The Eighth Commandment

What is the New Testament meaning of this commandment?

We should honor and love God by recognizing and respecting our neighbor's inherent right to ownership, by refusing to rob him of his money or property or bringing it into our possession by unfair dealings or deceptive means, by assisting him in the improvement and protection of that which is his, and by loving him as we love ourself.

Next to one's person and his wife is his property. God has given the individual an inherent right of ownership.

Roman law recognized this right and when a thief was caught violating it he paid the penalty with his life. Two such thieves died on crosses as Christ did. God's law requires that no one shall damage or injure his neighbor's possession. To steal is to get another person's property into our possession by fraudulent or deceptive methods.

If all the thieves who engage in little and large acts of theft were crucified today as the two were in Christ's day, one wonders if there would be enough wood in the world to make the crosses, or enough innocent people to perform the executions.

Thievery is demonstrated when merchants charge more for their goods than should be charged, when petty persons pick pockets, take goods from counters or cheat in business deals. Possibly more guilty are those rascals who under the guise of legality direct great corporations who daily plunder cities and states. Politicians are thieves when they wink at the wrong use of taxpayers' money and heap together additional taxes for the support of their dead conscience.

Thieves, robbers and cheating countrymen: God has your number. You will be brought to justice; however, it may be too late to save your soul.

Assignment for this lesson:

Genesis 31:17-36; Exodus 20:15; 22:1-4; Joshua 7:1-26; Judges 17:1-6; II Samuel 12:1-19; I Kings 21:1-29;II Kings 9:30-37; Luke 23:34-45.

Copyright in 1978 by R.O.Corvin