This past Sunday’s sermon on the tenth commandment concluded our exposition of the 10 Commandments. It is interesting to see how God capped off the ten commandments with one that almost summarizes all 10. To covet (passionately desire) what belongs to someone else, or whatever does not belong to you, can so easily lead one to disobey any of the other 9 commandments. Perhaps that is why there is no specific penalty in the Law of Moses for covetousness of a neighbor’s possessions, because the penalty will likely result from the other 9 commandments that coveting leads to.
The tenth commandment is not just about being content with whatever God has providentially given you, but it is also to be fully satisfied and grateful for how He has chosen to provide for you. The blessings in your life will often look different from the blessings in other people’s lives. Why should we compare God’s blessings to one another? I am convinced that I cannot truly and genuinely rejoice with someone else in their blessings if I am harboring any covetousness of them in my own heart. When I covet my neighbor’s blessings, I am despising God’s loving providence in my own life. I would essentially be saying to God, “What you gave me is not good enough”.
Also, if I am not able to truly rejoice with someone else, it makes me think of how uncomfortable it would be for me if my friends weren’t able to rejoice with me when I am blessed in various ways. If I felt that my friends were resentful of my blessings, then I would feel that I would not be able to share what God is doing in my life with them, and that would be a great discouragement to me if I were not able to share about that.
When someone is healed, rejoice! When someone gets a much-needed job, rejoice! When someone is provided with a home, rejoice! When someone
All in all, I believe one of the most significant lessons we can take away from the tenth commandment is: Covet Christ. Just as the individuals in the nation of Israel were to be fully satisfied each in their own provisions that God had given them, Christians are to be fully satisfied in Christ. Christians are also to be constantly seeking a deeper satisfaction in Christ by pursuing holiness and striving to purge all evil that exists in our lives. We are to never be content with sin that remains in our proverbial camp. Seek out your sin. Expel it, as you can only do so with the empowerment of the Spirit of Christ that is in you (Romans 8).
Here are just a few reflection questions for you to consider this week:
- In what ways has your heart and life displayed a discontent in your spiritual maturity?
- Has a hunger and thirst for righteousness been evident in your life lately?
- How does your contentment (or discontentment) compare to your desire for more earthly pleasures and possessions?
- What are some ways you have been ungrateful for God’s loving providence in your life? What kinds of provisions do you tend to overlook?
- Where would you currently place yourself on the spectrum below?
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