Does Stealing Really Matter?
Ex 20:15 You must not steal.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
The thief Jesus is referring to in this scripture is Satan, himself. The Lord contrasts the work of the devil as stealing, killing and destroying, while the work of the Lord is to bring abundant life to His people. Notice that a thief doesn’t stop at the one sin of stealing, but rather progresses on to kill and destroy. Many people do not realize that what they think as just taking seemingly little things, can lead to taking bigger things and ultimately one becomes a thief. The “little fox” of stealing the towels from the motel, shoplifting small items, and keeping things that do not belong to them, could lead to a dangerous pattern which could eventually lead to one being imprisoned for theft. Clearly we do not want to mimic the behavior of Satan.
Few things adversely affect the sense of unity within a community more than a theft. When the thief is not known, everyone tends to look at one another as a possible thief. Thus, the sense of trust which binds a group together is destroyed. Stealing is therefore referred to as a “breach of trust” (Exod. 22:9). Stealing is man’s effort to make a living by the sweat of another man’s brow. Often, stealing is obtaining those things which one is not willing to work for.
The commandment, You must not steal, is a part of the covenant God made with Israel. The purpose of the covenant was to set Israel apart from the surrounding nations, to be a holy people, so that they might be a priestly nation, representing God to men. Stealing was one of the evils of that day, as it is today. To refrain from stealing would set Israel apart. To practice stealing would be to fail to live up to the high calling of God. Stealing would thwart the intent of the covenant.
God promised that He would prosper Israel as she kept His commandments and pursued His purposes. On the other hand, God’s judgment was promised if the covenant was violated. For an Israelite to seek to prosper on account of sin was to disregard the terms of the covenant which God had made with Israel. The thief sought to prosper by sin, rather than by obedience.
Deut 18:1-2 "And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God."