Exodus 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.
3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.
6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.
8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.
9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.
10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it:
11 Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.
13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.
14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.
15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.
Sin has consequences, but equally as important is the truth that sin brings responsibility. If a man steals, he is to make things right. If he steals another man, he can only make it right by suffering capital punishment (Exodus 21:16). If he steals another man’s animals, he can make it right by restoring them with a penalty (Exodus 22:1). Unfortunately, the heart of man “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and many men will do anything to avoid taking responsibility for their sin. This, however, should only be a trait of the wicked. A man who gets right with the Lord should naturally look for ways to restore that which he has stolen (Luke 19:1-10).
• (For children): It is never right to sin no matter what the reason. A man who is hungry has no right to steal. If caught, he must repay (Proverbs 6:30-31).
• (For everyone): Have you stolen anything without making the proper restoration? Is there an opportunity to restore what has been stolen at this point?
• Why is it not enough to stop stealing? How could it be a good testimony for the Lord if you repaid the things that you have stolen, even if those things were stolen years ago?
• Ask the Lord to remind you of things you need to restore.
• Ask God to help you follow through on what needs restoring.
SONG: ‘TIS SO SWEET TO TRUST IN JESUS