Let's Go Back to the Bible

Thou Shalt Not Steal

There may be some who think that the subject of this article is insensitive or inappropriate.  It is not intended to be at all.  The purpose is to get us to saturate our thinking and our decisions with God’s Word.

Think for a moment how frequently and how strongly God spoke about the subject of stealing.  His clarify on this subject is unequivocal.  Think for a moment about what we see happening today.  Is there any “stealing” going on that is being publicized widely?  Is there any “stealing” going on today that is even, by some, being accepted and justified?

For the last several weeks, what have we seen on the news?  Have we seen individuals breaking into a store and walking out with items for which they did not pay?  Have we seen individuals break, ruin and even burn things that belonged to someone else?  Can I ask you a question?  Have you heard anyone during those reports explain how the “taking,” the “destroying,” the “burning” in these particular situations is “understandable” and even “justifiable”?  It is certainly easy to get caught up in the emotions of present-day events, but is there ever a time when it is right to do wrong?  Is a sin ever not a sin? 

Consider for a moment what God says.  “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15).  Two verses earlier, He said it is wrong to steal someone’s life.  One verse earlier, He said it is wrong to steal someone’s spouse.  One verse later, He said it is wrong to steal someone’s trust.  He puts the same thoughts together again in Leviticus 19: “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another…You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him” (19:11, 13).  Another person’s property must be respected—care and responsibility for that which is another’s is essential (Ex. 22:7-27).  There’s no room for stealing of any kind.

In the New Testament, we are commanded, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Eph. 4:28).  There is no room at all in the verse for seeking to justify stealing at any time for any reason.  There are eternal ramifications for such actions.  Among other sins, those who steal (i.e., “thieves”) “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).  Taking something that is not mine will cost me my soul!

Achan didn’t think it would be a big deal to take what was not his in Joshua 7.  After all, it was “there for the taking.”  However, his stealing harmed his nation and destroyed his family.  Think about that.  There’s no justification for stealing!

Wrong is always wrong!  There is never an exception to that!  Sin is always sin!  There is never an exception to that!  May God help us to not try to accept it or justify it…ever!