Summary: This sermon examines the lives of several prominent O.T. people (Lot, David, Achan, etc.) to see how coveting almost destroyed them.
October 1, 2000 Exodus 20:17
“Going for the gold!” (part 2)
Last week, we began our look at the last of the 10 Commandments – “Thou shalt not covet”. We said that coveting is that overwhelming desire that we have to possess what belongs to someone else. It may be that object that we desire belongs to a store, and we covet for ourselves as we walk the aisles of that store, or it may that that object belongs to our neighbor – someone that we have a relationship with. Coveting is that attitude that says, “I must have the object of my desire, or life will just not be worth living.” It grows out of a lack of satisfaction with what God has already given you, and it prevents you from being thankful for God’s many blessings to you right now and in the past. If left unchecked, it will produce envy and even hatred in your heart toward the person that has whatever it is that you want – whether that object of your desire is a person with whom you want a relationship, or a material possession that would bring you pleasure.
We talked about 4 reasons that God forbids us to covet the possessions of another person. They’re listed on your note sheet there:
1. God forbids coveting because it sets our hearts on things of this earth instead of on things of heaven.
2. God forbids coveting because it puts a barrier between me and my neighbor.
3. God forbids coveting because it gives me motivation to break all of God’s commandments.
4. God forbids coveting because it will destroy me.
This morning, we’re going to scan through the lives of several people in the Bible and look at how instances or lifestyles of coveting affected them so that we can get a better picture of how destructive this sin can be in our own lives.
Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13:5-17)
- vs. 5-6 Abraham and Lot were traveling together. They had so many possessions and so many animals that there wasn’t enough space or resources to support them both. The problem that destroyed their happiness was NOT that Lot was poor and needed to accumulate more goods. The problem was that he had TOO MANY goods! How many of you have ever complained about not having enough closet or storage space? Could it be that the problem is not a lack of space to store your stuff but too much stuff to find a place to put it? The solution is not to get a bigger house to put all your stuff in but to get rid of some of the stuff so your house isn’t overcrowded.
- vs. 7 Everyone was fighting with everyone else for use of limited resources. Kind of like everyone in your family was fighting over the bathroom this morning.
- vs. 8-9 Abraham, in a very unselfish and uncovetous move allowed Lot the option of picking what portion of the land that he wanted for himself. Abraham, being the elder of Lot, had the right to tell Lot what to do and where to go, but he chose not to exercise that right. He was starting to understand that he didn’t need to be in control of his own life and his resources in order to have what he needed to provide for his family.