Coveting
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

 

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor>” (Ex. 20:17)

                There was some kind of thorn in Paul’s flesh and three times he asked God to remove it.  Finally, God answered, “Paul, Paul, my grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in your weakness.”  From that passage we get the notion that God is sufficient and provides efficiently for us.  That means that what we get is what God wants us to have and we should praise Him for everything – for the morning dew, the evening sunset, the things that come out right and the things that don’t.  God gives to us according to His desire for our lives and the cries of our hearts.

                Fundamentally, the 10th commandment may very well be the hardest one for those of us in such a materialistic culture to keep.  We have developed an economic system intent on separating us from our God.  We want what others have and work diligent to achieve it.  And when we do, we learn it was never worthy of our thoughts, energy, and time.  Once we have what Jones A has, then we just simply switch to Jones B who has more than Jones A.  And the cycle goes on and on.  When John D. Rockefeller was asked, “How much is enough?”, he replied, “Just a little more.”  We can never have enough when our god is the god of money and stuff.

                The writer of Hebrews said, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”  (Heb. 13:5)  The modern adage of that is, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” (Isn’t it funny how worthy modern adages always seem to have their roots in God’s Word?)  But the Scripture takes it farther than the moderns.  The reason it says we should be content with what we have is because God said, “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you.”  We can be content because we have exactly what God wants us to have.

                You see, the reason coveting is a sin is that we are simply saying, “God you are not enough for us.  I am not happy with who you made me to be. “We covet peoples’ spouses, money, and stuff because we don’t thank God has blessed us enough.  We covet their spouses, because we believe that that person God moved heaven and earth to put us with is not worthy of our [looks, ability, financial status, or desires – fill in the blank].  Coveting is one of the devil’s greatest tools in separating us from our God.  For when we say, God is not enough, the only place to look is to His enemy.  And the devil is always on stand-by to introduce us to a world full of sensual, materialistic, and passionate desires.  For when we meet those things, our life with God will be destroyed.

                It’s easy to want what others have, but before we get green with envy, let’s stop and look at just how happy they are.  Are the Hollywood starlets with the beautiful faces and sculpted bodies happy in their marriages and content with their possessions?  No, they are teaching America the art of nasty divorce and crazy court settlements.  Have the wealthy achieved a level of earthly contentment?  Look who jumps from buildings when the stock market tumbles.  Are those with fine homes happy?  Ask them and they will either tell you what is wrong with their homes or they will tell you they would gladly switch mortgages with you.  Either way, they are either wanting more, or regretting what they have.

                God’s grace is sufficient for us – every day.  And when we are content in that we are acknowledging that we trust His promise: “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you.”  So in the end, the 10th commandment is like all the rest.  It is designed to keep our focus on the first four – honor God with our worship, our lips, time, and our lives.  And if we will keep these commands, we will draw closer to God; have a better life; and leave a beautiful footprint upon the earth.


Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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