Summary: You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s. Do you ever ask, "Why not me, Lord?"
Dakota Community Church
September 7, 2014
Summer Series at Dakota: The 10 Commandments
You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s.
Do you ever complain about your lot in life relative to someone else?
Why can she sing like that you sound like someone is torturing a duck?
Why does that coworker always get the breaks?
How come you can’t have that marriage, or that inheritance, or that giftedness, or those looks?
Why does he butcher the scripture and preach silly drivel yet leads a mega church?
When I want what God has given to someone else - I am coveting.
We think this is a virtue in our day.
We teach our children to covet, not to be satisfied. “Just wait your turn for it.”
Almost all advertising is designed to tempt you to covet.
When your blessing leaves me feeling bitter or cheated - I am coveting.
1. Coveting is the catch-all sin
There is no one who is not guilty AND it’s obvious!
Commandment #10 is a restatement of the previous 9.
I violate commandment #1 when I covet God’s authority.
I violate commandment #3 when I covet God’s glory.
I violate commandment #7 when I covet my neighbours wife.
I violate commandment #8 when I covet my neighbours possessions.
All of the evangelical catechisms, Lutheran and reformed, see the tenth commandment as a summary of the preceding five: the second table of the law, laying out our duty to neighbour.
This commandment deals not with the criminal actions of law breakers, but with the heart of every man.
God is not only concerned with our actions, as Jesus would echo in the sermon on the mount; God holds us responsible for the motives and intents of the heart.
This is the commandment that catches everyone who is slow to realize their sinful condition.
According to George Barna in The Barna Report: 1991-92 (Ventura, California: Regal, 1992) most Christians believe they obey the Ten Commandments.
No other God’s 76%
Honour parents 77%
Do not murder 93%
No adultery 82%
No theft 86%
A full 48% do not believe they have fallen short of God’s glory by lying!
53% of evangelicals insist that they are completely following the 10th commandment.
Because we have lost the understanding of law and gospel in evangelicalism we have no sense of the urgency of our condition.
We believe we are “fine” because we don’t know what is expected of us.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
2. Learning contentment
How many of you feel something rise up in resistance to this idea before I even expound on it.
That doesn’t sound like I’m about to discover the champion in me.
Pastor Dan, are you a dream thief?
You’re not suggesting that I’m not special or that God doesn’t have a big special purpose for me… are you?
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Wealth is not proof of God’s blessing or proof of wickedness and neither is poverty.
What God wants is for us to find contentment in Him no matter what our station, whether it changes or stays the same.
Before the tar and feathering begins let’s do the Barean thing and see if the scriptures concur.