Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, August 31, 2013


     It was a wet September morning, with nothing to do outside so Barney Lee decided to do what he likes doing best, Bible study. To do so, Barney invited Louie Blackwood over, not only because he liked to study the Bible too but because Barney thought Louie might be know something about Sunday's sermon.

     “Hey, Louie!” Barney called out when Louie arrived, I heard that Randy is going to preach on the 8th commandment next week. Do you know what it is?” “I sure do.” Louie replied coming over to sit at the table next to Barney. “Well,” Barney said, “What is it? I want to be prepared for the next sermon ahead of time.”

     “You should already know that the 8th commandment is the pitcher's commandment.” Louie told Barney. “What!?” Barney exclaimed when he heard that, “The pitcher's commandment? There's no such thing as the pitcher's commandment and baseball isn't even in the Bible.” “Of course it is.” Louie giggled, “Haven't you ever heard of the 'Big Inning'” “Oh brother's” Barney moaned.

     “I got that one from Randy's notes for Sunday.” Barney said. “So, then,” Barney smiled, “Did you see what the sermon was about?” “Of course I did.” Louie exclaimed, “It's the pitcher’s commandment. “Thou shalt not steal.” You don’t steal first, you don’t steal second, you don’t steal third and you don’t steal home.”

     “What?!” Barney exclaimed, “You can’t steal first! Besides, that's a different kind of stealing.” “Well,” Louie replied, “That might be, bust someone still stole all the base.” “But you can't steal first base.” Barney protested. “Then where is it?” Louie asked. “Where is what?” Barney asked. “First Base!” Louie exclaimed, “Somebody stole it. Literally.”

     “Well,” Barney said a bit puzzled, “Who would have done that?” “I don't think so.” Came Louie reply, “He's out of town?” “Who's out of town?” Barney questioned. “That's right.” Louie answered. “What?” Barney said a bit puzzled. “No.” Louie replied, “He's been playing second.” “Who's been playing second?” Barney asked still puzzled. “Couldn't be.” Louie said. “I told you he's out of town. What's playing second.”

     “I don't know.” Barney exclaimed. “No Louie shouted back, “He's over on third.” “Who's on third?” Barney asked still puzzled. “Couldn't be!” Louie shouted back, “I told you Who is out of town.” Who's out of town?” Barney asked still not getting it. “That's right.” Louie said with a big smile and then Barney finally got it.

     “You had me going.” Barney said and then told Louie, “I've got a not from Yesterday for you.” “So, what does the pitcher want?” Louie asked. “He wanted you to know that he put all the bases away for the season.” Barney said. “So,” Louie giggled, They weren't stolen after all.”

      Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, "Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth." And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” Genesis 31:1-3 (ESV)

     When God tells you to do something what do you do?

     Jacob had been living with Laban many years and Laban had continued to be unfair toward Jacob. God knew this and made Jacob rich and Laban became unfriendly toward him. It was time for Jacob to go.

     Jacob tells his wives the plan to leave and they agree. Laban goes to sheer and Jacob flees but wait. Rachel has plans of her own plans that almost get her killed.

      ... Rachel stole her father's household gods. … When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. ... And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.' And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you steal my gods?" Jacob answered and said to Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me." So he searched but did not find the household gods.
Genesis 31:19-35 (ESV)

     The 8th commandment simply states - You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15 (ESV) Rachel stoled her father's gods – idols – thankfully, out God can not be stolen but that's another story. Rachel stole and God has no like for thieves.
  • Exodus 22:1 - If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. (ESV)
  • Exodus 22:7 - If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man's house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)
  • Ephesians 4:28 - Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (ESV)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • What is it that you might steal?
  • Why would you steal it?

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