conscience itself bears witness against us, when we drink stolen waters, for deep down inside we know we do not deserve what we have acquired.
- We shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ, and each shall give account of himself to God. If men will give account for every idle word they speak in the day of judgement, what of such bold acts of sin? And shall we not retort at this point that ‘it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God?’ In which sense it can be rightly said that to indulge in such, is to ‘lie in wait for your own blood’ and to ‘lurk secretly for your own life.’
- It is a violation of the golden rule and the principle of love. For ‘love does no harm to a neighbor. ‘ And what is this act but harm to a neighbor, and that, one who offers a service we benefit from daily if not every hour? Having put forth these reasons (and many more can be cited) I let conscience do her work. Let him who is convicted of his sin make amends for the damage he has caused. Let him who was ignorant of his trespass be enlightened. And let the feet of him who has hitherto trodden the path of righteousness be strengthened.
AUTHOR : Allan Tulienge