We come to the eighth commandment this week where we find a prohibition against stealing. Like the commandment forbidding murder, there is almost universal distain for theft. I doubt there is anyone reading this article who has not tasted the disgust and feelings of violation that comes when a personal item is stolen.
When I was in seminary, we discovered my wife’s engagement ring had been stolen out of our apartment. She had taken it off over the kitchen sink while preparing dinner the night before, and when she looked for it the next day, it was gone. There were other signs in our little home that someone had picked through our stuff.
We are outraged at such offenses. The gnawing feeling inside of us indicates that stealing is not right. The command found in Exodus 20:15 literally means “to carry something away as if by stealth.” To steal is to take something that doesn’t belong to you, and the application is comprehensive. (more…)