Summary: To learn to be content with the Lord.
The 10 Commandments #10:
Text: Exodus 20:17
Thesis: To learn to be content with the Lord.
(1) Have you ever said, “If I had (fill in the blank), then I would be happy?”
(2) “As the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments forbid us to injure our neighbor in deed, the ninth forbids us to injure him in word, and the tenth, in thought”
(from Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft).
(3) “While the principle of putting God first supplies the motivation for obeying all the others, the tenth principle of not coveting supplies the explanation of why we disobey all the others” (R. Atchley, Sinai Summit 186).
(4) Let us examine this commandment in depth:
I. What is covetousness?
A. ‘Covet’ means “to desire or long after, in order to enjoy as a property the person or thing coveted” (from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft).
B. Basically, “covetousness is the worship of self, for it pledges all of one’s energies to self-gratification” (R. Shelly, Written in Stone 190).
C. “The tenth principle makes clear what the other nine have been assuming: that sin lies in the heart long before it shows in the hands” (Atchley 186).
D. Story –
Abe Lincoln was walking down the street one day with his two young sons, both of whom were crying. “What’s the matter with your boys?” asked a passerby. “Exactly what is wrong with the whole world,” said Lincoln, “I have three walnuts, and each boy wants two.”
E. In the book, The Day America Told the Truth, 25% of those surveyed said that they would abandon their families for $10 million dollars and 23% said that they would become prostitutes.
F. 2 Biblical Examples of Covetousness:
1. King Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-16)
· Ahab was not satisfied with what he had but desired what was Naboth’s
· Jezebel had Naboth murdered so that Ahab could have his vineyard
2. David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:1ff.)
· David committed adultery with Bathsheba because of lust
· David had Uriah the Hittite murdered to hide his sin
II. How do we overcome covetousness?
A. We must set our hearts on things above (Col. 3:1,2).
1. Story –
A preacher once dropped by to visit a family of the congregation where he labored. Upon arriving, the mother of the house, wanting to make a good impression, said to her daughter, “Honey, who don’t you go and get that good book that we all love so much.” She brought back the Sears’ catalog.
2. Our hearts will be with the things that we treasure (cf. Matt. 6:19-21).
B. We must learn the difference between: 1) Wants & Needs and 2) Temporary & Eternal (cf. Matt. 6:25-34).
C. We must learn that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15)
D. We must learn to be content.
1. “The root of coveting is dissatisfaction with God’s allotment of things” (Atchley 188).
2. Paul learned to be content with the Lord regardless of circumstances (Phil. 4:11).
3. Godliness and contentment is great gin (1 Tim. 6:6-8).
4. We are told to be content with what we have (Heb. 13:5).