God’s seventh law

The right of personal property is one of the most foundational building blocks of any sane and rational society. If people are not allowed to buy and own things, like horses, land, farm equipment, and a home, they lose any incentive for working. Why work and save to buy stuff that anybody who wants to can take? What business could survive for a week without guarantees of property ownership?

God carved into Moses’ tablets an elegantly simple property law: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). I doubt if there are very many adults alive today who have not experienced the pain of theft or personal robbery. Next to the power of lust, Satan finds the human weakness of greed easily exploitable. It takes no stroke of genius to predict that stealing will be a feature of life on earth till Christ returns.

But God’s people must have none of it. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5). In this crooked age, honesty is a prized trait—in politics, in business, and in the church. Your personal honesty will be noted and valued. We honor our God not only by not stealing but by being appreciative of all the possessions he has generously given us and choosing to be content.

Say it with me: “Lord, if I have you, I have all I need.”

Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.

 

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