by John E. Werhan
In my adolescent education, my parents taught me never to take that which did not belong to me. They also taught me if there was a need to use something belonging to another I was to ask permission.
It seems in our society that this teaching has not been infused into the minds and hearts of many.
Just the other day I witnessed an individual taking a tool from a work site that did not belong to them. I wondered why they would need such a tool and if they really understood the real outcome of their actions.
God within his inspired word teaches the blatant reality that stealing is wrong and that the eternal outcome will be eternal separation from the Father in heaven.
God giving the Law to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai made it plain that “You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15). Under the Law given to Israel God also set punishments for individuals who steal.
Restitution for items taken:
“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.” (Exodus 22:1).
Thief caught in the act:
“If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.” (Exodus 22:2)
Thief caught after the act:
“But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” (Exodus 22:3).
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the LORD, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, or through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery, or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him, or the lost thing which he found, or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full, and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering.” (Leviticus 6:1-5).
Above is only a sample of the passages that deal with stealing found in the inspired word of God. Even though many in our society have turned their eyes from the crime of theft it is still a crime and in the eyes of God — sin.
Unrepented sin leaves the individual eternally separated from God (Romans 6:23). Let us keep those who steal in our prayers as to help them overcome their ungodly actions.
John preachers for the The Northeast church of Christ in Sentinel, Oklahoma.