Summary: The problem is our attitude not our actions
Thou shalt not covet Exodus 20:1-17
I heard a story about one elderly couple who were having dinner at another couple’s house, and when they finished, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two men were talking and one said, "Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was fantastic, I’d recommend it very highly." So, his friend said, "What’s the name of the restaurant?" The first man thought and thought and finally he said, "What’s the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know... the one that’s red and has thorns." And he said, "Do you mean a rose?" "Yes, that’s the one," replied the man. Then he turned towards the kitchen and yelled, "Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?”
Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turned to the other and said: "Slim, I’m 83 years old now and I’m just full of aches and pains. I know you’re about my age. How do you feel?" Slim says, "I feel just like a newborn baby."
"Really!? Like a newborn baby!?" "Yep, I’ve got no hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants."
Someone said, “Old folks are worth a fortune. They’ve got silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys and lead in their feet.” And for those of you who are young, I don’t want to depress you, but you’re all headed in the same direction.
“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”
The first nine commandments all deal with our actions. The first four address the issue of our worship and tell us we are to worship God and only God. We are to worship Him from our hearts and according to His word and we are not to be dependant on any thing or any ritual because the things we depend on to help us worship; can lead us into idolatry. Then we’re told to be careful in our speech, and that means we are never to use God’s name in a careless or frivolous way. The only time we are to use the name of God is when we’re either talking to Him or talking about Him. And we are to worship on the Sabbath and this simply means; we are to set one day aside for God and this is to remind ourselves that the rest of the week belongs to Him as well.
So, we could say that the first four commandments which address the area of worship begin with our attitude toward God but then they work themselves out in a very practical way.
It always gets me when I hear people say, “I’ve gone to church” like they’ve done their religious duty and they’re finished with God until next Sunday; but in these commandments it’s very clear that every bit of our lives are to be lived in relationship to Him. So, our family lives, our work our leisure activities, everything is to be done to the glory of God.