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Command # 8 No Stealing

Exo. 20:15

“Thou shalt not steal.” KJV "You shall not steal. NKJV

"You shall not steal. NASU “Do not steal.” HCSB

"You must not steal. TLB "You shall not steal. NIV


The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this—you cannot post ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ ‘Thou Shall Not Lie’ in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians ... it creates a hostile work environment.

Three Reasons For This Commandment

1. To provide stability in society.

            2. To teach respect for private property.

            3. To promote honesty, hard work and thrift.

Illustration: A London taxi driver used to wrap up his garbage each day and leave it in the backseat of his cab. Always by the end of the day, it was gone. Someone had taken it and gotten a big surprise. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).

Illustration True story from our dim-witted criminals department: A man walked into a convenience store, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving his $20 bill on the counter. So how much did he get from the drawer? Fifteen bucks. Go figure. -- "Strange World," Campus Life, Vol. 56, no. 2.


Illustration                A lady was looking out her window, watching

her neighbor hang her wash on the clothesline. As she watched, she remarked to a friend, "Our neighbor sure isn't clean. Why, just look at those streaks on her laundry." Her friend replied, "Those streaks are on your windows, not her clothes!" Sometimes, it is the sin in our own heart that makes us look for the evil in others!


Illustration    If the best thing we can do is criticize, we would do well to keep our big mouth shut!


1.       The Ways People Break This Command


A.        People Take The Five-Finger Discount


            1.         The Most Often Shop Lifted Items.


                        1.         Women’s fashion accessories

                        2.         Records and CDs

                        3.         Radios and TVs

                        4.         Women’s apparel

                        5.         Men’s apparel


            2.         That’s why we see:

—Merchandise locked in glass cabinets

                        —TV cameras covering every part of the store

                        —Libraries with electronic checkpoints

                        —Bars on doors and windows

                        —Motion detectors

                        —"No bills larger than $20”

                        —Bells ringing when you enter a store

                        —Service stations with locked rest rooms.

                        —A security checks as you leave Sams Club

                        —Motels bolting down TVs, and lamps


B.        People Steal Time.

Eph 5:16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

            Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. NKJV

Who are the time thieves? They are the ones who

—Show up late for an appointment

—Come late for work

—Leave early for lunch

—Take extra-long breaks

—Leave early for home

—Watch the clock instead of the job

            late with assignments

            late for meetings

            late for church services


In too many cases, the motto of the American worker is

            “Do less and get paid more.”


C.        People Steal Through Gossip.

            Jer 23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets," says the Lord, "who use their tongues and say, 'He says.' NKJV

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but the trustworthy keeps a confidence.

Proverbs 16:28 A contrary man spreads conflict, and a gossip separates friends.

Proverbs 20:19 The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip; avoid someone with a big mouth.

Proverbs 26:20 Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down.

Ezekiel 36:3 3 therefore, prophesy and say: This is what the Lord GOD says: Because they have made you desolate and have trampled you from every side, so that you became a possession for the rest of the nations and an object of people's gossip and slander,

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and I may not be found by you to be what you want; there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.(from Holman Christian HCSB

Ro 1:29-30 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, . . . NKJV

Shakespear said, "he that takes from me my good name Robs me of that which does not enrich him, And makes me poor indeed.


D.        People Steal Through Defrauding. (Matthew 18:6)

 “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

One Preacher said, “I have known some young people—and some adults—who need to be fitted for millstones.” Those who use their influence their relationships their speech


E.        Steal Through Falsehood and Falsifying.

Ro 2:21-22 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? NKJV

That’s why the Old Testament in five separate places warns against unjust weights and measurements. God hates that practice and promises to judge those who rig their weights in order to cheat others.

It reminds me of the architect who spent hours and hours pouring over the tiny details of his blueprints. Why, he was asked, was he spending such an inordinate amount of time on the details? Because, he replied, “God is in the details.”


F.        Steal Through Silence.

            1.         When we fail to witness and give a positive Word.


            2.         When we heae an untruth told and we remain silent.


G.       People Steal By Robing God.


Judas is a good example, the Scriptures say that he helped himself to the treasury of the disciples (John 12:6).


There was a knock on the door of the hut occupied by a missionary in Africa. Answering, the missionary found one of the native boys holding a large fish in his hands. The boy said, "Reverend, you taught us what tithing is, so here--I've brought you my tithe." As the missionary gratefully took the fish, he questioned the young lad. "If this is your tithe, where are the other nine fish?" At this, the boy beamed and said, "Oh, they're still back in the river. I'm going back to catch them now. --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 458.

That lad made sure he did not rob God he gave the first fish he caught.

Where do you find those who Rob God? Look for him in church on Sunday morning! Look around you may be sitting next to a thief right now!

Wait! Look in the mirror.

Is that a God-Robber looking back at you?


Illustration                Lavern Arledge

This man came by my office Friday and talked insurance with me.

We have several friends in common. He sang in a choir Jim McNiel directed several years ago. He went to a church in St. Louis where a friend of mine pastored. He asked that pastor about tithing, and the pastor sat him down and they went through the Bible reading the verses. Arledge said, “well God tells us to tithe doesn’t He? He was making $1,000 a month. So he gave $100.00 and had to live on $900.00. That week his boss came up to him and complimented him about his work and said, “we are going to give you additional customers and give you some money for gasoline because you have been using your money to do things for the company. The next month he made over $1,400. He told his pastor and he said him that happens all the time.

Take a look at this verse: Mal 3:10-11

            10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. NKJV

Is God and His word trustworthy?

If you don’t tithe you call God a liar.

What about the offerings? What about the Annie Armstrong Offering? Our goal is $1,250.00

Today I gave an offering equal to a tithe of the goal. If 10 people gave an equal amount we would go over $2,000.


2.       The Biblical Way To Keep This Command

Eph 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him

labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. NKJV


            1.         Be Honest.                  “Steal No More.”

            2.         Labor Honestly           “Working with his hands”

            3.         Be A Giver                 “something to give him who has need.”


            4.         Keep This Command At Home.

            5.         Keep This Command At Work.

            6.         Keep This Command At School.

            7.         Keep This Command In Business Dealings.


Illustration                Maxey Jarman,

Maxey Jarman, founder of the great Genesco shoe chain. Over the years Mr. Jarman as a Christian layman supported many worthy causes, including the Billy Graham Crusades. He freely gave his money to benefit God’s work in many places. But the day came when his company collapsed and with it, his personal fortune. Someone asked him, “Mr. Jarman, don’t you regret giving all that money away? Think what a difference it would make if you had it all back.” To which he replied, “Oh no, I don’t regret any of the money I have given away. After all, I only lost what I kept for myself.”

What a fantastic perspective on life. “I only lost what I kept for myself.”

The Forgotten Commandment

And that brings me back to the simple words of the Eighth Commandment—

"You shall not steal.”

Of all the Ten Commandments, this is the one we think about least. It is the Forgotten Commandment.

It’s time we remembered it!


Conclusion can a Thief Be Saved?  Lk 23:40-44

            40 But the other criminal, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."

42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

“Today” —       Instant salvation         “You" —           Personal salvation

“Will be" —      Certain salvation        “With me" —                Intimate salvation


"In paradise” —            Heavenly salvation