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God continues His discussion on the framework for His chosen people. Today’s topic—“stuff.” God did not free a bunch of thieves.  He believed and believes in the private ownership of property and that people that work hard and build a life should be able to enjoy the wealth they have accumulated in peace. But, God saw a huge distinction in the preservation of life and the preservation of property.  God made clear—if you wrongfully acquire or destroy the property of others—you will restore that property and pay double, triple and up to five times its value in restitution.  God’s plan was to take away the benefit of wrongfully acquiring wealth—but, still, not to raise wealth to the same level as the value of life.

The main premise is simple, As a people–God wanted his people to use things and love people. If they valued life and people over the stuff they acquired then they would have the same perspective that God has.  Face it, God created the most amazing planet filled with beauty, wonders and all forms of life.  He shares that beauty he created without concern or reservation.  But, as a people, humans often lose the perspective and grow to love things and use people.  The result is that people’s love for stuff has caused them to devalue life.  That switch caused people to hoard and steal to the point of total chaos and anarchy.  Even in this information age, we have valued our information over our very lives.  Once again, God calls us to be different.  If we focus on loving God and people, he will make sure we are provided for and protected. More importantly, in the midst of chaos—we will experience peace that passes human understanding.  You simply cannot put a price-tag on that!

God Bless You

 

Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

“If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.

“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft. If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double.

“If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitution from the best of their own field or vineyard.

“If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.