Summary: The hidden motive back of each commandment is worship. Since everything a Christian does should praise God, all of the Ten Commandments revolve around worshipping God.
“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” (Ex. 20:17).
1. Consumerism. We follow a new “religion.” We are constantly preached at to buy newer . . . faster . . . bigger . . . and largest.
2. “Seek ye first the kingdom of ‘stuff’ and ye will find happiness.”
3. Today René Descartes would say, “I shop, therefore I am.”
4. The modern Latin conqueror proclaims, “I came . . . I saw . . . I shopped.”
5. The religion of consumerism has theologians as marketers, priests as ad men, temples as shopping malls and worshippers as shoppers.
6. What fuels the needs of the new religion? Greed.
7. The Roman Catholics combine One and Two Commandments about idols, and separate coveting thy neighbor’s wife from coveting thy neighbor’s stuff.
8. The word covet is to desire, wish for, or crave. The problem is stuff isn’t bad.
B. WHAT COVETING DOES TO US
1. Coveting is seeing what we don’t have, and what our neighbor has; therefore, coveting puts us in competition with our neighbor. We don’t see our neighbor as God sees him.
2. Coveting keeps us from seeing God fully for “He will not withhold any good thing from us” (Psa. 84:11).
3. Coveting keeps us from enjoying God’s provision. “He is able to make all grace abound to you so that you will be satisfied in all ways with all things” (II Cor. 9:8, ELT).
4. Covetousness is selfishness.
C. WHAT IS COVETING?
1. The first word covet is “sparked by things seen with the eyes,” i.e., your neighbors’ house. The second word, covet is “driven by deep inward desire, i.e., lust after a neighbor’s wife.
2. These two words cover the whole spectrum of coveting, i.e., outward attraction and inward lust.
3. The Tenth Commandment is a major change from the previous Ninth Commandment:
The first nine: behavior.
The tenth: inward lust and greed.
4. We break the first nine because of the tenth.
The tenth deals with motives, i.e., violating the law before breaking it.
The tenth reveals the dark regions of our heart.
D. WE ALL BREAK THE TENTH
1. Babies wanting other’s toys.
2. Teens wanting the physical attractiveness of another.
3. At the gym wanting the physique of another.
4. Men wanting the SUV of another.
5. Women wanting the outfit or slim body of another.
6. Workers discontented with their computer because
another has more gadgets.
7. Parents wanting their kids to be like others.
E. WHY COVETING IS WRONG?
1. Most think it is all right to think, as long as you don’t act on it.
2. It’s all right to look, just don’t touch.
3. It’s natural to fantasize about stuff.
4. All men look.
5. What comes out of your heart makes you unclean. “What comes out of a person makes them dirty, for out of your heart comes evil fantasizing, urges to take, desires to do away with others, sexual lust, greed, hatred, desire to sneak, sexual liberties . . . all these evil appetites come from within to make a person dirty” (Mark 7:20-23, ELT).
6. People don’t become evil by their friends, their environment, circumstance, or lack of money; people hatch evil in their heart.
7. People break the Tenth Commandment because of what they hatch in their hearts.
8. People eventually act out what is in their mind and heart.
Coveting is like a pressure cooker.
Coveting destroys inward peace.
F. THE BIG THREE LIES
1. Lie One: Everyone wants stuff, so it must be all right to want.
2. Lie Two: When you get what you want, it quenches your craving.
3. Lie Three: Wanting stuff is just my competitive urge to get ahead of my neighbor.
G. CONTROLLING COVETING
1. I can control my heart. “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the source of your life” (Prov. 4:23, ELT).
2. God can help me control my heart. “I will give you a new heart, and give you a new spirit; I will take away your evil heart and give you a tender heart” (Ez. 36:26, ELT).
3. Make Christ the Lord. “Set Christ as Lord of your heart” (I Peter 3:15, ELT).
4. One obedience will lead to more obedience. “Now you have purified your heart by obeying the truth, so you will have a sincere love for others” (I Peter 1:22, ELT).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart: