Incidents of rape have assumed a new dimension in Nigeria – what, with the stories of infants/minors being raped and fathers raping their daughters with violence and of the victims been killed in some cases! What have come to light are so sickening that one is, perforce, impelled to reflect deeper on the statement of St. Paul that “it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret”. – Ephesians 5:11-13.
Nannies, caregivers, attendants, neighbours, step or foster fathers have in the past been implicated in these moral enormities; but what does one make of a student being raped inside a church building? What does one make of a father repeatedly raping his two daughters “at gunpoint”? As many as 11 men taking turns to rape a 12-year-old girl? A landlord raping the two-year-old daughter of his tenant? Invariably, nen and women of godly disposition are becoming more and more apprehensive as to where the world is heading for. We are indeed living in perilous times. – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
It has been alleged that some men use talisman or other supernatural means to hypnotize girls and women so as to rape them. And some of these people claim to be Christians. Shame on them! Both the resort to occultism and the act of rape are violations of the law of God. They are evidences of lack of faith in Him. The Bible says: “There shall not be found among you any one that … useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD…” – Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
The law of God
The Bible condemns any kind of sexual activity involving the exposure of the nakedness of another person who is not a lawful wife or husband. “None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 18:6) In the Christian era, one has sinned already if one lusts after a woman or harbours the earnest desire of having illicit sexual relations with her. (Matthew 5:27, 28) Men, but women especially, should therefore not do anything that would excite sexual lusts in the opposite sex. Dr. Donald C. Stamps, in his notes on the text just cited, states, among other things, “In the area of maintaining sexual purity, the woman as well as the man has a responsibility. The Christian woman must be careful not to dress in a way that attracts attention to her body, thereby creating temptation for men and encouraging lust. Dressing immodestly or sensually is associated with lust and therefore should be scrupulously avoided (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:2, 3).”
St. Paul warns that no one should “go beyond”, that is, take advantage of or over-reach another “in any matter”, warning that “the Lord is the avenger of all such”. (1 Thessalonians 4:6) People who commit such moral enormities as rape are referred to by St. Paul as those “Who being past feeling (because of dead consciences) have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, (lechery, debauchery) to work all uncleanness with greediness”. – Ephesians 4:19, parenthesis mine.
In the light of the upsurge in the flagrancy with which depraved minds rape their victims, girls need not be told of the imperative need to be very careful of whom they visit even if such are their classmates or relations. Some of these excursions have caused troubles for many a young girl as the opposite gender they are visiting, especially while under the influence of drugs (including alcohol), on seeing girls become overly excited and would attempt to rape them. See Proverbs 1:10; 2:10-19.
Dinah the daughter of Jacob through Leah, went out alone “to see the daughters of the land” of Shalem, a city of Shechem in the land of Canaan. This sightseeing led to the unfortunate situation in which she was raped by Shechem, a young prince of the land. Though he wanted to marry her, Jacob and his sons would have none of it “because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done”. (Genesis 34:1-31) The savagery with which the sons of Jacob avenged what Shechem had done underlines the abhorrence with which rape was held then. (Capital punishment is however not an option in the Christian era. Other forms of punishment could be used against them)
Fathers who rape their daughters or those related to them and sons who rape their sisters and half sisters are committing incest, which is contrary to the law of God. (Leviticus 18) Amnon, the first son of King David committed rape and incest by forcing his half-sister Tamar. He had a devilish lust for his sister and, following the advice of his co-conspirator, Jonadab, pretended to be sick and sought permission from King David for Tamar to attend to him. It was while she brought food to him that he pounced on her and, in spite of her resistance, overpowered her and had his way with her. (2 Samuel 13) He even got his security detail to push her out of the room. Sounds familiar, talking of the violence unleashed on the victims of rape!
We should also recall that Lot the nephew of Lot was raped by his own daughters. They made him drunk and took turns to lie with him, on the totally short-sighted and faithless reasoning that they would not see any man to marry them. The ungodliness of their action is underscored by the fact that the fruits of that union, the Moabites and Ammonites, were never counted among the people of God. – Genesis 19:30-38.
Girls and women should, should, as much as possible, avoid being alone in houses and hostels when all or almost all other colleagues and neighbours are out. It is better to go to meet God-fearing or faithful people’s homes; otherwise wicked people or criminals who know that all is quiet in the hostel may sneak in and attack. Both boys and girls should avoid being friendly with people who are notorious for licentious behaviour, including people they do not know well, such as facebook friends. The Bible says: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33.
Young men and women who work in offices, shops, factories, the security agencies and so on, should not yield to the immoral advances of their superiors or give room for them to do so, either through extended conversations, dressing, the way they walk or by frequently asking for favours. No one should bow to intimidation or threats of being sacked from their jobs or of their promotions being withheld if one refuses to give in to sexual advances. Rather, such characters should be exposed and reported to relevant authorities to family people and God-fearing people who can warn them or deal with them. One should also put such cases in prayer to God Who says He would “bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil”. (Ecclesiastes 12:14) Scripture says: “So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God.” – Romans 14:12. See also 2 Corinthians 5:10.
On a final note, it is an indisputable fact that the cases of rape in Nigeria would be reduced if the government embarks on a renewed campaign to clean up the airwaves, by ensuring that the lyrics used by musicians are not lewd, salacious or promotive of outrageous or outlandish sexual behaviour. A number of the songs been rendered today as raves of the moment are a menace to public morality. The same effort should be made to stop the sale of aphrodisiacs sold over the counter in chemists and pharmacy stores and hawked as concoctions, (incidentally in many cases, by women). After taking these things, the men or women become so sexually excited they could use force on any victim they could lay hands on.
Men and women, boys and girls who had indulged in rape in the past, either on their own or through the deceit of friends, should repent of their sins and stop such acts forthwith. They should go on their bended knees and beg God for forgiveness. It does not matter if they had been exposed on not. Scripture says: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 28:13, 14; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 38:18) Scripture says: “If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.” – Proverbs 9:12.
May the Almighty God always be with His children everywhere through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Brother Benedict Hart is a Senior Executive Minister and Publicity Secretary of God’s Kingdom Society, (GKS) the Church of the Living God