It has been several years since I taught on this subject. It is
time for another reminder.

If you are a normal, moral person, that is, not into drugs,
sex, or alcohol, you are probably still guilty of stealing and lying. Today
will be about stealing—not bank robbery, but just taking things that are not
your own.

This is described in Leviticus 6:1-7. Pay attention to the
text. “The Lord said to
If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left
in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor,

or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they
swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit—when they sin in any of
these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or
taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they
or whatever it was they swore falsely about.
They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it
all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering.
And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the Lord, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and
of the proper value.
In this way the priest will make
atonement for them before the
Lord, and they
will be forgiven for any of the things they did that made them guilty.’”

·       The
passage says that stealing is unfaithfulness to God. “You
shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15).

It includes several types of stealing.

The solution includes taking it back to the

This restitution includes adding 20% of the
value stolen.

You confess it to God. His forgiveness is based
upon Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. The animal sacrifices were
prophetic events that pictured Jesus’ sacrifice.

Exodus 22:1-15 gives more details on restitution. If the thief
steals an ox and kills or sells it, he must return five oxen or 500%. If it is
a sheep that he kills or sells, he must return four sheep or 400%. If the oxen
or sheep are alive when they are returned, the thief must return double what
was stolen.

Restitution includes things stolen before you were a Christian.
When you were saved, all of your sins were forgiven by God. However, the items
you stole are still not yours and must be returned. It is like robbing a bank
and confessing the robbery in order to be forgiven by God, but keeping the
money. Confessing and restitution go together.

Numbers 5:8 tells us what to do when we can’t find the original
owner. “But if that person has no close relative to whom
restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the
Lord and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which
atonement is made for the wrongdoer.”


Written December 22, 2017.

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