They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Joshua 7:11b
"Thou shalt not steal."
That's not a complicated commandment, and people don't have much difficulty understanding it. The problem is some have a hard time following it.
The words which serve as the theme for our devotion come from the Lord who was upset when Achan kept some of the spoils from the fallen city of Jericho such as gold and silver which had been claimed by God and a high couture Babylonian robe. Achan shouldn't have done what he did, but many people can understand the attraction of fashion and cold cash.
On the other hand, most of us will have some problems understanding the thieves who are stealing manhole covers and grates in Flint, Michigan. According to a recent article in the Flint Journal, almost 400 cast iron grates and covers have been taken. The neighboring community of Burton says they've lost 200 of the same type of items.
This leads me to ask: "Wouldn't you think someone might notice the thieves who were ripping off that many heavy, awkward covers? After all, they're not the kind of thing you can easily hide in your back pocket." I'm curious, "Don't you imagine a company which buys scrap iron might think it suspicious when a fellow shows up with a few hundred manhole covers labeled 'City of Flint, Michigan'?"
It all goes to prove that when financial times get tough, some folks will do just about anything, including stealing covers which can create a dangerous hole for inattentive motorists and curious children.
Of course, when things become difficult financially there are those who go a different way: They rely upon the Lord Jesus. Rather than turning to the dark side, they are turned to the Savior.
They know that Jesus who gave His life on the cross to save them, who rose on the third day to show His victory and power, will keep His promises to those who believe on Him. They know they can call upon Him in the day of trouble even as they believe they can cast their cares upon Him.
That times are tough is a given. What remains undecided is what we will do during those times. Will we go to God, or will we give up on Him? We know the answer should be an easy one.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, there are people who are always searching for shortcuts to security. In these difficult days may I find my peace, my security, my hope in You. This day, and every day, I pray You will bring me closer to Your ways and Your will. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries