Daily Lectionary: Numbers 16:23-40; Luke 19:29-48
You shall not steal. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor’s money or possessions, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income. (Small Catechism: Seventh Commandment)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Theft is silly. Why should a Christian steal? Indeed, we should be the most generous and charitable people on the planet.
Think about it. You have the most generous Father in the world. Your heavenly Father loves you. He wants to provide for you and protect you. He says, “Ask, and you shall receive!” So why would you need to take your neighbor’s belongings? Do you really think your Father, who takes care of lilies and sparrows, doesn’t care about you?
Your Lord is rich, but he became poor so that you could become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). Your King became a slave so that those enslaved to sin could become His royal viceroys. In Baptism, the entire new creation was given to you as your inheritance so that you can rule it alongside Jesus (Revelation 22:5). Your Lord has conquered the powers of evil and rules over all things, forcing all things to work for your benefit. So why would you steal from others as if you have nothing?
When we steal or when we act in a stingy manner, we don’t merely offend our neighbor. We offend our God. We confess with our behavior that our Father doesn’t care and that our Lord has not exalted us. Theft is blasphemy.
So repent. Recognize that thieving and accumulating won’t extend your life, or make you more secure, or make you happier. Give up thinking you’re a pauper. Return to your God, for His mercy is abundant. He has so much forgiveness that He casts it about willy-nilly! Go collect that imperishable inheritance and live like the prince or princess that you are! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
“You shall not steal or take away What others worked for night and day, But open wide a gen’rous hand And help the poor in the land.” Have mercy, Lord! (These Are the Holy Ten Commands, LSB 581:8)