“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 KJV)
Have you seen the latest credit card commercial? It promotes using a Chase Bank credit card to buy what you want now. It’s a catchy piece. The 30 second spot begins with the wife giving “permission” to her husband to get a new TV. You can see the sheer bliss on his face. He is free to buy what he has always wanted. That’s when the tight harmonies of the rock group Queen are heard in the background.
They sing, “I want it all. I want it all. I want it all. And I want it now!”
The driving beat and lyrics are a perfect background to the husband’s pursuit of ever larger screened TVs. You feel yourself caught up and singing along. Finally, you see him and his wife seated happily-ever-after in front of their super big screen TV. Then comes the advertising close: “Chase Financial. Chase What Matters.”
“Ahhh.” You might think to yourself. “Yes, ‘chase what matters.’ And what matters most is getting a big screen TV and using a piece of plastic that says ‘Chase’ on it to buy it. Cause, with Chase I can have it now!”
But then you might think, “What if my wife won’t go for it?”
Or, “What if my living room is too small?”
So, then you might think you need a nicer wife and a bigger house. Because after all, you really want to “chase what matters.”
That’s how it is with the “I want it all and I want it now” philosophy. It’s corrupting and corrosive to our souls. God calls this way of life, coveteousness. And by the way, He’s against it.
What is coveting? It’s the insatiable desire to acquire. It’s the overwhelming passion to possess. It always wants more. And it wants it now!
Sometimes we may think that this 10th commandment is the least worrisome. We laugh it off. Afer all, our culture encourages coveting as a way of life.
But the coveting heart opens itself up to breaking all the commandments of God. The coveting heart will put itself first (instead of God), the coveting heart will murder, steal, commit adultery, lie, to get what it wants.
If the first commandment explains how to keep the other nine (Put God first), then the last commandment reveals why we can’t keep the other nine (we have coveteous hearts).
God, write your laws on our hearts through Jesus. Take away our coveteous hearts and replace them with contented hearts instead.