Summary: Based on Ex. 20:15 - Sermon encourages hearers to consider biblical antidotes to stealing.
“YOU SHALL NOT STEAL” Ex. 20:15
FBCF – 7/24/22
INTRO – Lawyer speaking to prisoner: “Well, Johnny, so you want me to defend you? You have any money? “No, but I’ve got a mule, a few chickens, & a hog or two.” “That will do fine. So what are you accused of stealing?” “Oh, a mule, a few chickens, & a hog or two.”
Tim & I stole all money out of wishing well at Lake Tiak-O’Khata (returned it when Daddy found out!). We blatantly broke this 8th Commandment!
If you’ve ever had something stolen from you, you know the intense feelings of anger that come along w/ that experience.
- Vicki & I broken into twice when we lived on Raymond Road
- It’s a horrible feeling.
This Commandment addresses the sin of stealing.
EXPLANATION – Exodus 20:15
Like previous Commandments, the main point in this 8th Commandment is relatively easy to understand. Most of us know what it means to steal something. The Heb word means exactly that – “to carry away; to take that which belongs to another w/out his consent or knowledge.” It’s a deed that is done secretly, intentionally, & maliciously.
Verses that deal w/ stealing:
- Includes burglary – Exodus 22:2 – “If a thief is caught in the act of breaking in, and he is beaten to death, no one is guilty of bloodshed.” (CSB)
- Kidnapping – Exodus 21:16 – “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.”
- NT tells us that thieves will not inherit the K of heaven – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Have you forgotten that the kingdom of God will never belong to the wicked? Don’t be under any illusion—neither the impure, the idolater or the adulterer; neither the effeminate, the pervert or the thief; neither the swindler, the drunkard, the foul-mouthed or the rapacious shall have any share in the kingdom of God.” (Phillips)
It’s serious business w/ God.
- Joshua 7 – When Joshua & the people overthrew Jericho, Joshua gave clear instructions that all of the valuables taken would be put into the treasury of the Lord. Achan stole a beautiful robe, a bunch of silver, & a gold bar, & b/c of his sin, 36 men died in another attack, & Achan & his family were executed.
- John 12 tells us that one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas, didn’t care about poor people b/c he was a thief. “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.”
There are many ways we break this Commandment. Whether we are stealing someone else’s possessions, someone else’s money (embezzling from our employer – cheating on taxes – shading the books), someone else’s husband or wife through adultery, someone else’s time (not giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wages, or stealing time from your family), someone else’s answers on a test or exam, or stealing from God by withholding our tithes from Him, stealing is evil, sinful, & disgusting. in any & every form & must be avoided.
APPLICATION – As Christ-followers, we must avoid stealing in any & every from.
How do we do that? I believe there are some biblical antidotes for stealing:
CONTENTMENT – One of the ways that the enemy tempts us to steal is by sowing seeds of discontentment in our minds. We covet what other people have (we will talk about that in detail in a couple of weeks – 10th Commandment). We want what is not ours. Or we THINK we have to have what other people have – or what we PERCEIVE that they have.
When we start down this road, we are headed in a dangerous direction.
- Need extra money to try to step up our image, so we pad out expense report a little, or stop giving to the Church, or cheat a little on our tax return.
o “It’s just a little bit.”
o “The Church doesn’t really need my money.”
o “I’ll pay it back as soon as I can.”
- We experience a season of discontentment in our marriage, so we start entertaining dangerous thoughts of stealing someone else’s spouse who we think will make us happier.
o God doesn’t care about your happiness when it runs completely contrary to His Word!
Paul knew about contentment. Philippians 4:11-13 – “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.” (NIV) Our sin nature is not naturally content. Contentment is something we have to learn as we grow in our walk w/ Christ. We learn it by being quiet before the Lord, not grumbling & complaining. We learn it by avoiding sin. We learn it by having a cheerful spirit. We learn it by being thankful. Which leads to the next antidote…