Summary: Tenth Commandment


“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).

“I say to you, don’t look on your neighbor’s wife with impure intentions, lest you commit adultery in your heart” (Matthew 5:28).

“Don’t lust after stuff . . . but seek first My rule in your life, and do the right thing, and your stuff will make you happy” (Matthew 6:30, 33, ELT).


1. Consumerism. You follow a new “religion.” You are constantly preached at to buy newer . . . faster . . . bigger . . . and largest.

2. “Seek first the kingdom of ‘stuff’ and you 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.


1. Coveting is seeing what you don’t have, and wanting what your neighbor has; therefore, coveting puts us in competition with your neighbor. You don’t see your neighbor as I see him/her.

2. Coveting keeps you from seeing Me fully. “I will not withhold any good thing from you” (Psa. 84:11).

3. Coveting keeps you from enjoying My provision. “I am able to make all grace abound to you so that you will be satisfied in all ways with all things” (2 Cor. 9:8, ELT).

4. Covetousness is selfishness.


1. The first Hebrew word covet is “sparked by outward 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. You 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 your heart.


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.


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.


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.


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. I can help control your 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 Me your Lord. “Set Me as Lord of your heart” (1 Peter 3:15, ELT).

4. First 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” (1 Peter 1:22, ELT).

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