Lesson 10: March 3-9

‘Thou shalt not steal’


MEMORY VERSE: ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Exodus 20:15. 

STUDY HELP: Sons & Daughters of God, page 63.

LESSON AIM: To consider the scope of the Eighth Commandment.




‘“Thou shalt not steal.” Both public and private sins are included in this prohibition. The eighth commandment condemns manstealing and slave dealing, and forbids wars of conquest. It condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another is registered as fraud in the books of heaven.’ Patriarchs & Prophets, pages 308-309.


‘Thou shalt not steal'


1. What is the eighth of the Ten Commandments? Exodus 20:14.

NOTE: ‘“Thou shalt not steal.” This text tells what we shall not do. It is the negative form of an obligation. If you want it stated in the positive form, you will find it in the twelfth chapter of Romans and the seventeenth verse, the latter part of the verse: “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” That is the positive statement of the commandment which, in the negative form, is, “Thou shalt not steal;” in other words, Thou shalt be honest, and provide things honest in the sight of all men. Another place [2 Corinthians 8:21] says not only in the sight of men, but in the sight of the Lord. Thus the positive form of the eighth commandment is, Thou shalt be honest in the sight of the Lord and in the sight of men. And if I do not provide things honest in the sight of the Lord, I cannot provide things honest in the sight of men. We are to be honest in the sight of God all the time. We are to work in the sight of God; not simply as in the sight of God, but actually in the sight of God. “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Then where is the use of trying to cover up anything, or to do anything in secret, or have any secret way? Whoever will open his life unto the Lord, whoever has his whole life honest with God, will be honest in the sight of all men just as certainly and just as easily as he lives in the sight of all men, because his life will be simply the expression of what is within. And when the life is held open to God, as the flower to the sun, then God fills the life with fragrance, just as the sun does the flower, and “maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.”’  A. T. Jones: Review & Herald, December 28, 1897.


2. Who was a Bible example of this honesty in the sight of God and men? Daniel 6:4-5.

NOTE: ‘Strict compliance with the requirements of Heaven brings temporal as well as spiritual blessings. Unwavering in his allegiance to God, unyielding in his mastery of self, Daniel, by his noble dignity and unswerving integrity, while yet a young man, won the “favour and tender love” of the heathen officer in whose charge he had been placed. Daniel 1:9. The same characteristics marked his afterlife. He rose speedily to the position of prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon. Through the reign of successive monarchs, the downfall of the nation, and the establishment of another world empire, such were his wisdom and statesmanship, so perfect his tact, his courtesy, his genuine goodness of heart, his fidelity to principle, that even his enemies were forced to the confession that “they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful.”’  Prophets & Kings, page 546.

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