Summary: A Sermon on the Tenth Commandment
Decades ago the famed poet Mick Jagger described our plight with these words:
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
’Cause I try and I try and I try and I try...
When I’m drivin’ in my car, and the man come on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more about some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination...
When I’m watchin’ my TV and a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But, he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me
I can’t get no satisfaction, no satisfaction...
Just as Mister Jagger recognized, we must come to understand that very few things in this life have a lasting ability to satisfy us.
Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything that your neighbor owns. Exodus 20:17 (NLT)
In the Laws of God governing life on earth we have seen that God has a high standard of holiness that He expects His people to strive for. I trust that as we have moved along through these commandments, you have seen some area in your life where you recognized the need for some correction and have made the efforts necessary to change to come in line with God’s Word. As we look at this 10th Commandment, the first characteristic I notice is that this Commandment represents a move away from actions into the realm of attitude.
While breaking all the rest of the Commandments has its origin in the heart and mind of man, they all find their ultimate expression in some type of physical activity. This Commandment is different! While there is evidence of lying, stealing, adultery, murder, disobedience to parents, taking God’s Name in vain, making idols and having other gods before God, there is usually little or no evidence of covetousness. As a result, this is a sin that is rarely, if ever confessed and owned up to. Of all the Commandments listed, this is probably the one most often broken and the one that will most readily cause you to break the other nine.
The Tenth Commandment deals with this attitude of the heart. All that we have and all that we are come from the hand of God. As such, he calls us to contentment.
Coveting is defective desiring. Desiring things is not necessarily bad. But when our wants arise purely from a dissatisfaction with what God has given us and envy of the way he’s blessed others it is a violation of the Tenth Commandment.
A. The Consequences of Coveting
Covetousness is the first step to sin. (it is at the heart of most sin)
Think abut it this way: Why do people steal? We steal when we want something that someone else has. Adultery has its roots in coveting. You want someone that is not yours to have.
Covetousness is a matter of the heart. It is at the heart of many sins. Another consequence of coveting is …
Covetousness cheapens life.
Covetous individuals place a higher value on things than people. They begin to view others as a means to an end, whether it’s the accumulation of more stuff or the fulfilling of some desire. In the mind of the covetous person people are regarded as things. Human life loses its value.