Memorise: But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; – Ephesians 5:3
Read: Ephesians 5:3-7 (KJV)
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 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.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Bible in One Year: 1 Timothy 1-6, Psalms 21
Today, we will examine one of the Ten Commandments; covetousness. The sin of covetousness is a cluster of many sins that sets man against his Maker. Upon the sin of covetousness hangs many other sins like stealing, sexual immorality and murder, hence the law:
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” - Exodus 20:17
David, a God-fearing soldier, king and prophet fell because of covetousness. He coveted Bathsheba, his soldier’s wife; and went from one form of sin to another. Covetousness led him to adultery and adultery led him to a murderous act. When someone is caught in the sin of covetousness in the area of alcohol, he gets drunk and what next? Foolish talking and jesting that are not convenient become inevitable. The Bible says:
“31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” - Proverbs 23:31-33
Coveting your neighbour’s possession can lead to murder. The reason for this is that when someone covets his neighbour’s estate, and is unable to get it, he may resolve to kill the rightful owner to have it. This was the case in Ahab and Naboth’s story (1 Kings 21:1-16). Ahab organised a feast where Naboth should be framed up and killed by the scheme of his wife, Jezebel. Immediately the plan was hatched, the Lord sent His prophet to go and deliver His judgement upon Ahab. It was a judgement of vengeance.
“…Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” – 1 Kings 21:19
Beloved, let us beware of the sin of covetousness as Jesus warned in Luke 12:15-20. The man in that story was boasting about what he possessed but that same night God required his soul from him. Our Lord then asked who those things he had acquired shall be for. Think about it and you will discover that covetousness is not worth it after all.
Action Point: Think of those things that entice you to acts of covetousness, pray and avoid being possessed by them.