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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 89

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From the Word: Woe to the one who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve for nothing, and does not pay him his wages. (Jeremiah 22:13)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together: Our Scripture reference today was originally written about Jehoiakim, king of Judah from 609 to 598 BC. He made his citizens build his palace but did not pay them. He cheated them out of their labor. The same “woe” is announced to any employer who does not pay, or even properly pay, an employee. The reverse is also true: woe to an employee who receives a paycheck without having done the work. And to those who do injustice to their neighbors by stealing their goods, hacking their accounts, defrauding them in any way: woe! Disaster and despair awaits them. The Lord of justice is not duped.  

Prayer: Give me your righteous character, Lord, so that I may love my neighbor, and thereby, love you. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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