RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROPERTY
If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If the theft is certainly found alive in his hand, whether it is an ox or donkey or sheep, he shall restore double. “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed, and lets loose his animal, and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard. “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns, so that stacked grain, standing grain, or the field is consumed, he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution. “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods. “For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor. 10 If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies, is hurt, or driven away, no one seeing it, 11 then an oath of the Lord shall be between them both, that he has not put his hand into his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept that, and he shall not make it good. But if, in fact, it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to the owner of it. If it is torn to pieces by a beast, then he shall bring it as evidence, and he shall not make good what was torn. “And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it becomes injured or dies, the owner of it not being with it, he shall surely make it good. If its owner was with it, he shall not make it good; if it was hired, it came for its hire. (Exodus 22:1-16)
I do not know about you, but for me I am thrilled reading through the principles laid down by God for the children of Israel to keep in order for peace to reign between neighbors and family members. He covered every area where things can go wrong and the method to solve the problem. God is a loving God. He knows us more than we know ourselves, because He is the Creator. He made provision for us to live a godly life. It is all written in the scriptures. We need to adhere to all the principles laid out in His book. Though we don’t have oxen, sheep, cattle or goat, as our property these days, but we have houses, we have cars, furniture, other tools, land . Cars are the easiest to steal, and our government have different means of tracking down offenders and applying justice. When cars collide with one another the system that has been put in place is called in to make sure that justice is maintained. I do not know what operates elsewhere, but in the United State of America, the judicial laws in this country has helped to maintain law and order. I will not say that everything is perfect, but relative to other countries, the founding fathers tried with the Constitution that has helped to stabilize the law and order of the country. They were Christians and they must have applied the Wisdom in the Bible to put the Constitution together. It has worked for many years and it still works.
Therefore brothers and sisters what God handed to the children of Israel and put into writing for generations to come is the BASIC INSTRUCTION FOR LIVING RIGHT. If the Bible can be read page by page and digested and adhered to the principles therein , one will not only live right, one would also prosper in all one’s endeavors. The part that really makes me to see the awesomeness of God is the fact that though one should not steal, but if one still went ahead to steal for whatever reason, God made provision for restitution if the thief was caught. The sort of restitution demanded will prevent that person from doing it again, because he would be paying back five-folds. God is God of Justice and we should live accordingly. We must not live intentionally to hurt or harm anyone. God hates wickedness and the penalty of death is always applicable to any form of wickedness perpetrated by evil people. Therefore let us do what is right at all times so that all of us can dwell together in safety. Those who do not have Christ should be prayed for so that they too can accept the Lord Jesus into their hearts so as to help them live right. It is our knowledge of the Word of God that has helped us thus far. Only those that accept Jesus into their hearts can read the Word of God and understand it. This is why Mark 16 says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.(Mark 16:15-16). People need to hear the saving grace of Christ. The more they hear, the more they will understand and develop the faith to believe. The Lord will increase our love for humanity so that we can develop the same passion that Jesus has for the human race. God bless you all. Amen.