Thou Shalt Not Covet

The Tenth Commandment

God has set forth before his people what is required of them in their relationship to Him and their fellow man. The choice is simple: covetousness, greed, and lust is the foundation of evil desires and peace, contentment, and gladness is the foundation for freedom from strife.

Good day to you, each of you reading this lesson on the Tenth Commandment.

We are nearing the end of the Biblical laws that shape our lives both spiritually, mentally and physically.

The Ten Commandments are not just words nor sayings to be read and discarded but they “are to be written in our hearts and minds”. It is easy to say this in a turbulent world, but it should be great relief that we have Godly laws to govern our mind and body personally.

Each Commandment is just that, a commandment from God designated for his people to abide, follow, and pass on to the following generations. These are “commands” from God and if we, his people, abide and follow these commands, then we will receive the blessings as shown in Deuteronomy 28 or we will receive the curses. This is our choice and with all choices comes either the blessings or the curses.

Let us turn to Exodus 20: 17 (FF) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; or his manservant, or his maid-servant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Now, turn to Luke 12:15 (NIV) (Jesus) Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Here is the basis or the “double witness” to the Tenth Commandment for here you see that covet and greed are interchangeable in meaning. Look at how God has broken down Exodus 20:17—this begins with the neighbor’s house and inside the house or property is the neighbor’s wife along with the neighbor’s servants and then on the outside of the property is the neighbor’s possessions such as his animals, land, equipment, and means of transportation.

Oh, the wicked web we weave, when we practice to deceive…

God has covered “all the bases” showing man not to be greedy or to lust after another man’s possessions. Covetousness, greed, and lust leads to men to commit murder, adultery, stealing property that belongs to his neighbor and resulting into giving false testimony. Oh, the wicked web we weave, when we practice to deceive—I heard that from a recent Andy Griffith episode and thought this the perfect place to get the point across.

Turn with me to Micah 2:1-2 (NIV) Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance.

Unfortunately, we have seen this happen in our lands and many of you have either experienced this or had someone in your family experience this in their lifetime. The outcome, in many cases of violation of the tenth commandment is bloodshed and violence.

Psalms 37:21-22 (NIV) The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off. Psalms 112:5 (NIV) Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.

In today’s society, have our countries fallen under the philosophy “of the person who has the most toys wins?”, are you gauged by personal status through less than desirable means? Do you wish to covet power and wealth for your own gain?

Do you conduct your affairs with justice or for self?

Turning to the national level, countries today are destroying competition for commercial supremacy and coveting world markets to the very point of bringing on war to take that which is coveted.

We have all but forgotten that “The earth is the Lord’s and fulness thereof” as said in Psalms and that we are caretakers of the land from God. Ah, but covetousness and greed have entered into equation with the advent of mortgage foreclosures, tax sales, government sales, and interest charges imposed to acquire the property and possessions of one’s neighbor at a greatly reduced rate.

God has set forth before his people what is required of them in their relationship to Him and their fellow man. The choice is simple: covetousness, greed, and lust is the foundation of evil desires and peace, contentment, and gladness is the foundation for freedom from strife.

This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it—No matter the weather, no matter the time; may you always bless God, and keep God in mind.

Thank you for reading this column and I look forward to writing the next column.

Jeff