Summary: A study in the 10th commandment.


AG: It was the middle of the night. Keith Richards, guitarist for the Rolling Stones, had a musical riff playing in his head. He woke up, grabbed his guitar and a tape recorder, recorded the tune and then went back to sleep.

Their front man, Mick Jagger, wrote lyrics to go with the tune. Three weeks later, the Stones recorded that song and it became their first number one hit, both in Britain and in the US. It was the launching pad for their fame.

What was the song? (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. Jagger said that when he penned the lyrics, it simply expressed his frustration with the consumerism and commercialism they found in the US.

That song was released in 1965. Almost 50 years later, nothing has changed. You could almost say that this song the national anthem of our nation.

TS: We have reached the 10th command tonight. God winds up the commandments against violating other people by prohibiting covetousness.


Exodus 20:17 NKJV

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

We are commanded in general to not covet, and specific examples were given.

There is a fine line between coveting and having a drive to do one’s best. There is no passage in the Bible that condemns having this world’s goods, and neither is there a passage praising poverty.

IN fact:

Proverbs 30:8 NKJV

Remove falsehood and lies far from me;

Give me neither poverty nor riches—

Feed me with the food allotted to me;

Proverbs 3:9 NKJV

Honor the Lord with your possessions,

And with the firstfruits of all your increase;


The problem lies in obsessing over things.

Coveting: What does it mean to covet?

The Hebrew word for covet means “to have a deep desire for” or “to pant after.” Covet means that you want something in an unhealthy way that you don’t already have.

desiring more than what is enough.

Covetousness is a gateway sin.


Mathew Henry: The tenth commandment strikes at the root; nine commands forbid all desire of doing what will be an injury to our neighbor; this forbids all wrong desire of having what will gratify ourselves. Godliness and honesty must go together. The true godliness consists in bringing “every thought into captivity to Christ” ().

It leads to so many others:


We see and want and start coveting

Neighbor’s possessions:

house, ox, donkey

Neighbor’s People:


wife, servants

We can’t get it legitimately so:

anger slips in… (sin of murder)

Theft creeps in… we take it!

We lie- to help us get it, or to take it from others

In many ways, our world is filled with this

We lie through our lifestyles

so many are in a mountain of debt due to borrowing to maintain a false image.

We want to appear like we have wealth, so we borrow to fake it!

We lust— adultery creeps in

Covetousness hurts our relationship to others


James 4:1–3 NKJV

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.



Covetousness hurts our relationship with God


Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

We need to quit coveting, so with what do we fill that gap?

Philippians 4:10-

Philippians 4:10–14 NKJV

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.

Contentment is the polar opposite of covetousness.

Paul wrote of his gratitude to the believers in Philippi

They had sent care for him

they met his financial need and he was grateful

He takes the opportunity to share his contentment

He was satisfied whether he had much or little

full or hungry, abased or abounding, he was content.

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