Summary: The final sermon on the 10 Commandments. This command seems silly. I don’t hurt anyone by merely wanting, do I? How to Overcome Coveting... *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
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Today, we conclude this series on the 10 Commandments. . . (was that a sigh of relief I heard?!)
Remember, we’ve been talking about the 10 Commandments as fences. . . fences to keep you from pain!
We said that there is some pain that is inevitable. . . it will come into your life just because you’re living on this broken planet.
Some pain is caused by others doing wrong. . . it’s not God’s doing. Whether it’s hijackers, drunk drivers, murderers – if someone else sins, sometimes it causes us pain.
Some pain is necessary in our lives to make us like Jesus. Sometimes, God wants to teach us not to complain. . . maybe he wants to teach us to trust Him. . . maybe He wants to teach us to change our attitude. . . sometimes, God knows to make us like Jesus, we might have to hurt like Jesus hurt while he was here on this earth.
But the 4th kind of pain is different. It’s pain that we bring on ourselves by breaking down God’s fences. It’s pain that is caused by our own actions, when we live outside of God’s laws – it’s caused by our own mistakes and sin. I call this “unnecessary pain, because you just know God is sitting in heaven, sighing and saying, “They could have prevented that! If only they had listened!”
THAT’S the kind of pain that we’re wanting to prevent in this series. And we’ve been through 9 principles to help us do that:
But now we get to the final commandment. As God wraps up this list of his “Big 10". . . what does he want to conclude with?
"You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s."
Exodus 20:17 (NKJV)
To “Covet” is to strongly desire something that belongs to someone else.
What a great commandment for the last few weeks before Christmas!! Have you ever seen kids REALLY covet?
Oh, but we’re ADULTS. . . we don’t have that problem. DO WE? Oh, we don’t throw ourselves on the ground and scream when we pass the candy aisle. . . but we have our own forms of this!
Covetousness has even invaded the church. A current false doctrine is that God will just grant you whatever you believe for – that what God is interested in is making you successful and rich and healthy. One contemporary songwriter puts it like this:
Name it and claim it, that’s what faith’s about!
You can have what you want if you just have no doubt.
So make out your “wish list” and keep on believin’
And you will find yourself perpetually receivin’ [ John G. Stackhouse, Jr., “The Gospel Song” [an unpublished parody], quoted by Kent & Barbara Hughes, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1987), 48]..