Lord's Day 34

Week 23 :: Week 34 :: Week 35

Devotion

Contrary to what many think, God is not against wealth and money is not the root of all evil. The bible teaches, rather, that the love of money is the root of all evil. When our greatest love and desire is the accumulation of wealth instead of glorifying God and enjoying His presence forever, then our perspective is skewed and our motives corrupt. 

In 1987, the movie “Wall Street” introduced us to a new mantra, “Greed is Good.” When your possessions and the accumulation of money are your highest priority, then anything is permissible in attaining your goals. In contrast, the eighth commandment teaches us not only not to steal, but to have nothing to do with any practice which brings us unjust gain at the expense of our neighbors. 

Consider some of the news we hear today: people foreclosing on their homes, the victims of predatory lending; innocent people losing thousands due to identity theft or mail fraud; price gouging in the face of shortages; and inflationary rates. I discovered when working in retail that shoplifting has become so commonplace, the profit loss due to theft has been absorbed into the existing price. In other words, we pay extra to cover the loss of all the stolen property. Theft affects us all, and God requires His people to live by just and fair measures. 

In Ephesians 4:28, Paul writes, “Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.” The life that is transformed by Christ is lived for His glory and honor. As such, those in Christ no longer live for themselves, but for Christ and for their neighbor. As Christ gave generously and freely to us, so we are to give generously and freely, according to our ability and the necessity of others. 

Prayer

Almighty God, all blessings come from your hand, and any dishonest gain not only harms our neighbors, but it robs your glory and praise. May we be industrious and hard-working, and may you bless the work of our hands, that we may provide for the needs of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 73

Q. 73. Which is the eighth commandment

A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.

Scripture Proofs

Ex. 20:15.

“You shall not steal.

Question 74

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.

Scripture Proofs

Gen. 30:30;

For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?”

1 Tim. 5:8;

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Lev. 25:35;

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.

Deut. 22:1-5;

“You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother. And if he does not live near you and you do not know who he is, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall stay with you until your brother seeks it. Then you shall restore it to him. And you shall do the same with his donkey or with his garment, or with any lost thing of your brother’s, which he loses and you find; you may not ignore it. You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.

“A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

Ex. 23:4-5;

“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

Gen. 47:14;

And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought. And Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.

Gen. 47:20.

So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for all the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe on them. The land became Pharaoh’s.

Question 75

Q. 75. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or may, unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbor’s, wealth, or outward estate.

Scripture Proofs

Prov. 21:17;

Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;

he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

Prov. 23:20-21;

Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.

Prov. 28:19;

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

Eph. 4:28.

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.