Q: Which is the eighth commandment?
A: The eighth commandment is, Thou shall not steal.
Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
Star Meade makes an excellent point in Teaching Hearts, Training Minds concerning the eighth commandment. She says that really, the first four commandments teach us about not stealing from God. That's very true, isn't it? What are we doing when we worship false gods, worship God in a way that is not pleasing to him but rather is pleasing to us, use his name without the reverence it is due, or neglect to keep his sabbath? We are really stealing from God the glory, honor, obedience, and reverence that he is due, and we are failing to the love the LORD our God with all our heart, strength, soul, and mind.
But now, the eighth commandment talks about stealing from our fellow mankind. Remember that these last six commandments are all about instructing us on how to love our neighbor as ourselves. One way we do that is by respecting them, and respecting the things that belong to them. When we steal, we are really saying to someone, "You are not as valuable as me, therefore you do not deserve the things you have. They should be mine because I deserve them." This attitude is not an attitude of love. It's not an attitude of viewing others as valuable (or more valuable) than ourselves. So over the next several weeks, as usual, we'll explore the eighth commandment and see what outward actions and inward thoughts are at play here, and how this commandment helps us to see how we can love others as we love ourselves, and ultimately bring God glory.