THE TENTH COMMANDMENT

Ex 20:17--You shall not covet your neighbor's house

We shall not have an unholy desire for what belongs to our neighbor. We shall not set our hearts on having our neighborís possessions.

David coveted Uriahís wife, 2 Sam 11:2-4--Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.

So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"

David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.

David paid for his sin with the untimely deaths of four of his sons. The Kingdom was taken from David by his son Absolom, who committed adultery openly with his fatherís wives.

Another story of covetousness involves King Ahab, and his wife Jezebel, 1 Kings 21:1-3--Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, "Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money."

But Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers."

King Ahab was so obsessed with getting Nabothís vineyard that he pouted and refused to eat. His wife Jezebel hired false witnesses against Naboth, and caused him to be killed.

God is able to bring judgment upon those who mistreat their neighbors. Ahab was killed in battle, and the dogs licked his blood where the blood of Naboth had been shed. The dogs ate the body of Jezebel.

Covetousness is equated with the sin of idolatry by Paul, Col 3:5--Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

Paul said this, 1 Tim 6:6-12--But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 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.

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Americans are a spoiled people. The politics of taking from those who are blessed because of their personal accomplishments, and giving to those who demand to be supported by government, is a sure path to failure. This political philosophy of demagoguery uses envy and jealousy to destroy economic freedom. Socialism has never worked in any society.

We are blessed when we are satisfied with what we have, the sufficient blessings of our Lord who loves us. We are blessed when we work with our hands so that we can help others.

Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. When we believe that, it will be impossible for us to covet what our neighbor has. We will rejoice with those who are blessed, and share with those in need. Not because the government demands it, but because it is our heartís desire.