Insights in the Tenth Commandment
“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 20:16
The tenth commandment hits at the root of commandments six through nine. There is something to the statement: “The grass is always greener on the other side”. Human nature seeks to gratify itself even at the expense of others. It is all too easy to be overcome with discontent and lust for that which is not ours.
Here is the ever persistent question: “If I don’t have this thing, what am I missing out on? What pleasure or gratification is being denied?” This desire becomes so strong and urgent that to get it regardless of harm to others is quite necessary.
The Bible talks of covetousness being idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
Covetousness is an issue of greed. Jesus warned about it in Luke:
“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
And he told them this parable:
The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:15-21). -NIV
“The Greed of Gehazi”