Summary: A teaching on the 10th Commandment which prohibits coveting

Is Greed Good?

CCCAG August 6th, 2017

10 Commandment Series- #10

Scripture- Exodus 20:17

When I was 18 years old a friend of mine invited me to a party to hear about an opportunity to start my own business.

He picked me up and we drove into a very affluent part of Lake County IL to a gated community that sat on the shores of Grayslake. Grayslake is a is a suburb of Chicago where many rich people lived. We were stopped at the gate while a security guard called the house we were heading to, and we were allowed to pass. We then drove into another large gate which was at the end of the driveway of a large house, pushed the button to signal the house and we were let in. We drove up the long driveway and stopped in a parking area next to a 4-car garage with all of the doors open showing an expensive SUV, shiny sportscar, and two luxury sedans. Looking around us, the grounds were immaculate. There was a pool, tennis court, patios with sitting areas. We walked up to the house, and before we could even knock on the door, it was opened by a man dressed in a suit who showed us to the gathering room where a few other couples were sitting. We all did introductions, and the owner of the house, a very well-dressed man named Bill. Bill was a very charismatic guy and began talking to us about our dreams in life. Given that we were all guys there, he asked us all to share our dreams and specifically this question-

“If you could have any car every made, what would be?”

One person said they would love to have a Cadillac, another person wanted a high end sportscar, another person said Lincoln Towncar, and another a Lexus.

When it was my turn, I said I don’t know the make or model of the car, but I wanted that Black Convertible that Don Johnson drove in the original Miami Vice. Bill said, “Yep, that’s a 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spider 365/GTS. They cost about $300k. I have one on order.”

Bill then gave us a tour of the grounds and of the house, showing us how wealthy he was. After the tour, he showed us the method he used to get all of that wealth. Essentially, it was a pyramid system. Fortunately, I wasn’t even close to being able to invest in it, and my friend had just invited me to fulfill a requirement that he had within that system to get a minimal amount of invites per month.

As I was preparing for this weeks message I remembered this visit to Bill’s house, and how he used a subtle tactic of focusing us on money, possessions, and wealth to close off our higher reasoning abilities.

In other words, Bill got us to covet his lifestyle and wealth.

The prohibition against coveting is the last of the 10 commandments, and lets read it this morning before we really break it down-

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”


The 10th Commandment is unique in that for the last 9 commandments, we have focused on the external actions that people do. The 10 Commandment turns that around and points us inward.

Big idea-

[Coveting is the most dangerous of actions described in all of the 10 Commandments because it deals with what is really on the inside of us.]

The word covet means to have an unhealthy desire, ungodly lust, or selfish motive to gain something that God has not supplied or given to us.

In part, Coveting is what ruined the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, and the reason they got such a stinging rebuke from him.

They coveted their position in society

They coveted their money and wealth

In fact, they were so greedy they used the religion of their day to fleece the poor out of whatever money they had and that made Jesus just loose it on the money changers.

One minute it’s business as usual, the next some crazy Galilean is throwing tables and chair and chasing them around with a whip.

Jesus then turns and calls the pastors of his day dead men, whitewashed tombs, and a brood of snakes.

Their root sin was that of coveting. In fact, the first thing that we need to realize this morning is that coveting is-

I. Root of all sin

That’s the first truth of coveting. All of the other sins start with coveting something we do not have.

I have referred to Genesis 3 quite often during our time in the 10 commandments because so much of our understanding of right and wrong, sin and righteousness is found within that single chapter of the bible. Genesis 3 describes the first temptation of humanity, their fall into sin, the damage it caused the human soul, and the subsequent expulsion from God’s presence that still exists today.

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