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November 7, 2011

Eight Commandment – 11.07.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 7:41 pm

Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.

We think this commandment is fairly straightforward, do not steal. But, in what ways can we, in the 21st century, steal? Discuss the various ways.

Do we always steal because we have need? Besides “need”, why would we steal, what motivates the crime?

Basic Christianity, John Stott
To steal is to rob a person of anything which belongs to him or is due to him. The theft of money or property is not the only infringement of this commandment. Tax evasion is robbery. So is dodging the customs. So is working short hours. What the worlds calls “scrounging” God calls stealing. To overwork and underpay one’s staff is to break this commandment. There must be few of us, if any, who have been consistently and scrupulously honest in personal and business affairs. As Arthur Hugh Clough wrote:
“Thou shalt not kill,” but need’st not strive
Officiously to keep alive
“Thou shalt not steal” – an empty feat
When it’s more lucrative to cheat.
These negative commandments also imply a positive counterpart. In order truly to abstain from killing, one must do all in one’s power to foster the health and preserve the life of others. To refrain from the act of adultery is insufficient. The commandment requires the right, healthy and honorable attitude of each sex towards the other. Similarly, to avoid stealing is no particular virtue if one is miserly or mean. Paul was not satisfied that a thief should stop stealing; he had to start working. Indeed, he had to continue in honest labor until he found himself in a position to give to those in need.

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Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible:
• The eighth commandment concerns our own and our neighbor’s wealth, estate, and goods:
• ASK: WHEN THE JEWS WERE LEAVING EGYPT, WHAT WERE THEY ALLOWED TO DO WITH EGYPTIAN PROPERTY? WHY? (and was only taking what was due to them for service) Though God had lately allowed and appointed them to spoil the Egyptians in a way of just reprisal, yet he did not intend that it should be drawn into a precedent and that they should be allowed thus to spoil one another.
• This command forbids us to rob ourselves of what we have by sinful spending,
• and to rob others by removing the ancient landmarks, invading our neighbour’s rights, taking his goods from his person, or house, or field, forcibly or clandestinely,
• over-reaching in bargains, nor restoring what is borrowed or found, withholding just debts, rents, or wages, and (which is worst of all) to rob the public in the coin or revenue,
• or that which is dedicated to the service of religion.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary:
• All rapine (the seizure of property by force) and theft are forbidden by this precept;
• as well national and commercial wrongs as petty larceny, highway robberies, and private stealing:
• even the taking advantage of a seller’s or buyer’s ignorance, to give the one less and make the other pay more for a commodity than its worth, is a breach of this sacred law.
• But the word is principally applicable to clandestine stealing, though it may undoubtedly include all political injustice and private wrongs.
• And consequently all kidnapping, crimping, and slave-dealing are prohibited here, whether practiced by individuals or by the state.
• Crimes are not lessened in their demerit by the number, or political importance of those who commit them. A state that enacts bad laws is as criminal before God as the individual who breaks good ones.
• It has been supposed that under the eighth commandment, injuries done to character, the depriving a man of his reputation or good name, are included, hence those words of one of our poets: –
Good name in man or woman
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash, –
But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
John Gill’s Expository on the Bible:
• private theft, picking of pockets, shoplifting, burglary, or breaking into houses in the night, and carrying off goods; public theft, or robbing upon the highways;
• domestic theft, as when wives take away their husbands’ money or goods, and conceal them, or dispose of them without their knowledge and will,
• children rob their parents;
• overreaching and circumventing in trade and commerce, unjust contracts, not making good and performing payments,
• detention of servants’ wages, unlawful usury, unfaithfulness with respect to anything deposited in a man’s hands, (The Parable of the Talents…the man with one Talent)
• advising and encouraging thieves, and receiving from them: the case of the Israelites borrowing of the Egyptians and spoiling them is not to be objected to this law, since that was by the command of God, and was only taking what was due to them for service; however, by this command God let the Israelites know that that was a peculiar case.

TREASURY OF SCRIPTURE KNOWLEDGE: Exo 20:15
Exo_21:16; Lev_6:1-7, Lev_19:11, Lev_19:13, Lev_19:35-37; Deu_24:7, Deu_25:13-16; Job_20:19-22; Pro_1:13-15, Pro_11:1; Amo_3:10, Mic_6:10-11, Mic_7:3; Zec_5:3-4; Mat_15:19, Mat_19:18, Mat_21:13; Luk_3:13-14; Joh_12:6; 1Co_6:10; Eph_4:28; 1Th_4:6
Matthew 7:7-12
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Notes on the text
• Ask – ahee-teh’-o – to ask (in generally): – ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require.
• Seeks – dzay-teh’-o – to seek (literally or figuratively); specifically to worship (God), be (go) about, desire, endeavor, enquire (for), require, (X will) seek (after, for, means).
• Evil – pon-ay-ros’ – bad, of a bad nature or condition
o 2a) in a physical sense: diseased or blind
o 2b) in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad
• Law and Prophets – the entire Old Testament Scriptures

ASK: HOW DOES MATTHEW 7:7-12 RELATE TO THE EIGHT COMMANDMENT?

IN WHAT WAYS MIGHT GOD GIVE US WHAT WE NEED SO THAT WE DO NOT HAVE TO RESORT TO STEALING?

CAN SOMEONE GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO GOD HAS OBVIOUSLY PROVIDED A DIRE NEED FOR SOMEONE? (DISCUSS MORE IF AVAILABLE).

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Mat 7:7
and it: Mat_21:22; 1Ki_3:5; Psa_10:17, Psa_50:15, Psa_86:5, Psa_145:18-19; Isa_55:6-7; Jer_29:12-13, Jer_33:3; Mar_11:24; Luk_11:9-10, Luk_11:13, Luk_18:1; Joh_4:10; Joh_14:13-14, Joh_15:7, Joh_15:16, Joh_16:23-24; Jam_1:5-6, Jam_5:15; 1Jo_3:22, 1Jo_5:14-15; Rev_3:17-18
seek: Mat_6:33; Psa_10:4, Psa_27:8, Psa_69:32, Psa_70:4, Psa_105:3-4, Psa_119:12; Pro_8:17; Son_3:2; Amo_5:4; Rom_2:7, Rom_3:11; Heb_11:6

Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following main points:
1. The rampant prevalence of theft – theft includes more than we commonly think of
2. The righteous penalty for theft – God will give thieves justice they deserve
3. The repentance prescribed for theft – the call to turn away from thievery
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that you will continue to be transformed into a likeness of Christ who gave everything for us and kept nothing for himself.

Consider fasting from one meal this week.

Read every day: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10;

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Psalm 49:16-20
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.
For Teachers
Context and Commentary
The eighth commandment is against stealing. Stealing can rightly be defined as taking anything that does not belong to you and making it your own without permission. This includes goods, time, identity, spouses (adultery), and many other things. Yahweh has clearly declared this is a sin and always will be. The New Testament clearly affirms this commandment with its statement that thieves will not have eternal life. But the bible makes it pretty clear that we are all thieves at some point in our lives. We all have coveted and then stolen something. We may have thought it insignificant, but God does not. But that is not the only reason God forbids theft. God knows, in His omniscience, that a nation or community where theft is rampant will not flourish or even last at all. It is destined for collapse. But His people are to be an everlasting people, holy and just, reflecting His glory and the all-sufficiency of His providence and grace.
Jesus teaches in his Sermon on the Mount that not only is stealing a sin and not a characteristic of kingdom citizens, but that it comes from not trusting in God’s love and provision. When we covet and steal, it shows that we do not think He is all-sufficient for us. When we turn from the Bible to other worldly “wisdom” we are not trusting in Him. When we turn from only Name and the only Gospel to works-righteousness of other religions, we are robbing from God!

Jesus will not leave us alone though on this. He doesn’t instruct us to be passive in our walk. For Jesus’ disciples, it is not good enough to just not steal or to just passively trust. As is typical of Jesus’ teachings, he calls us to action to be pro-active and positive in our walk. He exhorts us to make the first move, the reach out to others like we would want others to do for us if we were on the other end. The world says “don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you.” Jesus says anybody can do that stuff. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Go and do. This demands action that is many times physical, but more often than not prayerful. Do we trust His Word or not?

From Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines
This is the Golden Rule that governs a believer’s relationship to other people. While other religions have sayings similar to this, the Golden Rule is strictly Christian because it is positive. It does not say, “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.” It lays the responsibility on the believer to act so that others will imitate the deeds and in the end glorify God…It is so difficult for us, in our own power and wisdom, to obey the commands He has given. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,” says James 1:5, echoing what Jesus says here. The believer who seeks to obey the Word of God must constantly ask for strength, seek wisdom, and knock at God’s door for the supply of grace needed. Note that Christ bases prayer on the fatherhood of God (Mat_7:9-11). As God’s children, we may expect God to care for us and meet our needs.

Bible Fellowship Time
Icebreakers

Have you ever felt like God let you down or didn’t meet a need?
Do you feel any different about that situation now?
Discussion questions:
1. Why did God command the Israelites not to steal from one another?
2. Who is hurt by stealing?
3. How is God’s glory affected by stealing?
4. What does theft reveal about our heart?
5. What does it reveal about our faith?
Going Deeper – Matthew 7:7-12
6. Is God sufficient to meet our needs?
7. In what ways do we fail to trust in His sufficiency?
8. According to Jesus, why do we not have what could be ours?
9. What gifts has God already given us to sufficiently meet our needs?
10. According to Jesus, how are we to exercise our faith in practical ways?
Application:

God is our all-sufficient Lord and savior. While we were still sinners, thieves and liars and murderers, He loved us and sent His son Jesus Christ to die for us on Calvary.

There is an old hymn that goes:
“O the love that drew salvation’s plan! O the grace that brought it down to man! O the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary! Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found libery at Calvary.”

If He loved us enough to send His sinless Son to the cross, what reasons do we have to doubt or reject the immensity of His grace? Will He not give to all who ask in accordance with His will? Has He not said it?

Are you asking in faith?

Are you going in hope?

Are you doing in love?

Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Closing Devotion
From the Sermon by Samuel Ward (1577-1640):

Consider all that Christ has done for you. Consider how he has forgiven you and conferred so many favors upon you. Is there anything too good, too hard or dear for him? Joseph, the Lord has need of your tomb, will you deny him? Zacchaeus, do you love your wealth above him who saved you? Stephen, do you love your life above your Master? Do you dare to do anything that is displeasing to him? When you feel the pull of your heart toward sin, set your faith to work with all speed. Let it lay hold of God’s power. It secretly empowers your heart with a pliable willingness, and makes your will lamb-like. All this it does by laying hold of the effective cure of the death of Christ. The power of Christ’s resurrection also transforms the heart of man, and creates and infuses him with new principles of action. Trust in his power to mortify (bring under control) your flesh to sin, and make your spirit alive to holiness. Do you find a strong, in-bred, habitual vice troubling you and keeping you prisoner against your will? Have you often resolved to forsake it, but with failure? You must renounce the broken reed of your own power. Place your trust in the grace of Christ. Be weak in yourself and strong in the Lord, and by faith be more than a conqueror. If Satan has held possession in some strong fort of your heart, persist in resisting, and he shall fall like lightning before you. Christ can overcome the most putrefied sores of sins, so do not despair; through faith you can set your feet on their neck and triumph over them.


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