The Eighth Commandment – Thou Shalt Not Steal

Date written: 22 August 2015

SUBJECT: Ten Commandments

TITLE: The Eighth Commandment – Thou Shalt Not Steal

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will look at the problem of theft, what the Old and New Testaments say about it, and some lessons the Bible teaches about it.

OBJECTIVE: We should each be able to explain with biblical support that stealing is wrong and be able to help others understand why it is wrong.


1. Read: Exodus 20:1-17

2. About the Text:

1) The background of this text is the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt.

2) They were camped at the base of Mount Sinai.

3) And God speaks directly to them from heaven these “Ten Commandments.”

4) They are referred to as such in Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:3 and 10:4.

5) These commandments were the basis for the rest of the Mosaic Law.

6) They form the nucleus of God’s desires for men to live a moral and godly life.

7) God wanted to impress upon Israel the seriousness of these words.

8) And he did so; the children of Israel asked Moses to intercede for them upon hearing God’s words.

9) The commandments are introduced with a statement of identification by God.

10) Exodus 20:1-2.

11) The two verses emphasize to us the identity of the one giving the commandments.

12) They are not to be taken lightly.

13) The commands are also in two parts.

a. Love for God

b. Love for man.

3. The commandments today.

1) Today, we see the Ten Commandments politicized.

2) They are a symbol to many for morality and righteousness.

3) But do we know what they are and what they mean?

4) Let’s take a look at the Ten Commandments in an effort to understand them and how they apply today.

4. The Eighth Commandment – Thou Shalt Not Steal

1) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the year 2009 there were about 20 million reported thefts in our country.

2) Theft is one of the most common crimes that is committed.

3) Various forms of theft include robbery, pickpocketing, shoplifting, identity theft, larceny, automobile theft, fraud, and burglary.

4) We need the eighth commandment taught in our country.

5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   Theft under the Old Covenant

1. Different kinds of theft identified.

1) Theft is taking another person’s property without their permission.

2) When theft is done with violence, we call it robbery.

3) When theft is done on someone else’s property, we call it burglary.

2. The Old Covenant discusses different kinds of theft.

1) Robbery – Leviticus 6:2-3

2) Simple theft – Leviticus 19:11

3) Defrauding of Wages – Leviticus 19:13

4) Theft by weights and measures – Leviticus 19:35-36, Deut.25:13-15

5) Kidnapping or man stealing – Exodus 21:16, Deut.24:7

3. Punishment associated with the kind of theft.

1) Restoration: Leviticus 6:4-6

2) Death for kidnappers: Exodus 21:16, Deut.24:7

3) Had to make amends with God also by offering sacrifices – Lev.6:6-7.

II.  Theft under the New Covenant

1. Jesus condemns it – Matthew 15:19.

2. We can turn God’s house into a “Den of Thieves” by loving money (Mat.21:13).

3. 1 Corinthians 6:10 – Will not inherit the kingdom of God.

4. Ephesians 4:28 – Must work instead of steal.

5. Stolen virtue – 1 Thess.4:6.

6. Going to court – 1 Corinthians 6:8.

III. Some lessons we can learn today.

1. The motivation for theft comes from the desires the heart has for things of this world.

1) “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).

2) Theft is a heart problem and that is what needs to be dealt with in an individual.

2. Paul contrasts theft with work, and in a lazy society we need to learn to work to earn a living and help others.

1) “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28).

3. We can rob God by not giving Him first place in our life.

1) Malachi 3:8-10 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

2) God’s desire is to bless those who give – He isn’t like us.

4. When we practice theft, we demonstrate that we don’t really trust in God (Matt.6:33).


1. Thou Shalt Not Steal

1) Theft under the Old Testament

2) Theft under the New Testament

3) Lessons learned today.

2. Invitation