“You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15)
Short and sweet, but for most of us it is a violation of our personhood. Persons in most societies today, are able to own property. However, we must all understand that we are only in custody of that property, as God is the ultimate Owner. There are many people around the world that that property may only be one item, whether it is picture, sculpture or something they may have made with their own hands.
The value lies with the person who has custody and its loss may be devastating for that family. For someone to enter your private space and take that one object is a violation of the space itself and for the taking of the owner’s prize possession, it is equal to losing all one has. While the intrinsic value may be small, it represents all that they have and the loss is hard to put into words.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we have items in our homes, some may be worth money while others are attached to memories that are irreplaceable. One is the hand of my eldest son in clay, fired and painted when he was five. The other is an Indian Head nickel my youngest son had painted with his name as the artist and like his brothers, holds memories. Although I have many pictures of Jesus, I have one a friend made me in pencil of a scene of Jesus surrounded by a couple of children and they are playing. I had described it to the artist as one I had seen in our church, it was Jesus as a young Jewish man playing with kids. He was not the usual picture of a white man, but of an Israelite man. The value of these three objects is beyond monetary, for it represents my sons and my Savior. If someone broke into my home and took these things, it would devastate me, for they represent my family and my faith. To steal is wrong; in the past, currently, and into the future it is wrong. For those who steal, I pray for Jesus to come into their lives, and help them to understand this short commandment and why it is wrong. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“At the heart of sin is the letter ‘I’.”
“The Lord said to Moses: ‘If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies about it, of if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do—-when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property that was found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering.” (Leviticus6:1–5)
Thieves must make things right with the offended human party and with God. Theft is both a crime and a sin. Part of society’s justice involves restitution plus penalties for lost income and emotional distress. Restitution is the result of one who takes what does not belong to them; thus, they must return the stolen object, plus penalty value for the theft itself, that is recognized by the person who stole, even if they return the object itself. We are accountable for our actions, beloved, and to restore ourselves among the community we live in, we must pay the penalty for stealing from another.
“Do not steal, Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” (Leviticus19:11)
Beloved, a word spoken cannot be called back; whether a word of truth or falsehood. Dishonest reports, slander, exaggerating the truth—-all distort the character of he teller and the one reported upon. To establish justice, society must be able to believe the words of its members; not some of the time, but all of the time.
Second Thought of the Day:
We are a covenant people and relationships are either growing or regressing, never static. Each generation must make its won commitment to God and His covenant. Wen we acknowledge our faith in God, the Bible’s story of salvation becomes more than the history of a past generation. It becomes the story of our faith and the call for our obedience. In many ways our current generation has not, as yet, acknowledged its relationship with God nor have they made the commitment to faith either. They are, in their own way, stumbling along seeking, but believe they are not sure of what it is they are looking for. I believe in my heart of hearts, that they do understand that a covenant relationship is not a one time historical act of God. That in truth, it is an ongoing relationship God continually renews with His people. Thus, they are not making a commitment as yet, because they are not sure. So, we must answer their questions, and be assured they have many, but it is our responsibility to answer them honestly and not try to push them along one path or another. This, we all need to pray about and for.
“You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Deuteronomy5:19-21)
God was made visible in the fire on the mountain, one of the mysterious wonders of the ancient world. The God who spoke to Israel did so in a specific way, so that He would be identified, yet always with a certain degree of mystery, so that people would never entertain the illusion they controlled God or fully understood Him. The awesome presence frightened the Israelites, so they requested a mediator. Thus Moses became the spokesperson to and or God.