Summary: This morning is our last message in our series on the Ten Commandments. I think I just heard a sigh of relief from someone. Like many of you, I struggle with this last commandment. “Thou shalt not covet..”
Text: Exodus 20:1,2, & 17
This morning is our last message in our series on the Ten Commandments. I think I just heard a sigh of relief from someone.
Personally I have been challenged several times by this series. Today will be no different. As a matter of fact I had a computer snaffoo’ (while visiting with family in Nashville) and lost my first draft of this message. God wants to make sure I understand this commandment.
Like many of you, I struggle with this last commandment. “Thou shalt not covet..”
I recently heard the story of the small town preacher and his wife who went to the big city and saw one of the many beautiful churches. They were amazed. In front of one of the churches was an enormous church sign. It was very high tech. It had one of those really cool digital read outs that would give you the date, the time, the temperature, and then a passage of scripture. The small town preacher was really impressed.
The scripture (on the digital sign that day) was actually our text. It said very plainly:
“Thou shalt not covet…”
The preacher looked at his wife and said, “Oh honey I’ve got to have a sign just like that one!”
You need to pray for this preacher.
And then there is the story of "Dennis the Menace" looking through the Sears toy catalog at Christmas time. When with excitement Dennis looked up and said, "Gee wilickers, Mr. Wilson! This catalog’s got a lot of toys I didn’t even know I wanted."
Now I know there is a kid in all of us that wants everything including the things we don’t even know about. But seriously, the Bible makes it very clear that we are to be content with everything God gives us.
We often find our selves coveting things we do not have without realizing it.
When this happens, we find ourselves not thankful for all that we do have.
Do you find yourself doing this? It really shouldn’t surprise us, because many people struggle with being covetous.
I would call this a “common everyday garden variety sin.” Even the Apostle Paul had problems in this area.
Text: Romans 7:7 & 8(a)
What Paul is warning us is important.
He is saying that as a result of not being obedient to this last commandment, we will find ourselves struggling with all kinds of evil desires.
After realizing this, I looked closer at the Greek meaning behind the word “covet”.
The Greek word is “thumos”, which means to have passion or to “pant after”.
My friend if you are not sure whether or not you “covet” something in particular, ask yourself these simple questions:
1. Am I passionate about getting something that I don’t own?
2. Do I “pant after” getting something just for myself?
Perhaps the phrase “pant after” is a little dramatic for some of us. It kind of reminds me of our dog, Sonny. He really enjoys watching us cookout on our grill.
He stands there panting and licking his chops just hoping we might drop a piece of meat on the patio. Nothing else will distract him from staring at us as we eat.
The Bible warns us that we get like this sometimes. Something will suddenly show up in our lives and get our full and undivided attention. We can easily become obsessed with the idea of having it.
I’ve been there, have you?
And what is interesting is that this sin is not just something that happens to rich people, or just poor people.
It happens to everyone almost everyday.
Where does this come from?
Television, radio, highway billboards, the internet (just to name a few)…
We can experience an intense desire for something that will not leave us alone.
As a result, we can become discontent with what God has given us and our relationship with the Lord is disrupted.
Some may be thinking that –
q Being covetous may not be that big of a threat.
q There are other sins that are much worse than wanting something you don’ have.
What many do not realize about the Tenth Commandment is that if we choose to ignore this particular sin, these feelings can last much longer than just a moment, or a day, or a month.
There are those who will spend an entire lifetime wanting something they never will have. The result is they will never find peace and contentment in their life.
Only frustration that leads to disappointment, that leads to regrets that lead to remorse and bitterness. This is not the plan of God for anyone’s life.
Not only will coveting interfere with our relationship with the Lord, but as well, our relationship with loved ones. Marriages are probably the most susceptible.