And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “If a person sins and commits a trespass against the Lord by lying to his neighbour about what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or about a pledge, or about a robbery, or if he has extorted from his neighbour, or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning it, and swears falsely—in any one of these things that a man may do in which he sins: then it shall be, because he has sinned and is guilty, that he shall restore what he has stolen, or the thing which he has extorted, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found, or all that about which he has sworn falsely. He shall restore its full value, add one-fifth more to it, and give it to whomever it belongs, on the day of his trespass offering. And he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering, to the priest. So the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any one of these things that he may have done in which he trespasses.”
Here we see that stealing involves more than just taking from someone.
If we were to be asked the question as to what we consider to be stealing, we would probably all say the same thing; deliberately taking something from someone else that doesn`t belong to you.
And that would be correct, but there are more forms of stealing that may not be as obvious to us. For example, if we were to find some money or something else of value lying on the ground with no one around, what would we do? Would we even for a moment consider this as stealing? We would more than likely think it`s okay as there is no one claiming it as theirs, so it`s alright to keep it.
My daughter taught her children that if they found any money, even if it's only 5 cents, they were to leave it there, as taking it would be stealing as it does not belong to them.
We forget that God is watching us. He sees what we are doing when no one else is watching and He is the One we have to answer to. He calls for us to be honest in all that we do. He is holy, so we must be also!
I recall a time when I lost my expensive gold bracelet, I was devastated that I was careless enough to lose it. I went to the Police Station hoping against hope that an honest person had found it and handed it in - it was a long shot but worth a try.
To my amazement, the policeman told me a gold bracelet had been handed in. He asked me to describe it, to make sure it really was mine. I did, and he was satisfied it was the bracelet he had there.
I asked if he could give me the name and address of the person who handed it in, he did, and I went to her place with a small reward - she lived just around the corner from us.
It is so good to know that there are still some honest people in this world.
The Golden Rule is: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Think about that the next time you may be tempted to steal in any way!
Then there is another form of stealing, this one is more subtle, yet stealing it is, even if you think you are clever and have gotten away with it. God knows. This is when we borrow something from another person and don`t return it for whatever reason. I have even heard people boast about how they obtained an item and have not returned it and don`t intend to. They think they are being clever. Really?
If you call yourself a Christian, you cannot and would not steal in any way shape or form, your conscience wouldn't let you. There is no room for compromise. The Holy Spirit would be convicting you of that sin! Praise His holy name.
If you have gotten something deceitfully then repent by confessing your sin to God, apologise to the owner and return the stolen items with interest.
This is the law of God on stealing in the Old Testament. God's moral laws have not changed and He expects us to obey these same laws as well.
New Testament scriptures
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’
You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honour your father and your mother.’
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”