This an interesting commandment in that it can be interpreted very narrowly or very broadly.   For most of us when we read this commandment we think of bad guys with masks stealing material things from innocent people, hoping that ADT responds. But stealing can be interpreted in a much broader context.  


For example, if we commit murder, are we not also stealing that person’s life and all the wonderful things he might experience if allowed to live.  If we commit adultery, are we not stealing someone else’s spouse?  If we worship a false god, are we not stealing glory and praise from the one true God?   If we lie, are we not stealing justice?  If we plagiarize, are not stealing someone else’s ideas and thoughts.  This seventh commandment means three important things.  


First, and foremost let us not forget that this commandment forbids us from stealing another human being; what we could call kidnapping, human trafficking, or slavery.  Now there are some people who say, the Bible allows slavery.  The Bible does not.  It does allow for someone to work off a debt until the debt is entirely paid off.  But the Bible does not allow slavery in terms of innocent people being stolen and then sold to someone else to be a slave as black marketers and Muslims do today.  


The second was to prevent the stealing of property; the LAND.  God tells Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and later to Moses the people of Israel, COME TO A LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.  Land was sacred.  Land was holy.  Land meant livelihood.  If a person read Joshua one will see that great care is taken in parceling out the LAND to the children of Israel.  It is their inheritance from a gracious and loving God. It was to be there’s for all eternity.  In most cases the first thing the tyrant does to take the people’s land away from them and makes it the tyrants property.  We have the same thing today when government takes over property so that government can turn around and sell that property to make more money for the tyrant.  


The third was to prevent the stealing of a person’s good name, their honor, dignity, ideas, and reputation.  This commandment strictly forbids slandering a person’s name, or spreading rumors or lies about them.   I had two pastor’s steal Bible study I had written and they passed it off as their own.  I have been called names.  Those were attempts to steal from me.  


This commandment calls on us to preserve a person’s life, their property, and their good name.  Amen.  


Pastor:  “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL!”  What does this mean?


People:  We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbor’s money or property, not get them by false ware of dealing, but help him to improve and protects his property and business.