Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stealing Pure And Simple – The Eighth Commandment

Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 3:29
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Stealing, Pure and Simple

The eighth commandment

Exodus 20.15; Deuteronomy 5.19

“You shall not steal.”

Exodus 22.6

“If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.”

Pity the thieves?

The Law of God is clear that he who deliberately or irresponsibly jeopardizes the property or economic wellbeing of others is guilty of stealing. If he starts a fire that gets out of hand, or if he allows his cattle to graze in another man’s field (Ex. 22.5), he has stolen from his neighbor’s wealth and must make restitution from the best of whatever he possesses. Do you suppose that, knowing this law was on the books, and that the local magistrates were determined to enforce it, folks might have kept such irresponsible practices at a minimum? In our present economic mess, a few bottom-line-motivated people tossed a lighted match into the brush pile, and now everybody’s standing grain is at risk. People lost the homes they admitted too late they couldn’t afford. Banks began closing because they could not fulfill their obligations. Wall Street investors smelled a foul odor and began selling off blue chips like they were cow chips. But our political leaders are determined that those responsible for this growing inferno should not be expected to bear the consequences of their actions. Rather than hold the guilty accountable, our leaders want to help them graze in our fields and vineyards. Why?

It sounds cruel and unfeeling, doesn’t it, to suggest that people should bear the consequences of their behavior? But can you see the wisdom of this?

“In the Gates” is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001,2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Editor’s note: The use of a translation other than the Authorised Version in an article does not constitute an endorsement in whole or in part by The Christian Observer.

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