Summary: If it is a crime to take something that belongs to someone else THEN the offended party has the right of ownership. You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15
Dakota Community Church
August 24, 2014
Summer Series at Dakota: The 10 Commandments
You shall not steal.
Because human beings are created in the image of God, the principle of giving God HIS due is carried over to our neighbour. We owe our neighbour righteousness and justice in our dealings with him/her even if he/she is an enemy by virtue of the divine image every person bears.
“We need a new psychological climate based on responsibilities instead of rights.”
Henry Grunwald (Time Magazine 30 March 1992 pg. 74)
The commandments stress what we owe others, not what we have the right to expect of them.
The prohibition of murder defends the value of human life; God forbids adultery protecting marriage and the family, and this decree against theft requires us to respect our neighbours right to private property.
If it is a crime to take something that belongs to someone else THEN the offended party has the right of ownership.
If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, 3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.
5 If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.
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.
7 If a man gives to his neighbour money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man's house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbour's property. 9 For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbour.
A thief must make restitution… paying back double… paying from his best… being sold
Justice in God’s design is meant to satisfy the victim and restore relationship where possible.
No one has the right to invade another person’s property, to use or remove another person’s possessions without permission or to in any other way deny the right to life, freedom & property.
…you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
1. All my stuff and the concept of stewardship
God is the sovereign owner of all He has created both people and things; so then, my ownership of my stuff is not ultimate rather it is derived from God’s kind permission.
We are treat everything as on loan from God.
And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?
If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.
Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.
You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
God owns the land and all that grows, lives, moves, and works upon it. He will not hold him guiltless who raises himself above God to rule as a tyrant rather than as a humble custodian.
2. Taking it: the many ways I am a thief