Text: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.”
Good morning, contented Christian! In the Sovereign and good will of the Lord God Jehovah, in Christ Jesus, you and I should be more than content and perfectly satisfied with our lot in life. We deserve nothing but Hell and torment forever in the Lake of Eternal Fire – because we are born sinners, and guilty of grossly committed sins. Fact. Yet, the Lord God in His great mercy and grace has granted us faith to believe and receive His Salvation, through the Cross of full Atonement, by the willing Sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Now, this is a thought that should lift up a word of praise to our Lord God on this His day! Hallelujah! Thanks be to God for His wonderful gift of Eternal Salvation from sin!
However, knowing that true, Spiritually regenerate, Christians should be more than content at all times, can often belie the fact that sometimes we are not! Sometimes we too begin to murmur at our lot in life, and quickly turn to coveting the things and positions and situations that some other individuals possess. Does this describe you today, brother? Does this describe you today, sister? In my depth of self-honesty, I must confess it sometimes describes me, and brings my thoughts under conviction of the dangers of this coveting.
“But let a man/woman examine himself, and so let him/her eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he/she that eateth and drinketh (at the Lord’s Table) unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s Body.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29)
When we are serious Christians, we must often examine ourselves, our thought-life; our deeds; our secret covetousness of the lot and possessions of others – for if we judge ourselves to have sinned, then we may bring our sins to the Lord for His, ever given, forgiveness and renewed sanctification. (1 John 1:7-10)
There are no such things as ‘hidden sins’ from the all-seeing Lord God Jehovah!
“For if we would judge ourselves (to have sinned), we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)
So, let us examine more closely this sin called ‘coveting’, and seek to avoid it better.
Dictionary Definition: Covet – (verb transitive) to desire or wish for eagerly; to wish for (something belonging to another). (adjective) covetous - inordinately desirous; avaricious (greedy desire). (The Chambers Dictionary, page 377)
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
Thus we learn that God forbids our coveting, or greedily desiring, our neighbour’s wife; manservant; maidservant; his ox, or his ass, ‘nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.’
Our neighbour can be anyone, anywhere, in all circumstances we can perceive, not just the guy/lady who lives next door or in the general area. We are not to crave anything belonging to anyone else, or ardently pursue the acquisition of it for ourselves! Take heed, Christian!
Marks of a Covetous Person: The covetous person is very easily detected in any given society – for he/she lacks one vital human attribute continually in his/her life: contentment!
The covetous spirit within the breast of man/woman always wants MORE; always and often obsessively desires not only some possession that someone else currently has, but needs to have that something - only a bigger, faster, more expensive, more ornate, newer, version of it for themselves!
Listen to the words of Rolling Stone band-member, Mick Jagger, singing his song, ‘I can’t get no...satisfaction...I can’t get no...satisfaction...’ and you are listening to the song of someone who is totally trapped by the sin of covetousness. God forbids covetousness!
The covetous person is further identified by the fact that, once he/she purchases the object coveted – even the bigger/more compact; faster; more expensive; more ornate; newer version of it – and has it for a little while, he/she very quickly tires of the novelty of it, and, having no real satisfaction for what he/she has acquired, finds no real contentment in it, and soon begins to covet something else. The covetous spirit is never content or satisfied. Beware!
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man/woman of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on Eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:10-12)
The Scriptures, in 2 Samuel, chapter 11, reveal a most poignant illustration story of covetousness, leading to gross sin; and then on to adultery, deception, and murder – and all committed by king David, ‘...a man after God’s own heart...’ (1 Samuel 13:14)
There is a most important lesson here for each of us who see ourselves as ‘mature in the faith’ Christian men and women: our hearts, being ‘...deceitful above all things and desperately wicked’..., can get quickly caught up in covetousness which IS not only disobedient sin, but can lead to the most grievous sins as a consequence. Flee covetousness!
“Incline my heart (inner essence) unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way.” (Psalm 119:36-37)
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which thing’s sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” (Colossians 3:5-6)
Seeking to live close to the Lord God – in the study of His Word, in fellowship with His people; and in prayerful communion with Him, will keep us well guarded against the sin of covetousness. Being grateful for all the Lord has done for us, in Christ Jesus, will cause our very souls to rest in the satisfaction of full Christian contentment. Be faithful, beloved.
Thought: “But Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
(1 Timothy 6:6)
(1 Timothy 6:6)