Summary: God forbids coveting because it sets my heart on things of earth rather than on things of heaven. It removes our trust away from God & makes us discontent with what He has provided for our life. The Bible teaches us that we are to live a life that is cont
EXODUS 20: 17
THE TENTH WORD: SANCTIFY YOUR DESIRES
Today, we come to the last of the 10 Commandments. In these Laws of God governing our daily living here on earth, we have seen that God has a high standard that He expects His people to strive for in life. I trust that as we have moved along through these verses, that you have seen some area in your life maybe where you recognized the need for some correction and have made the efforts necessary to change, in order to come in line with God’s Word.
As God wraps up the list of His “Top 10" . . . what does He want to conclude with? “You shall not covet.” We all have ambitions... we all should have goals... Covetousness though is an excessive desire for something. There’s nothing wrong w/ wanting certain things, like something better for your family, a better job, education, etc. But coveting is an inordinate craving that eventually causes compromises of convictions in trying to obtain what you want. It is also an envious desire for what someone else has...desiring what they have to be yours. It is like greed in terms of the desire for more and like envy in terms of the desire for what someone else has.
....which reminds me of a joke. Did you hear the one about the guy who found a BOTTLE ON THE BEACH, and when he pulled out the cork, out popped a genie? The genie gave him 3 wishes, but said, “Be careful what you wish for– because who you envy most will receive twice as much as you do.” The guy wished for 5,000,000 dollars. *POOF* It appeared at his feet. At the same moment, miles away, 10 million appeared at the feet of who he envied most. Next he wished for the largest most exquisite diamond in the world. It appeared at his feet. But the man who he envied most got 2 of them. As the man realized how well his enemy was doing, he got more and more frustrated trying to think of what to wish for next. Finally, he turned to the Genie and said, “OK – I’m ready. Scare me half to death.”
Though it may be natural to desire things, even when they belong to others, when that inner desire that becomes inordinate or excessive it becomes coveting. Coveting then fuels our inward desires for what is not needed or wrong. God forbids coveting because it sets my heart on things of earth rather than on things of heaven (CIT). It removes our trust away from God and makes us discontent with what He has provided for our life. The Bible teaches us that we are to live a life that is content and trust God for all our needs.
Exodus 20: 17 states, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
I would like for us to notice three things about covetousness:
I. THE ONSLAUGHT OF COVETOUSNESS
II. THE OUTCOME OF COVETOUSNESS
III. THE OVERCOMING OF COVETOUSNESS
1ST, THE ONSLAUGHT OF COVETOUSNESS. (Where Does It Come From?)
Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, thefts, covetousness . . .” (Mark 7:21, 22). Ezekiel cried out, “...with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness” (Ezek. 33:31).