Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 27, 2013 Mirrors Stolen Off Of The Ministry Truck In Broad Daylight On A Busy Street

I will never understand why people steal!
Today the Ministry Truck was sitting outside of the office on the street in plain daylight and someone stole the mirrors on BOTH the right and left sides of the truck.

I called to see how much they cost and they are 
$125 each used!

When will people ever learn that stealing will not make them rich?

What About Restitution?

The basic penalty principle in the Bible is that when a person who is convicted of a crime they must make restitution to the victim of their crime. For example, the penalty for theft is four, five or seven fold restitution which goes directly to the victim.

Exodus 22:1 If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep. 

According to this verse the thief must pay his victim four times the value of what he has stolen if it is a sheep. I think that the extra compensation, what is above and beyond the value of whatever was stolen helps to make up for the cost of tracking the thief and bringing him to justice. This multiplied value return, also acts as a deterrent against thievery.  A thief does not get caught every time he steals thus if he only has to pay back what he has stolen, he might decide to steal anyway, knowing that when if he gets caught, he can just give back the stolen goods. But because most men need penalties in order to learn, God's plan is the fourfold repayment.  This places a bite in the punishment.  It also reduces the economic benefits of theft.

It is interesting that stealing an ox, gets additional restitution because an ox is used for work. So if you are stealing the tools that a man does his work with, then you must pay a bigger bite.  Because it is a asset which can be used to produce an income stream into the future the ox is more valuable to its owner than a sheep would be. God is so fair!  Stealing an ox makes the owner less productive not only for today but also for the lifetime of the oxen. 

So if a thief steals your oven or your mixer and you are a baker then the repayment should be more (5x value) than if he steals your lawn furniture (4x value).  As a professional baker your oven and your mixer is what make you money where you can feed your family, therefore the Biblical law requires five fold restitution.   

Yet there are other values placed on other things.

Exodus 22:7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbor money or goods to keep, and it is stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

If money or goods are stolen from a neighbor who is holding it for you then the penalty is less.

The scripture is clear that stealing to eat is not to be tolerated either. In fact stealing to eat has a larger penalty.

Proverbs 6:30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; 31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

When one steals to eat, it is a 7x penalty.  At first this concept bothered me and then I realized that the Bible has much to say about eating. 

In the Old Testament we see that we must consider God or we will eat and not be full and drink but still be thirsty.  In other words our relationship with God directly effects what we eat or drink.  

Haggai 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.

Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 

The New Testament says:

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I will assume from these verses that the one who steals for food receives a worse punishment to cause him to get close to God, before he starts stealing for other reasons.  God will take care of our food, drink and clothing if we will trust Him.   

These penalties are very different from our modern system of fines and imprisonment. When someone is fined, the money goes to the state.  So unless you have insurance against theft or unless your items are recuperated and returned to you (the thought of that makes me laugh in Honduras) you, the victim get nothing. When the criminal is sent to prison, innocent victims who were stolen from lose and lose and good people's taxes pay for the criminal to stay in jail.  All of this is very unfair.  In God's Biblical system the victim gets compensated for their loss and the thief is very inconvenienced.  He must pay for his crime.

So that brings me back to the mirrors for the 1999 Ford F-350. These mirrors must be replaced where we can drive the truck.  Shame on the guys who stole the mirrors and may God teach them a lesson with His method of justice which is much better than mine.  And may the Lord send me replacement mirrors.

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