Many have said that the 8th commandment (thou shall not steal) is "open-ended." If you think about it, all of the commands on the "second tablet" (commandments 6-10) have to deal with stealing: murder is the stealing of life; adultery is the stealing of a spouse and marriage; false witness is the stealing of another's name and reputation, and coveting is the desire to steal what belongs to someone else. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that the eighth commandment is smack-dab in the middle.
Because of the "open-ended" nature of the 8th commandment, it's hard to land on one thing to focus on. Crime statistics clearly show how issues of larceny, theft, and burglary drastically impact our society. More subtle ways of "stealing" are certainly also worth addressing - cheating on taxes, insurance fraud, employee theft, exaggeration, debt, plagiarism...the list goes on. In addition, issues of tithing, giving to the poor, and how we spend our money could certainly be discussed as well. All of these factors give the eighth commandment all the potential in the world to become a legalistic sounding board for money-spending and a host of other things.
But, at Reach Church, we believe that by focusing on Nothing But Jesus - not on what we have to do, but on what he has already done - our lives are transformed in ways we can't even begin to imagine.
Though the 8th commandment is possibly the most open-ended commandment given, it points us to a very clear promise. Jesus was wronged in every way. He had everything stolen from him. But, even in that, he looks at the thief hanging next to him on the cross - a thief just like us - and says, "Today, you will be with me in Paradise." Glory to the one who has paid it all!
For His Glory,