‘You shall not steal.’ Exodus 20:15 NIV
The eighth commandment says, ‘You shall not steal.’ Think how strange this commandment must have seemed to the Israelites. As a nomad society, thieving and looting had always been acceptable in their culture—even expected. But God said, ‘That day is over. Stealing distorts your priorities. It makes things more important than people. It violates the rights of others by saying, “I’m more important than you.” So from this day on I want you to be rigorously honest in all your dealings.’ But there’s another kind of stealing, the kind some Christians think nothing of practising. The Bible says: ‘Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me. But you ask, “How do we rob You?” In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. “Test Me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops…the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit…Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land.”’ (Malachi 3:8–12 NIV) When you rob God, you end up robbing yourself. ‘Robbing myself of what?’ you ask: (1) God’s blessing in your life. (2) His protection when times get tough. (3) The privilege of sharing His goodness with the people around you. Is it really worth it? Think about it!
SoulFood: Isa 1-3; John 5:16-30; Ps 15; Pro 27:10-12
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2014