The eighth commandment
“You shall not steal.”
“‘And you shall not steal.’”
All things have been created to serve God’s purposes in bringing glory and honor to His Name (Ps. 119.89-91). God distributes His blessing among men as He will, to whom He will, and in the proportion that He wills. He calls each person to exercise stewardship over that which has been entrusted to him (Matt. 25.14-30). By prohibiting stealing God teaches us to learn contentment, to seek Him for wisdom and understanding concerning proper stewardship, and to honor and aid our neighbors in their own calling before the Lord.
The more careful we are in guarding against stealing, the more we should expect to see the good purposes and rich blessings of God abounding in our midst. The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it (Ps. 24.1). Men must honor His decisions about the distribution of goods among humankind, and work to accomplish a proper stewardship of what has been entrusted to them. But we can only do this by knowing Him, keeping His commandments, and using our gifts and goods according to the sovereign purposes of God.
This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.