To review the Eighth Commandment (You shall
not steal) with special emphasis on stealing from God and stealing from
neighbour and restoration in both situations.
Children will be able to
understand the meaning of the Eighth Commandment.
Children will understand ways in
which we steal from God.
Children will understand ways in
which we steal from our neighbour.
Children will understand God’s
system of restoration.
Law and the Eighth Commandment
The Ten Commandments (No. CB17)
The Law of God (No. CB25)
Memory Verse: thou shalt not steal.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of
thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him,
and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep
the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day
for thy good?” (RSV)
Ask the children what is the Eighth
Commandment. Place the Commandment on the poster board, which tracks their
progress through the Commandments.
Have the children each pick a number from a
hat – make sure there are enough numbers so that each child gets one.
Lesson on stealing.
Activity associated with stealing from
Activity associated with stealing from God.
Close with prayer.
What does God require of us? F.W.L.S.K. (Fear, Walk, Love, Serve, Keep)
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (see above).
one of the things God requires of us is to keep His Commandments, we must
understand what each individual Commandment means and how we are to follow it.
Hand each child a piece of string and five letter beads (F, W, L, S,
K). The children can string the beads
and make a bracelet during the discussion to follow.
Ask the children the following questions
and let them answer according to the number they have drawn from the hat. If
necessary, separate the numbers which correspond to the easier questions into a
smaller hat for the younger children to pick from. The older children can then answer the more difficult questions.
- What is stealing?
A. Children will most likely focus on the physical aspect of taking a
tangible object from someone that doesn’t belong to them from someone.
- What about if we find something (as opposed to taking
something) and don’t return it? Is
- What does God say we should do if we find something that is not
A. Read Deuteronomy 22:1-4: "You shall not see your brother's ox
or his sheep go astray, and withhold your help from them; you shall take them
back to your brother. And if he is not near you, or if you do not know him, you
shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother
seeks it; then you shall restore it to him. And so you shall do with his
donkey; so you shall do with his garment; so you shall do with any lost thing
of your brother's, which he loses and you find; you may not withhold your help.
You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fallen down by the way, and
withhold your help from them; you shall help him to lift them up again.” (RSV)
- What do some children call it when they find something and don’t
return it? A. “Finders/Keepers”. Is
that ok? Why not?
- What about when we lend money to someone? Can we charge them interest?
A. God says in Deuteronomy 23:19-20: “Thou shalt not lend upon
usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing
that is lent upon usury: 20 Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but
unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may
bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou
goest to possess it.”
According to God’s Law, when we
charge someone interest, we are stealing money from him/her that is not owed to
- What do we learn in the New Testament about “who is my
said that a brother is anyone who does the will of God (Mat. 12:50). This
includes people who are not part of physical Israel, as salvation is now of the
Gentiles (Acts 28:28). All nations are now open to the kingdom of God. No
person can lend at usury to another in the nation, as that is stealing.
- Is there anything that is not a physical object that we can
steal from someone?
A. Help the children understand that we can steal someone’s
reputation, happiness, etc.
- Who else, besides our neighbour, can we steal from?
A. Explain to the children that there are many ways we can steal from
- What is one way we steal from God that is listed in Malachi
tithes and offerings.
- What is an offering?
A. Something offered in worship to God (a sacrifice). A contribution
(money) given voluntarily to God through the Church; or something promised to
God in freewill.
- How many times a year should we give God an offering?
Show the children that the minimum is three times a year at the Feasts,
although we can give as many more offerings as we choose (see Deut. 16:16; Ex.
- What is a tithe?
A. The first tenth (10%) of our net earnings (or increase).
- How could it be stealing from God if we don’t give Him a tithe
of our income?
A. All things come from God. God set up a system that requires payment
(or tithes) so we can worship, and for the poor (second tithe in the third year
of the cycle: Deut. 14:28), as well as the ability for His people to
participate in His ways, and on His Feasts and Sabbaths (second tithe: Deut.
- What is a second tithe? Is this included in Malachi 3?
that the second tithe is set aside for the enjoyment of the Festivals of
God. It is part of God’s system and
therefore we must obey and maintain our second tithe.
Comment here how the 2nd tithe is used in the 3rd year of
the Seven-year cycle to help widows and fatherless.
- What happens if we borrow from our first tithe or our second
tithe and then replace the funds?
A. Explain that the withholding of tithes is stealing.
Where a person needs to borrow some of his tithe to use it for his own purpose,
then there is a penalty. When the tithe is paid back, the penalty is that a
fifth part must be added to it. Thus a mandatory 20% is added to any tithes
used for any purpose. All items withheld wrongly are subject to a trespass
offering of 20% (see Lev. 6:5).
Proverbs 6:31 says restoration for theft is sevenfold, but the
understanding at the time of Christ was that things taken are restored fourfold
(cf. Lk. 19:8), which was the restoration for a sheep stealer in Exodus 22:1.
The restoration for cattle was five for one in the same text but if the stolen
animal was found alive in the thief’s hand, it was to be restored double (from
Ex. 22:4). In all cases of things taken illegally and then contested at court,
the guilty person shall pay double if found to be in possession of another’s
property (Ex. 22:9).
- What is another thing we can steal from God?
A. When we don’t dedicate the Sabbath to God it is theft of God’s time
and worship. God created us for His glory (Isa. 43:7). One way we glorify God
is by dedicating time for worship and prayer to Him.
No person can steal the quality of life of
another and inherit the Kingdom of God. The law of property is simply a
physical aspect of a higher spiritual law. Stealing from man is simply stealing
from God in another form. If we can not be trusted in upholding physical
things, how can we be trusted in spiritual matters? We must repent and learn to
love one another, keeping the welfare of each other free and pure.
Activity associated with stealing from neighbour:
- Divide the children into three groups (A,B,C). Place them at three separate tables if
- Give each group 7 cows and 7 sheep for their herds. (Note: either use small plastic animals
or felt animals with a felt board.)
- Have each group set up the cows and sheep and place a “fence”
around their animals.
- Have someone from group A “sneak” over and steal two cows from
- Have someone from Group C “sneak” over and steal two sheep from
- Discuss how the herds look now and ask the children in Group A
and Group C how it makes them feel to have “bigger” herds. Ask Group B how they feel about their
- Group A leaves one stolen cow in their herd, and takes the
other stolen cow and kills it for food.
- Group C leaves one stolen sheep in their herd, and takes the
other sheep and sells it for food.
- Group B approaches Group A and Group C and asks for
- Stop and ask the children in Group B what they think would be
fair restitution. Ask Group A and
Group C what they think would be fair to return to Group B.
- Read Exodus 22:1-4.
- Group A must first return the cow that is alive in the herd and
then pay double. Then, Group A
must pay Group B five cows for the cow that was killed for food.
- Group C must first return the sheep that is alive in the herd,
and then pay double. Then, Group C
must pay Group B four sheep for the sheep that was sold for food.
- Discuss how the herds look now. Ask the children in Group A and Group C how it feels to have
smaller herds. Ask Group B how
they feel about their herd.
- Ask Group A and Group C if they would ever steal a cow or sheep
from Group B again.
associated with stealing from God:
The children will build a hinged “tithe
box” which will hold their first tithe, second tithe, and Terumah.
Read 2Kings 12:9: “Then Jehoi’ada the priest took a chest, and
bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar on the right side as
one entered the house of the LORD; and the priests who guarded the threshold
put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.”
- Ahead of time, pre-cut a piece of plywood into eight pieces per
box and assemble; glue, and hinge the boxes ahead of time (see separate
diagram for box measurements).
Each box will have three compartments.
- Give each child a box and explain that they are going to bore
three holes in the top of their box, one for each compartment.
- Have stickers, glitter, glue and paint available for the
children to decorate the outside of their boxes (or any other decorating
materials that would work).
- One at a time, have each child go to the “drilling area”. With
an adult, each child can drill a hole into each of the three compartments.
The hole needs to be big enough to fit a quarter, so a large enough drill
bit must be used.
- Have the children and adults use safety goggles while drilling
and explain that God’s Law gives the principal of safety from injury.
There must be protection in all things even in putting walls around the
roof (Deut. 22:8).
Once complete, explain to the children that
the compartments represent our 1st tithe, 2nd tithe, and
Close with prayer.