Commandment – “You Shall Not Covet”

Background

It is a house of matured faith.

And, so let us deal with one of the ten commandments.

 

Thou shall not covet

Outline

  1. Introduction
    • Law Book
    • Commandment
  2. Toolset
  3. Bible Figure
    • Abraham
    • Samuel
    • Elisha
    • Paul
  4. Proverbs
    • Loving Discipline and Knowledge
  5. Identifying Coveoutness
    • Ministries
      • People Focused
    • Self
      • Systems
      • Those of God

 

Introduction

Law Book

God could very well have settled on nine commandments or placed a different sin in its place.

But, somehow he saw fit to place “Do not covet“.

 

Commandment

Exodus 20:17

Link

…You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, or his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Toolset

Unfortunately, coveteousness is a system that the devil has us build to breach our hearts.

 

Biblical Figures

Let us look at a few biblical figures and see how they safeguarded their hearts against covetousness.

Abraham

Genesis 14:23

Link

Melchizedek Blesses Abram
…But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will not accept even a thread, or a strap of a sandal, or anything that belongs to you, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’  I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share for the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. They may take their portion.”

 

In Genesis 14:23, Abraham, your father of faith, confesses to having sworn to the most-high God.

He says and states:-

I will not accept even a thread, or a strap of a sandal, or anything that belongs to you

His reasonings are not many.

But, simple:-

I do not want you to say, I have made Abram rich.

In essence, the reasons are not on him.

But, that he does not wish the King of Sodom, to use his faculties, to surmise “I made Abram rich“.

 

Samuel

1st Samuel 12:3

Link

Here I am. Bear witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox or donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged or oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe and closed my eyes? Testify against me, and I will restore it to you.

In 1st Samuel 12:3, Samuel, guided by the Holy Spirit, went in front of his people and asked them to examine and critique his service and conduct:-

  1. Here I am
  2. Bear witness against me before the Lord and before his anointed
  3. Speak to my conduct
    • Whose Ox and Donkey
    • Whom have I wronged to oppress?
    • Whose hand have I accepted a bribe and closed my eyes
  4. Testify against me
  5. I will restore it

 

Elisha

2nd Kings 5:16

Link

But Elisha replied, “As surely as the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will not accept it.”
And although Naaman urged him to accept it, he refused.

In 2nd Kings 5:16, we sense Elisha’s deference to God as he responds to Naaman:-

As surely as the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will not accept it.

He is equivocal in stating God lives and as long as God lives, I will not accept it.

And, why Not?

I, Elisha, stand before a holy God.

 

2nd Kings 5:26

Link

Gehazi’s Greed and Leprosy

But Elisha questioned him, “Did not my spirit go with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to accept money and clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, menservants and maidservants?

In 2nd Kings 5:26, we see Elisha speaking of God’s spirit in him.

A spirit of covering, a spirit of discernment.

He admonishes Gehazi by asking him “Is this the time to accept money and all else thereof“?

 

Paul

Acts 20:33

Link

Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesians:-

…And now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have ministered to my own needs and those of my companions.…

 

In Acts 20 ungirdled by the Holy Spirit, Apostle Paul bid farewell to the Ephesians:-

  1. He commits them to God
  2. God’s word and the purpose of God’s words
    • Build you up
    • Give you an inheritance among all those sanctified
  3. He has not coveted
    • Anyone’s Silver
    • Anyone’s Gold
    • Anyone’s Clothing
  4. Workman
    • He contends he is a workman
    • In Ministry
      • Teaching
      • Writing
      • Helping to set up churches
    • And, as a laity
      • He has held a job outside of ministry and worked hard
  5. Covering Work
    • The labor of his hands has been used to serve him and his fellow workmen

 

Proverbs

Loving Discipline & Knowledge

Proverbs 12:19, Proverbs 12:20

Link
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Link
Deceit is in the hearts of those who devise evil, but the counselors of peace have joy.

Unfortunately, there is a time constraint & restraint on covetousness.

It is a sugar high.

One can only covet for so long.

One can only hide sin for a season.

Those with the spirit of God can sense covetousness.

They might put up with it for a while.

But, even then, it possesses us, and its ends it does not earn us what we secretly and shamelessly coveted.

 

 

Identifying Coveoutness

Ministries

People Focused

Every time you see a minister deeply focused on other’s ministry.

Every time you hear a minister abandon teaching on holiness.

Every time you observe a ministry abandon verse by verse teaching, beloved, know, and understand that the evil one has captured his thoughts and imagination.

Self

Systems

Unfortunately, as the evil one works on us, his system teaches us.

We undertake setting up subsystems to ensure our coveteousness.

We say to ourselves if I do it this way, if I do it that way, I will get more.

 

 

Those of God

Those of God, with the gift of discernment, will see and sense our heart’s disposition and hardening.

They will take steps to firewall and heal themselves and those they are responsible for.

 

Beloved

Beloved, Coveteousness is a gateway drug.

It is a gateway sin to other sins.

It softens and wets our hearts and appetites.

 

Prayer

Holy and Righteous father:-

Allow us into your place of rest.

Not for a season, yet for eternity.

Your Holy Spirit, a counsel of peace, may it usher and keep us in your triune.

May your reverence grow in our innermost being.

 

 

References

  1. Life, Hope, and Truth
    • Mike Bennett
      • 10th Commandment: You Shall Not Covet
        Link

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