Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neigbhor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (NIV)
Pastor Geoff's Study on the Tenth Commandment
I didn”t used to have a problem dealing with the fact I am "folliclly-challenged." When I get up in the morning, I only have to face my face, (which is rough enough at 6:00 AM). I don”t normally see the back side of my face. But recently I when received a copy of a picture taken at Christmas a few years back, it was different. Somebody had the bad taste to shoot the back of my head, and I saw I look like someone entering a monastery. (Now I know why we Jews wear Yamukahs.)
At this point I don”t think I covet anyone else's hair. But I saw a great “infomercial” which sells products that will solve my challenge, making me a better person, look younger, be more sexy, and generally be the world”s greatest person. Now I'm not saying that I am coveting having more hair, but
Stuart Briscoe sees the problem this way:
“In his book Wealth of Nations Adam Smith, writing in 1776, said, “Man's basic most important motivating force in all economic matters is the drive of self-interest.” in other words, “What's in it for me?”
You want something more up-to-date? George F. Will wrote in 1984: “The most familiar and fashionable variety of conservatism is strangely soothing. It tends complaceantly to define the public good, as whatever results from the unfettered pursuit of private ends.”
He points out the flaw in our thinking, when we assume that national good can come out of everybody having the freedom to pursue their own selfish ends. If he”s right”,and I think our economy proves he is, we”re sitting on a power keg. On the one, hand our economy says, "more, more, more. Produce more, sell more, get more." On the other hand, God warns us, "Don't covet. Your greed will kill you." Are we sensitive to this weakness in the spirit of our age?”
This morning we are going to examine what is, in many ways ,one of the most challenging commandments we must face as believers in our culture, a culture where much of the economy is built on consumerism and the need to keep getting.
NATION OF PRIESTS, A HOLY PEOPLE
Thou Shalt Not Covet ... vs. 17
A What does it Mean not to Covet?
B Does this really mean I can't want a BMW?
C How do I deal with this Problem?
1 Briscoe, Stuart, The Ten Commandments - Playing by the Rules, Harold Shaw Publishers, Wheaton, IL, 1993, p. 181
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