Christ religion

RELIGION: “You shall not steal”

“You will not steal.” Exodus 20:15

By this command, the LORD God forbids us to take or desire what rightfully belongs to another. Thus, we must not steal, steal or take property from others through dishonest means, including fraud, deception, unfair lawsuits, gambling, unfair labor or wages, unfair prices, etc. Instead of seeking dishonest gain, God urges us to work and earn our own goods and possessions and share with those in need.

The Bible teaches: “Let him who steals steal no more. Instead, let him toil, working things that are good with his hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Eph. 4:28). God also tells us, “You shall do no injustice in judgment concerning measures of length, weight, or quantity. You will have honest scales, honest weights, honest ephah and honest hin. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Lev. 19:35-36).

Psalm 37:21 says, “The wicked borrow and do not return, but the righteous are gracious and give.” Jeremiah 22:13 warns: “Woe to him who builds his house with iniquity and his rooms with injustice, who takes advantage of the services of his neighbor without pay, and gives him nothing for his work…”

Expressing these same principles, Leviticus 19:13 says, “Thou shalt not cheat thy neighbor nor rob him. The wages of him that is engaged shall not remain with thee all night till morning” (cf. Deut. 24: 14-15). God even warns against taking advantage of the poor and lending for personal gain when He says, “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, do not be a creditor to him and do not make him pay interest” (Ex. 22:25).

God also forbids us to be lazy and dependent on the charity of others when His Word commands, “If any man will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thess. 3:10).

What does God require of us when he forbids us to steal? He would have us love our neighbor and do everything in our power to help him protect and guard his possessions and belongings.

We see this by the principle established by this commandment: “If you meet the ox or the ass of your enemy which goes astray, you will certainly repay him” (Ex. 23:4). Even if it is not an ox or a donkey, we must give back to our neighbor the property he has lost and help him to keep what God has given him.

Jesus himself said: “Whatever you would have men do to you, do it also to them, for it is the law and the prophets” (Mt 7:12). The Scriptures ask us to treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated. So, instead of taking away our neighbor’s property and belongings, we should help him and do him a favor by keeping them.

Finally, instead of seeking other people’s property for ourselves, God would have us share what He has given us and help others in their needs.

The Bible says, “But do not forget to do good and to share. For it is in such sacrifices that God is pleased” (Heb. 13:16).

Have we kept this commandment as the Eternal God requires? Again we must admit our faults and sins and repent, pleading with the LORD God to deal with us in his grace and mercy for Jesus’ sake and imploring his help and strength to amend our ways and live for him. !

In Jesus, and because of his blood shed for us on the cross, we find forgiveness.

The Bible tells us, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all iniquity. … If anyone commits a sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our own, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 1:8-9; 2:1-2).

Dear Lord Jesus, for the sake of your atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world, forgive me for my selfishness and my greed. Forgive me for not loving and caring for others in need. Purify my heart and renew my mind so that I may live for you and seek to keep your holy commandments. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted at [email protected] Moll’s other devotional writings reflecting Bible teaching can be read freely at https://goodshepherdonline.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.]