"Thou shalt not steal"
Now, I feel safe in saying that you are not probably the sort of person who actively plots to commit armed robberies or thefts. Still, the Lord thought it important to include this injunction in His Ten Commandments. It must be that there is something applicable for each of us.
In that today is also Father's Day, I was tempted to preach a message on that theme and postpone this message for a week. Then, as I thought about it, it occurred to me that the command not to steal is intimately tied with the whole theme of fatherhood.
People steal for a whole host of reasons, but a common motivation to all thieves is the desire to get something that they perceive will be denied them unless they take it. It is a loud statement that says, "I must take things into my own hands (and out of yours) or else my needs will not be met."
A country song a few years back, celebrated the role of dads. A lyric from that song says, "That's my job . . . that's what I do." The writer obviously wanted to say that a good dad will do anything to see that his child gets what he or she needs.
Ron Mehl, whose book The Ten(der) Commandments is subtitled "Reflections on the Father's Love," shows that all these commands, including the one that forbids stealing, have to do with our understanding the Father's heart. There is no need for us to steal, because we have a loving Father who has promised to get us what we need. That's His job--that's what He does . . ..
Copyright 2004 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.