Covetousness is the mother of many vices. Expert Jerry Shirley shared the following:
“It is an excessive desire for something you don’t have. There’s nothing wrong w/ wanting certain things, like something better for your family, etc. But this is an excessive desire that compromises convictions to gain something you want. It is also an envious desire for what someone else has…desiring what they have to be yours.
The other commandments deal w/ actions, but this one with attitude. The others are about behavior, but this one is about our mind. “Don’t Steal” says keep your hands off. “Don’t Covet” says don’t even think about it!
It is the mother of the other 9 sins in the commandments:
No other gods = the covetous worships the gods of money and materialism
Wars are waged because people coveted land or power
Don’t kill = many are killed every day by someone who wanted what they had.
Adultery = this always begins w/ covetousness, wanting the spouse of another.
Don’t Steal = this is obvious
The dictionary definition of “covetousness” is “grasping for more.”
This is the sin of selfishness. You’re never content. Dr. Lee Roberson calls this, “An ancient sin dogging the steps of modern man.”
A story is told of a peasant who murmured to a giant landholder of the
unfairness of it all. Knowing the nature of men, the landholder promised to give the peasant all the land he could walk around in a whole day. The peasant, greedily trying to take in all the area possible, overexerted himself and dropped with a heart attack and died. He ended up with nothing.
I would like for us to notice three things about covetousness:
I. THE SIN OF COVETOUSNESS
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
Instead of putting his great wealth to work, he intended to build great storehouses to store his goods and hoard it for himself. He had desire, deed, and the deception was on himself, for Jesus said, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee” (Luke 12:20).
• A Debasing sin—it’ll turn you into someone else.
1 Timothy 6:9-10
9 But they that will [want to] be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 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.
There’s no virtue in poverty. Some very godly people in the Bible were rich. It’s the desire for more and more that is sinful. It’s not necessarily a rich man’s sin.
And yet this is the mother of all sins!
Eve coveted the fruit and it’s still stuck in man’s throat today! Lot coveted the best land, and mankind is still fighting over that land today! Judas coveted 30 pieces of silver resulting not only in the Savior’s death, but his own death! Ananias and Sapphira also died because of it.
• A Damning Sin—one to take seriously!
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
It’s a sin to be saved from.
Ill.—people all over this town won’t come to church because they have it in their head that all we want is their money. We know that’s not true, but even if it was true, wouldn’t it still be worth tolerating in order to go to heaven? It just goes to show that the thing standing between them and God is their material possessions!”
Pray often if this sin torments you. Pray “Father, take this covetousness out of me.” Pray this as often as needed until you get it out of you. More on this tomorro.
If you would like to start living in God’s blessing pray: “Father – I plan to start doing things your way, obeying your commands, studying the Word. Please bless me when you are ready to do so. I am planning to do my part and I will patiently wait for you to bless me when the time is right.”
Read 1 Corinthians 3