The Tenth Commandment - Weekly Devotional
This week's focus: Ten Commandments
(this is the last in our series on the 10 Commandments)
10. You shall not covet
If there were any doubt that the Ten Commandments address all of life, the tenth commandment utterly destroys it. After all, coveting deals with our very desires, and if God's law addresses even the intents and motivations that no one but the Lord can see, then nothing is outside the purview of His concern.
Coveting is a specific kind of desire, however, and does not refer simply to any desire that we might have. Scripture endorses a desire for God's blessing by repeatedly telling us what the Lord will give us if we follow Him (Deut. 28:1–14; Mark 10:29–30). Moreover, the Bible is clear that Christians can rightly have all sorts of godly desires, including the desire for sexual intimacy in marriage (Song of Solomon), a man's desire to be an elder in the church (1 Tim. 3:1), and many other desires of the heart (Ps. 37:4). To be a Christian is not to be free of desire but to have one's desires rightly ordered and directed.
Covetousness may be defined as the desire to have or seize what is not lawfully ours and the desire to obtain something in a manner that violates God's law. Given these parameters, we can see that covetousness is in some sense a root of all other evils. Theft results when we covet another person's belongings. Adultery is the logical end if we indulge our covetousness for someone to whom we are not married. To worship another god is to manifest a heart that covets a deity that can be manipulated or controlled. We could go on, but the important point to note is that the tenth commandment reminds us that all sin begins in our hearts (Gen. 4:1–16; Matt. 15:19–20a).
We were created to have desires, particularly a desire to know and love our Creator. Covetousness represents desires that have gone awry.
© Ligonier Ministries 2012
Exodus 20:17 (ESV)
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
- Lord, I recognize how easily I can allow coveting to dominate my heart. I see someone with something I want, and I dwell upon getting it for myself. I expect there is evidence of coveting in my life that I’m not even seeing right now. Show me my heart, Lord, so that I might confess to You and be forgiven. Fill me with contentment and gratitude and a desire to know You more. Thank you, Lord, for all the ways You have blessed me: materially, relationally, physically, spiritually. How good You are to me!
- Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the pivotal Dobbs case which could overturn Roe v. Wade. We spoke with Melissa Ohden, an abortion survivor, who was on the steps of the Supreme Court and gave us her insights into the implications of the decision that will be made by the justices and how we can be praying right now. Watch here.
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
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