“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
My contention is of the tenth commandment is that of all the ten commandments it is the one that is regarded the least and actually actively promoted in certain ways of life.
I may expand on that contention at some point. What I did notice about that commandment, though, is that there was a strict prohibition to covet certain things. Which is to suggest that coveting in itself wasn’t something wrong. It’s just the focus of the coveting that causes the problem.
To covet something according to International Standard Bible Encyclopedia is to desire earnestly, to set the heart and mind upon anything. That’s an interesting definition. Set the heart and mind on a thing, on anything. That’s something that we do often, we have strong desires for certain things – those strong desires can occupy y entire being.
In certain cases there are are things that capture our hearts to an ultimate degree – we don’t spend too much time without having a thought about it. Coveting is something that Paul would later wholeheartedly encourage especially when it came to the greater gifts from God – the greatest of which is love. So to desire love is a great thing, to spend our time wanting to experience real love is something marvellous. Especially as we consider that the real love that we desire is found in the character of God.
Therein lies the challenge, though. To genuinely desire that real love – is to genuinely desire God for who He reveals Himself to be, on his terms and conditions. That degree of desire for who He is, however, is something that is worthwhile devoting all of life to and as that desire consumes everything, it’s amazing what happens to other desires.
Challenges in life continue to provoke me as to what .. or who I really desire.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden