Summary: The Message is part of a sermon series through the book of Exodus. The context of the message comes from Exodus 22 and looks at how God wanted the nation of Israel to handle Crime.
Gods Response to Crime
Today in our country we have an increased prison population and the majority of people who spend time in prison after being released will break the law again and end up back in prison. Statistics tell us that that majority is 75%
Crime rates in the United States have been steadily falling this decade, but the declines have not slowed the growth of the nation’s prison population. Due in part to a wave of get-tough laws, many of them requiring longer sentences, almost 1.8 million Americans are incarcerated, giving the land of the free the second-highest confinement rate in the world behind only Russia.
Some people have the mentality to simply lock up criminals and throw away the key. But is that Gods response, Should that be our response?
Hbr 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
Hbr 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hbr 13:3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
This passage of scripture that we read tonight from Exodus 22 is more detail concerning the commandment “Thou shalt not steal” It gives the nation of Israel the right response to those who break the commandment and the price that they should be required to pay for their crime
This biblical response to the crime of theft is more unique than the way our society treats thieves because it placed the responsibility and accountability back on the person who committed the crime rather than making the rest of society pay for their room and board while they sat in prison
If a man was caught stealing an ox or a sheep he was to repay five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. There was no going to jail, see how God put the responsibility to repay on the person who stole
oxen were more valuable than sheep because they were used to do work, just like a tractor would be considered more valuable than say a motorcycle as far as its usefulness
Remember what David said to Nathan when he told him the story about a man stealing another mans sheep
Sa 12:6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
Available Commentaries for 2 Samuel 12:6
2Sa 12:7 ¶ And Nathan said to David, Thou [art] the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Sa
and what Zacchaeus said to Jesus in the gospel of Luke
Luk 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold.
Luk 19:9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
a person was also given by God the right to protect their property in verse 2. we talked about this when we went through the ten commandments. If a person killed a theieve breaking into their home there was to be no bloodguilt.