Summary: We are not supposed to steal, but do we?
• When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home trying to steal gasoline. The man had plugged his hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had. http://maxpages.com/klingel/Stupid_Criminals
• A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving
revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved,
the startled first bandit shot him.
• A guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all of
the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the
robber saw a bottle of Scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the
shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but the cashier refused
and said, "Because I don’t believe you are over 21." The robber said he
was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because he didn’t
believe him. At this point, the robber took his driver’s license out of his wallet and
gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and he put the Scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his
loot. The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the
robber that he got off the license. They arrested the robber two hours
• Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. Some people think that crime pays.
• It is amazing how hard some people will work at being dishonest.
• Today we are going to look at another commandment that appears to be a simple one, but it is one that is frequently ignored.
• In the most comprehensive study of its type, an article in the October issue of the Journal of Law and Economics (University of Chicago Press) says that crime costs $4,100 or $17 per day per person, or $1.7 trillion in 1997 dollars. The report, researched and written by David Anderson, an economist at Davidson College in North Carolina, covered such details as police and private security expenses, corrections costs, expenses of crime-related injuries, amount of theft. Anderson says that criminals annually steal $603 billion in assets while also creating an additional $1.1 trillion worth of lost productivity. http://www.identex.net/cost_of_crime.html
• In Exodus 20:15 we are told, "You shall not steal.”
• We are going to look at the Eighth Commandment, then we will answer the question, Am I a thief? Then we will look at some of the rationalizations for breaking the Eighth Commandment.
I. THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT
• In this commandment we see that God is telling us that we are not to take the property of another person.
• Dr. Laura in her book on the Ten Commandments states the following: The commandments thus far have dealt with issues such as divine authority, life and death, sacred time, etc. Suddenly the gears are shifted from holy spirits and holy relationships to the issue of things. God considered the possession of things of significant importance to include respecting ownership as one of the Big Ten. (p236)
• It is important to remember that God does not give us His commands to burden us, but instead to give us freedom within boundaries. Some see have laws or rules to follow as slavery, but in truth, accepting a commandment sets you free from the struggle with your internal drives towards selfishness. You do not have to think about stealing because God has said it is wrong.
• This commandment tells us we are to respect ownership of possessions. We are told we are not to take what does not belong to us.
• In the Old Testament, if you stole something from another, you were required to pay double restitution. If you took two sheep from someone, you had to give them four back as restitution. Exodus 22
• Anyone who has had something taken from them or has been robbed at gun point knows the pain of the theft. The Bible provides a way to try to ease some of the pain and suffering that accompanies a loss of property.
• If a person took something and turned himself in before he was caught, the Bible tells us the repentant thief would only have to add one fifth on top of what he took. (Numbers 5:5-7)
• Exodus 22:1 says, “If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.”