The command “You shall not steal” seems simple on its face. If it’s not yours, don’t take it. But what were the Israelites to do when this commandment was violated and theft did happen? For that, as Pastor Bob King related this past weekend, we need to turn to Old Testament case law. In these specific “cases” we learn how to respond when theft occurs.
One thing we’re to do is provide “restitution,” to pay back what was stolen. For the Israelites, in the case of a stolen animal, the offender was to “pay back double” (Exodus 22.4). By doing this tangible act, we say, “I’m sorry” as we “make it right” (to the degree possible) with the people from whom we’ve stolen.
As we progress through this week, there’s a real possibility God’s Spirit is prompting you to make something right involving a theft you’ve committed. Our hope is that your heart is open to the Spirit about the proper way to make restitution. While some situations won’t have a tangible way to make restitution, many will. If you can, even if it’s difficult, do it. Restitution, for you, will be a God-honoring way to move forward as you become more like the Christ.