In this sermon, Pastor Babij teaches on the last of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not covet.” Using Scripture, Pastor Babij shows that the purpose of this commandment is to promote contentment with one’s station in life rather than covetousness. Pastor Babij further explains that it is not wrong to want to better one’s station in life and or to desire better things; a person sins, however, when he wishes to take something from someone else or when his desire for something replaces love of God.
Exodus chapter 20 – we are on the Tenth Commandment, which is the last one. The First Commandment, I mentioned, means recognizing that He alone is God. That He is to have first place in our hearts and our lives. The worship of anything or anyone other than the redeemer God is absolutely prohibited by Scripture.
Secondly, man must not attempt to make any visible representation of the invisible God. To do so is to degrade Him and to distort His holiness. Furthermore, the idol that is intended to represent God as an aid to worship eventually becomes God in the minds of its worshippers.
Thirdly, we have the responsibility of taking up the name of God and are responsible for His reputation before a lost and a dying world, by treating His name with honor, respect, and reverence in our thoughts, our words and our deeds.
Fourthly, We have the responsibility of one day in seven to attend God’s honor and our soul.
Fifthly, we have the responsibility to honor fathers and mothers.
Sixthly, we have the responsibility to care for and protect other’s welfare and physical life.
Seventhly, we have the responsibility to honor the marriage institution by remaining faithful to one’s own spouse and by respecting the marriages of other people.
Eighthly, the responsibility for honesty to be the policy and practice of God’s people.
Ninth, the responsibility for all God’s people to value and maintain accurate testimony.
This Lord’s day, we have come to the last of the commandments, verse 17 of Exodus 20, where the Bible says:
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female serving or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
So the Tenth Commandant, the responsibility for all God’s people to be checking up on their inner longings for things, and to be satisfied and to be content with what we have.
Most of us who’s here today know what it means to grow up in the middle of a society, with a constant urge for things. We’re bombarded with it everyday. So the temptation to break this Commandment is very real for us every single day. See, our hearts already lean towards this sin. For example, a five year old boy excitedly announced to his parents that the boy down the street was going to get his very own clubhouse. His daddy is going to build it for him, reported the boy, and it’s going to be big. And it’s going to be in his backyard. And it’s going to be his and nobody else’s. I wish I could have a clubhouse. He’s lucky, offered the five year old boy. Then with a puzzled look on his face, the youngster asked his father: what is a clubhouse? See, although the little boy didn’t know what his neighbor was getting, he didn’t want to be without it himself, whatever it was. Covetousness was already in his heart.
So this morning, the principal that we have in the Tenth Commandment is that of the command given. And this is very simple. Lot of times you’ll see it listed as: you shall not covet, without the rest of the the passage of Scripture. In fact, we find in Deuteronomy, which is the second law the more, in a sense, practical out-working of the law. We find this in Deuteronomy 5:21:
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house.
And so on. It takes the word “covet” and it translates it into the word “desire”. See, the Tenth commandment communicates the responsibility for all God’s people to check up on their inner longings for things and to be satisfied and to be content with what we have. That’s what it does. You shall not covet is a short version.
But there is a distinctiveness in the Tenth Commandment that the other nine commandments do not have. The Tenth Commandment has a distinctiveness about it that makes it different from the rest in three different ways.
The first is that there is nothing comparable in other cultures that even approaches the law of coveting. Secondly, the Tenth Commandment exposes one’s intention instead of addressing overt action. And thirdly, the Tenth Commandment uniquely reveals the nature of one’s own sinfulness in a very huge way.
Now, the definition of the Hebrew term “covet” is the word that simply means to acquire or to crave, to desire. Deuteronomy 7:25 says:
The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.
And then other passages of Scripture like, for example, Joshua chapter 6, where it says this:
But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban…
Then of course, Joshua again brings it up in chapter 7 verse 21 and it says:
when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver in a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them;
There is an order that the Bible actually bears out for us. The order is always the same: I saw; I covet; I took. And sometimes it’s I coveted it and I took, and sometimes it’s just I coveted it. Two positions on the meaning of the word “coveted” is important for you and I to know when considering these two passages that I just mentioned in the Scripture. We can see that there is a process going on within the human heart. Which really has led to two positions as to how the term covet is to be understood in reference to the violation of the Ten Commandment.
The first position is this: the commandant has violated only when a person follows through and takes what he desires. That’s the first position. The second position is this: the commandant is violated in the desire or the yearning without the commission of any illicit act to obtain the desired object. Those two things are very important to find out exactly what the Tenth Commandment is getting at.
Now without giving you the answer or letting you know what I think or what the Scripture says ahead of time, I would like to take a necessary detour to examine the thought life that you and I all have.
What comes first, behavior or idea? What comes first? The external act or the internal thought? See, the answer to these questions from a mind that is not void of judgment should be simple. The answer would be: first the idea in the thought life, and then the outward result of the idea. First, there is the internal thought, and then the external act. That is the order that you always find in Scripture. The thoughts are first and they produce the external. Now take, for example, a passage of Scripture from Romans 12:1-2, one that would be familiar to us. But I want you to notice something here. It says here:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Now this is talking about the external activity of a believer. But notice that it cannot be separated from verse number two which says this:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
You see that there is indeed a presenting of our bodies, but this has meaning only on the basis of the understanding of the internal. Not being conformed to the world is not simply external. There must come first an internal renewing of the mind. That is the Christian way of thinking. We are renewed inside of us and therefore we produce what the Spirit of God is producing in us. Another example – take your Bibles for a minute and turn the Ephesians 4:17 and then onward. We’ll look at this. The apostle Paul here also mentions the way the Gentile world thinks, or just the way the world thinks. He tells the Ephesian believers in Ephesians 4:17 this:
So this I say, in affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind…
In other words, they live out their external existence from a mind that is void of reasonings. Why do they do that? Well verse 18 says this:
being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous…
So here is the same order. Their inward, darken, rebellious heart against God produces external acts. And of course, their darken heart produces the end result, which is in Ephesians 4:19:
and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
See, the order is the same: the internal, then the external. So again, noticed a sharp contrast in the way the world thinks and the way the born-again believer’s mind that is transform ought to think. In Ephesians 4, look at verse 20:
But you did not learn Christ this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
So the order is the same again, from the internal renewal of the mind flows the external new manner of life that produces righteousness and produces holiness. To be renewed in the spirit of your mind is not simply a feeling. It is a matter of thoughts in relationship to content. So here are inward thoughts in relationship to specific content of truth, connected with the truth that comes to us through the Word of God. Of course right here in the passage, it says here truth is in Jesus. That comes from Him to us, which produces a holiness in our life.
So turning from that which is false to that which is true. That’s what happens every single day in our Christian life. Turning from that which is foolish to that which is wise. Turning from walking in the flesh to walking in the Spirit. The inward transformation of our mind produces the external results of action, words, deeds, and thoughts, thoughts coming first.
And then turn to Ephesians 5:15 and notice again, the apostle says it like this:
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father, and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
So the Holy Spirit transforming us inwardly in order to produce in us external results, from inside outwardly. That means that true spirituality is a manner of first our thoughts. God is transforming our mind. So here’s the bottom line: moral battles are not won in the external world first. There are always a result of flowing naturally from a cause. And the cause is in the internal world of one’s thoughts.
Jesus emphasized quite strongly in a passage I already mentioned in another message, Matthew chapter 12 where he says:
You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
What Jesus is saying is that: if the internal condition is not right, one cannot bring forth proper results. It’s the same thing. If somebody is not really a believer, they cannot produce what the Spirit of God is producing in a real believer’s heart. You can’t do it on your own. It has to be God doing it through His Word, through His Spirit, through His church, through obeying the Lord in the means of grace that He gives us. It’s what Jesus said on the sermon on the mount, where Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery”; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
And if you noticed there, the thought world is still first. In relation to morals, the thought is the thing. Lusting with evil desire does not just lead to adultery, it is adultery. What was Jesus referring to there? He was referring to the Tenth Commandment. That’s what He was referring to. Because of this link between adultery and lust, generally what the Scripture says about adultery is also true of lust. Jesus added a dimension in that passage that some may not have realized was involved in the seventh commandment: sinning in thought. To look and to lust, to lust with an evil desire, is adultery in God’s sight. That adultery is violating the marriage covenant by engaging in sexual behavior mentally.
Now that’s where people say: wow, that’s what I have not thought about. That’s why most cultures do not have that in their thinking. They say: as long as I’m not hurting anybody, I can do what I want, especially in my own mind. Even if I never act out everything that I am thinking. So here are the the steps. First is the internal. Secondly, the internal causes the external. And thirdly, morally, the internal is central.
Keep in mind that anytime we break one of the Commandments, we have already broken the internal commandment: not covet, which is the Tenth Commandment.
Let me just look at a few other instances in Scripture. You can go back to Genesis. And if you notice in Genesis, we think of the fall of mankind. Genesis 3:6. This is the account of the fall, and we read in verse 6:
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise,
Here is the realization that sin is first internal where moral things are concerned, but it has an external result. In verse 6, she saw, she desired, and then it says:
she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
So right from the start of things, right at the fall of mankind, runs the internal to the external. And here’s an interesting one – Satan himself. Satan, his fall happened prior to the fall of mankind. Also, this one is very very interesting, because Satan is not pictured in the Bible as having a physical body such as we have, or a corporeal heart like we have. Yet look where sin is identified in Satan in this passage of Scripture. Notice here in Isaiah, it says:
But you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
See the rebellion of Satan is first internal and then external. And it flows from that. His thoughts, his will, his emotions are now all involved to rebel against God, to want to be like God. Therefore, he was cast out of God’s presence and he was cast to the earth. Then he tempts Eve with the temptation by twisting the truth of God to get her to believe what she thought was true but actually was a lie.
And of course we can use David. I’ve used David before, but what does he doing in his sin with Bathsheba? It says he saw, he inquired about the woman, and he took her, and of course he laid with her.
So we have traveled this winding road in order to show you the consistency of Scripture on this particular matter. That you can see that the second position best understands the sense of the Tenth Commandment. See the goal of coveting is the possession of what is coveted, whether the possession is acquired or not. So then the desire itself is the transgression of the law. What makes the Tenth Commandment so different than all the rest of them – the desire to carry out the wrong was itself wrong.
Like the Word of God says about humanity before the flood:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
So desire without actions constitute coveting, which is a violation of the Tenth Commandment. Thus, coveting means having thoughts of taking or acquiring someone else’s possession, an evil desire that is always contrary to the will of God. Even if that person never acquires what they desire, the sin is in the desire. Because it will ultimately lead there. Remember God examines us based on what’s going on in our heart. We learned that as Christians.
What am I thinking about? What’s going on in my life that would even bring me to the place where I would violate this command? It’s going to be where we examine our desires. What do we want? What are we thinking about? What are our goals in life? Can we identify the desires of where we sin? because we live in a society that says I want. I want. I want. This is an “I want” society.
So as we think about that, the principal in this Tenth Commandment related today, there’s several things I want to look at. And it just seems like that because we live in this “I want” society, few are satisfied with what they have. There’s a prevalent dissatisfaction in the minds and the lives of most people, even though we can acquire almost anything we want. I mean, with Amazon, you can get on the internet. You say: I think I need that. Boom. It’s at your door, maybe that same day. That’s how quick we can fulfill our desires today. We don’t have to wait. No snail mail anymore. We can have it right now. Desire is often stimulated by sight, as we have already seen in the previous passages.
If we look again at the Tenth Commandment and consider at the practical human level, how does it work out realistically? Kevin DeYoung offer some realistic ways that we can be led in our thoughts into a violation of the Tenth Commandment. Look back at Exodus 20:17. Here’s the first one. It says:
you shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
Well, how would that look? How would that look in our thoughts? Man, they sure have a lot of nice stuff. Their house is so nice and well kept. They live in such a nice neighborhood. I wish that I lived in a nice neighborhood like that and had a house like that. I wish that.
And then verse 17:
you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…
Wow. She is beautiful. Why couldn’t my wife look like that all the time? I wish I had married someone like her. I’d be much happier if I didn’t marry my wife. Look at her husband – he’s always so friendly. His kids are are always so nice and helpful. He’s helpful around the house. He fixes things, not just breaks them. Why am I stuck with my husband when there are other men out there?
What about the next part of the verse:
you shall not covet your neighbor’s…male servant or female servant or his ox or his donkey.
That includes everything else. Man, my car is a piece of junk. My car can be categorized as a jalopy because it is. I’m fixing the thing all the time. It’s not fair. All my friends take great vacations. They go to the Grand Canyon. They go to Disney World. Some go to Hawaii and Europe. We’re lucky if we go to Grandma’s for the summer. Why am I stuck in this loser job? I wish my kids were more like their kids. Why do I have these lame parents?
And then: you shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
I wish I could be smart like him. My life would be so much better if I looked like her. Why couldn’t I get a normal family? Why can’t I run and jump and throw and be as strong as my friends? Why is everything in my life hard when everything for everyone else is so easy?
You see how easy coveting could be? You see how easily we can slip? You know what, you and I have had thoughts like this. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not wrong to want things. It’s not wrong to have a wishlist. It’s not wrong to make your lot better than it is. It’s not wrong to do those things. Where it is wrong is where it goes, how far it goes. If it goes to scheming about taking something that really doesn’t belong to you, that God will never give you, that will never be yours. All right, that’s where you don’t want it to go.
You also don’t want to go to another place I’ll mention in the second. Why is that? The new testament considers covetousness a great sin. In fact, if you take your Bibles and turn there, there’s a few passage of Scripture to look up. Colossians 3:5. It says, first of all, that covetousness is on the same level as idolatry. Colossians 3:5, it says:
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
And then noticing in Ephesians 5:5. A second one is this: that covetousness is actually equated with immorality and impurity and must be put away. It says in Ephesians 5:5:
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
So this whole point of covetousness and idolatry go together because really when you’re coveting something, your desire is actually worshipping it to the point you want it. You want it in your possession. You want to see it with your eyes. You want to have it. You must have it.
And then of course in Romans chapter 1, this sin is included with the sins that identify man’s total depravity or his total inability. It says in Romans 1:29:
being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips…
So greed, covetousness, inordinate desire are frequently addressed together in the same passage of Scripture. In other words, the Tenth Commandment expresses sin where sin cannot be seen. This is where it is uniquely different. Who brings this out in a very very unique way? well, it’s our own apostle Paul in Scripture. As I just mentioned, this tenth commandment exposes sin where sin cannot be seen, because it is hidden in the human heart.
Now I’d like everybody to turn to Romans chapter 7 and I want you to notice: why does Paul bring up this Commandment and not all the other nine Commandments? I’ll tell you why ahead of time, while you’re turning to Romans 7. It’s because of this: Paul was keeping the Commandments. Not perfectly, but he was keeping them, until he came to this Commandment. Then he lost it. In other words, I can keep the nine, but the tenth destroys me. It undoes me. I cannot do it. It condemns me. And notice what it says Romans 7, beginning in verse 7, it says this:
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin?
Question. The answer to that is, of course, right there:
May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
Let me just stop there for a minute. So this is what it’s saying there: there’s nothing wrong with the law. What’s all wrong is my sinful heart and your sinful heart. That’s what’s wrong. The Tenth Commandment brings out the internal thoughts and recesses of the sinful heart. It brings it to the surface. That’s what it does. That’s what it is designed to do. It shows us how much we need to be rescued from the condemnation of the law. And who could rescue us? Christ Himself. He’s the One who will rescue us. And then notice the rest of the passage in verse 8, it says:
But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment,
that’s the Tenth Commandment:
produced me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
What did that? The Tenth Commandment did that. Because all the other nine commandments are external. I can keep them outwardly. But the Tenth Commandment is internal. It exposes what I’m thinking. It exposes what I desire. That’s what it exposes. That’s why he brings that out in Romans chapter 7. He says: here’s the result of the Tenth Commandment. I thought I was doing fine until this Commandment rose up, convicted me of coveting, and killed me. And showed me I wasn’t doing very well at all. I was under God’s condemnation and judgment and I needed to be delivered from that, and I couldn’t do that myself. That’s why Paul came to Christ. He came to Christ understanding these things, as a Pharisee, as a teacher.
Again, without turning there, you know the story about the rich young ruler. When Christ came to the rich young ruler, he came and he says: Lord, how can I have eternal life? Man, what a question is that, right? Every evangelist wants people to ask him: how can I have eternal life, right? This is how the conversation goes:
Someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and your mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these things I’ve kept; what am I still lacking?”
And what did Jesus say to him?
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.
What was Jesus pointing out, without saying the Tenth Commandment? He was pointing out this in the young man’s heart: that you love money and possessions more than you love God. Possessions and money are the idol on your heart. That’s what you covet, and what you want. And it shows that’s exactly what he wanted, because when he heard what Jesus said to do, he walked away grieved. Why? It just showed what he loved the most. He loved his stuff. So Jesus pointed out that the man loved his stuff more than he love God. And while he pointed that out, the rich man failed to see that he was a covetous man. He kept all the other commandments, but not the Tenth Commandment cuz the Tenth Commandment went right to the heart of the matter and exposed him. But him being exposed had a different outcome than Paul being exposed. He walked away. Paul didn’t. He repented.
So again, don’t misunderstand that there are good desires. It is not wrong to desire a better job. Or to improve on your present situation in life. It is not the desire itself. Coveting is more than just thinking you want something. Coveting is: I must have it, no matter what.
So, how can you tell that if you are heading down the road to committing the sin? Well, you have to do kind of a check up on your own heart. The check up would be this: there could be two major reasons. First of all, it would be: when you desire something or someone that is not yours to have. Coveting is what you want for yourself. And what belongs to someone else. Coveting is longing for other people’s stuff to be your stuff. I want his car. I want his house. I want his eighty inch high definition TV. I want his money. I want his looks. I want his strength. Did you know that the average family in the United States owe between four and eight thousand dollars on their credit cards on a regular basis? This is from the credit card company. Hopefully none of you are like that. But it’s just I want. I want her clothes. I want her jewelry. I want his tools. I want his job. I want her husband. I want his wife. I must have it, and I will start to figure out how to make his property my property.
That’s what coveting is. A person coveting only thinks of what is good for them, or what would make their life better, without considering others or considering what God thinks about it. They are not thanking God for what He has given them. They are more likely to think God has short-changed them. God gave this to someone else but He didn’t give it to me, but I should have it. God gave that opportunity to that person, but He didn’t give it to me, but I should have that opportunity. This person who got the job – I’m more qualified for that job and should have that job, but they got the job. They think that God short-changed them. They are thinking more about what money and possessions can do for them than what God can do for them. They simply want the fleeting pleasures of this world system instead of the lasting better things that God gives His children. So it can leave there. But this is the worst of where it leads.
Secondly, when our desires reflect an expression and they express and reflect discontentment. The great reformer St.Augustine wrote: the cure for covetousness and greed may be found in an attitude of humbleness and contentment with what God has provided for you. In other words, people should be content with what God provides. The believer should be satisfied with what God sovereignly has given them this moment and in their life. You may never obtain what God doesn’t want you to have or obtain, because it is not yours in the first place.
The apostle Paul told young Timothy that God’s people should be satisfied with the basic necessities of life. You have food in your stomach? Good. You have clothes your back? Good. Got a place to hang your hat? That’s good. If that’s all you had, that’s good. Look what he says here in this passage of Scripture, he says:
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
That’s where we ought to live. If we live there, if we live at that particular point, God made give you things that you may have desired in a good way later on in His timing, but he may not. In this short life, He may not. So am I and are you going to be content right now with what we have, with the situation that we’re in, with the job that we have, with the family that we have, with the possessions we have. Are we going to be satisfied, to be content? Matter of fact, if we go back one passage from this passage of Scripture, it says this:
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
So are you content? Paul says in Philippians:
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Paul says he learned the secret of contentment. That’s what we have to learn. You may not be there right now, but that’s what we need to learn. When we learn that, that is going to be a milestone in every Christian’s life. If I have prosperity, I’m not going to trust the prosperity and not trust God anymore. If I somehow don’t have it anymore, and I’m poor, i’m not going to curse God because I’m in a situation of poverty now. See, I learned like Paul to be content in any circumstances because his sufficiency is in Christ. Whatever I have or you have or don’t have in your life, God providentially and sovereignly has allowed it, and I can trust Him. I can trust Him.
So what will the desires of your heart reveal? Gold or God? Sinful greed or spiritual growth? Covetousness or contentment? My wants or God’s will? Which one? A simple question was asked to a wealthy man named John Wanamaker. He was asked this: how much of this world’s things does it take to satisfy a man? His answer was: just a little more.
Let me end with this passage of Scripture: Hebrews 13:5:
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
That is an incredible passage of Scripture that ties it all together. The Lord’s going to be faithful to us, His kids. He knows how to take care of His kids. He gives good gifts to His kids. He knows what’s good for you, and He knows what’s bad for you. And that’s what we’re going to receive from God, from His hand. And that’s where we need to be satisfied. Thank You Lord, for what I have. And if this person over here has way more than me, thank You that You’ve given it to them. But You haven’t given it to me and that’s all right, because that’s the lot I have right now. I’m going to be content and satisfied with it.
So, be checking up on your inner longings for things. Be satisfied and be content with what God has allowed you to have. For some less, for some more. Really, all God’s children are actually very wealthy. The reason why is because we know God, but even better than that, He knows us. See, that’s why we’re wealthy. So whatever comes in this life, this is a message, I believe, that springs from the Tenth Commandment that is very convicting and very practical. It’s easily understood when you get the intent of this Commandment, that coveting exposes the very desires of our heart.
Let’s pray. Lord, this morning we do thank you. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your kindness to us, Lord, even giving us the Word of God, allowing us to unfold it, unpack it, see its significance, and then, Lord, apply it to our own situation in life and our own heart. And Lord, all of us have been guilty of committing this sin. I just pray, Lord, from this day forward, we would be more wary and careful of examining our own desires. If we detect in our heart that we have committed and broke broken this Commandment, Lord, I pray that we would repent of it.
Lord, we thank you that we don’t live under the condemnation of the Commandments anymore. We live under the law of Christ, because you’ve taken our load. You’ve taken the justice and the wrath of God for us. Lord, that is not where we are to live, but we are to live in the freedom of Christ. But, Lord, that freedom of Christ is to walk in the Spirit, and to not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
And so I pray, Lord, you would allow us everyday to be aware of these things, aware of everything that’s going on in our thoughts, what we’re really desiring, wanting, and how we’re going about to get it. I just pray, Lord, that we would find ourselves organizing things in our own mind and heart life that pleases You and honors You. I pray, Lord, ultimately that we would learn everyday to be content with what we have, what you have given, so we can give You thanks and we can give You praise for it all. And I pray in Jesus Christ name. Amen.