The Ninth and Tenth Commandments

The Ninth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

The Tenth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, workers, animals, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

What do you dream about? When you are falling asleep at night what dreams of your future entertain your mind? Do you dream about your children someday being as kind and empathetic as your friend’s children? Do you wish that you could get that promotion so that you could have as nice of a house and car as that buddy from college? Do you muse on the handsome, caring, faithful, and loving husband of your neighbor next door wishing your husband could be more like him?

It is an easy thing to do… coveting that is. Stealing is forbidden in the seventh commandment, and adultery is condemned in the sixth commandment. This commandment makes it crystal clear that men and women are responsible for not only their actions but their thoughts as well.

Romans 7:7-8 gives us the biblical definition of coveting: “I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had said, ‘Do not covet.’ But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire.”

James 1:14-15 explains how dangerous desire can be: “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.”

It happens all the time. It starts with a wish: I wish I had that Lego set. The wish transforms to sinful desire: I need to have that Lego set, if I don’t have it my life is not complete. That sinful desire gives birth to sinful actions: I will steal that Lego set, I will break my friends Lego set, I will disrespect my parents demanding that they buy it for me.

The terrible part of this whole coveting commandment is that when adults follow their desires into sinful actions the results are often much worse than a child’s desire of a toy. All of this becomes downright terrifying when you realize that these sins of desire are known by the almighty, righteous God.

God in his perfection has a plan for how this world should run. He has set a standard that he expects people, his creation, to meet. When we covet we fail to meet our Creator’s standards. Our failure brings devastating results. Our relationship with the God of love is broken and there is nothing that any of us can do to fix it. God is just and holy. One who is truly holy cannot tolerate unholiness, if he did he would not be just and he would not be holy. If we want to be right with God again payment must be made for our sin.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Christendom. In Christ the payment is made. Jesus never coveted anything. Jesus offered his life to pay for ours. His blood purchased the forgiveness we need so desperately from the almighty and righteous God.

Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13 “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” It is not easy to be content in every situation. With Jesus help we can stand a chance. We have forgiveness when we fail, but let’s not use that as an excuse to keep on sinning. Contentment begins with thankfulness to God for everything we do have. Contentment is fed by the love that God shows us. Contentment really begins to feel good when we share that love with everyone and everything in our lives.

 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or obtain it by a show of right, but do all we can to help him keep it. 

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, workers, animals, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not force or entice away our neighbor’s spouse, workers, or animals, but urge them to stay and do their duty.


About vicarhoff

I am thrilled and honored to be serving as vicar/intern at Christ the King Lutheran Church and School for a whole year!

Posted on November 10, 2011, in Church, Preschool and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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