Verses for Today
Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and greediness, which is idolatry;
Luke 22:41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet, not My will, but Yours be done.
The commandment that tells us not to covet reveals that God is pure. Being pure has to do with your inward person. God is pure because within Him there is no contamination, no selfishness, and no evil desire. This commandment shows us that because God is pure, He not only looks at our outward actions but also at our inward motives. You can hide your inward desires from people. But you cannot hide your inward desires from God. God looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b says, “For it is not how man sees that matters; for man looks on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart.”
To be pure is related to our motives. A pure person does not do things with an ulterior motive. When this person says something nice about another person he does not say it with the intention of obtaining something in return (Church in Irvine, Lessons, Character – Pure).
Here is something more concerning coveting. To covet means to want something that belongs to somebody else. There is a craving within for others’ possessions. Greediness is very similar to covetousness and includes selfishness. Being greedy means you want things not for the sake of anybody else but for yourself. Coveting others’ possessions includes coveting material things as well as desiring others’ skills, spiritual gifts, and responsibilities.
This commandment is such a high requirement. We should be in awe at how high God is. How noble. How pure. Psalm 113:5 says, “Who is like Jehovah our God.” This God who became a man exemplified the God who is pure. In His human life, Jesus Christ wanted nothing for Himself but only everything for God. He even gave up His own life for God’s will. Before going to the cross He prayed to the Father, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42)
[The words of Exodus 20:17] also reveal that God is pure. His purity touches our inner being. Whereas the first nine commandments are related to outward conduct, the tenth is related to the sin hidden within us, mainly in our thoughts. Actually, the first commandment is also related to our inward condition. To have another God besides the true God is primarily an inward matter. However, to make an image or likeness of something is an outward deed. Hence, the first commandment touches our inward condition, and the commandment about coveting likewise touches our inward condition. The first and the last commandment together expose the idolatry and covetousness within us. Inwardly we are filled with idols and coveting. Colossians 3:5 says that covetousness [or greediness] is idolatry…
…The fact that we are covetous indicates that we are not pure. Only God is pure, for those who are pure do not covet. We covet because we are impure and unclean. If our heart, desire, and intention were pure in every way, we would not be covetous.
The commandment about coveting reveals God’s purity. Under the light of this commandment, we all need to see that inwardly we are not pure. We all have a certain amount of covetousness. But because God is pure, with Him there is no covetousness (Life Study of Exodus, Msg 51, Section 3).
God’s intention in making Himself known to us through His word is that He would be dispensed into us and make us His habitation, the place where He lives. In order for us to be purified within, we need the God who is pure to inhabit our being and fill all our inward parts. Ask Him to come in. Read His word a little, and ask Him to occupy you more. Our heart can be God’s house.
That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17a)
Open up all the parts of your heart to God. Let Him do His house work. You can bring your feelings on any matter to God. That thing that you desire, God wants to hear about it. As you tell Him the things, God moves in.
In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; And the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).