Part 10:  The Ten Commandments

Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls: I’m preaching a series of messages called THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Today’s text is found in: Exodus 20:3-17

This is part 10, with the emphasis on verse 17

We want to thank you once again for joining us in this often forgotten, but so important teaching of God’s Word. We appreciate all of the comments and likes that we have received on this series about the Ten Commandments. Let me assure you that they are very encouraging to us, and we appreciate it. Today, we look at the Tenth and final commandment, but before we get started I want to ask you to please share this post and/or podcast. We want to share God’s blessings of this ministry. So we are asking you to take just a couple of minutes to share this exciting teaching of God’s Word with your friends and family. In doing that, you not only become a part of a global ministry (like a virtual missionary), but I am sure that you will receive blessings too! After all, it is more blessed to give than it is to receive! Now, with that being said, let’s get to the lesson.

There are a lot of people who have a tendency to be very competitive... desiring to “win” or “out-do” everyone else. As you drive through, or pass by, certain subdivisions, you see large houses donned in cosmetic finesse, garnished with boats and RV’s, and dashed with a side of a pool with sparkling water...seems that even though our economy is struggling (over 18 trillion dollars in debt), men continue to “try to keep up with the Jones’s”. These things that people keep adding to their personal property list are public displays of financial gain or income, or so it seems. If truth be known, most of those tangibles are through borrowed money. However, when “Mr. Jones” builds a three car garage and an add-on to his house, while pulling into his driveway with a new vehicle, most of the men in the neighborhood get envious and desire to have the same things. This kind of desire breaks the Tenth Commandment.

“Honey, we need a bigger house” goes the cry or, “Honey, we need to add-on”, or “I need a new truck”, “. . . a new boat”, or “. . . a new (whatever)”. Now, this law does not say it is wrong to desire to have something we don’t have already. It simply means that when that desire becomes a craving driven by envy of what someone else has, it is wrong. This Tenth Commandment also covers covetousness when our desire to have something becomes so great we put ourselves at risk to obtain it (i.e. financing that we qualify for but really cannot afford it. Like a credit card, sports or leisure items, a house payment that stretches our income to the max, etc.)

This 10th commandment says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;… nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17). To “covet” is a “strong desire to have what another has”. In other words, any discontentment of that which we have (no matter how little or great) are sins principally forbidden by this commandment.

The interesting thing about this law is that the ignorance of it, or the excusing away of it, does not release us from the guilt of breaking it, which is sin. It reminds me of the young teenage driver who was pulled over by a police officer. When questioned, the teen driver explained that he did not know that the speed limit dropped 15 miles per hour so he was not guilty. The police officer answered and told the young driver that whether he knew it or not, he still broke the law and had to suffer the consequence of it, which was a ticket. Furthermore, the officer explained, as a driver, it was his responsibility to be aware of the laws, even the changing of the speed limit. In the same way, God has given us the Ten Commandments as a guide to living a proper, Godly life. As Christians, we are responsible to learn and be aware of God’s laws, and as we learn them, apply them to our life. Unlike the governmental laws, of course, God’s laws do not change. For example; Hebrews 13:17 tells us to, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” In other words, if the officer had just let the teenage driver off with a warning instead of giving a ticket, that was his decision. But that teenager broke this law of God and therefore should have repented from it. No, it’s not one of these Ten Commandments, but it is one of the laws of God.

So, we can be thankful for God’s grace in forgiving us for breaking His laws. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8. (You see, it is impossible for men to live without breaking even one of God’s laws (like covetousness). The only one who was able to do that was God’s Son, Jesus Christ. He went to the cross for us. His death paid the penalty that would be imposed upon us for any sin we have committed. That penalty is an eternal separation from God, in hell fire and brimstone. But thanks be to Jesus Christ, “the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name… that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 20:31; 3:16)

Well folks, the way I see it, everything we have belongs to God anyway. If I am blessed by God giving me something, it is NOT because of something I did or even deserve. It is only because of God’s good graces and out of the abundance of His love for me. God expects us to share that which He has given us. When we accept the fact that everything belongs to Him, it becomes easy not to covet that which belongs to someone else. The next time we find ourselves saying, “I wish...” maybe we should change that to something like, “If God wants...”, or “If it is God’s will...”. And remember, that if we believe that all we need is what God provides, then we will not have the desire to break this commandment. Maybe then, we will be like the Apostle Paul and live to be content in whether we have a lot of stuff, or we have little. The next time you see a truly homeless person, think about this 10th commandment and thank God for His blessings and grace in your own life.

I’m Pastor Robby teaching His Word, His Work, His Way