Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The 10th Commandment

Please allow me to get theological for a moment:

At Church this Sunday I am responsible for the weekly Reading, the proclaimation of the Word, and this week's reading is Exodus 20:1-17, the Ten Commandments. Now, when it comes to the 10 Commandments, I do well with 1-9, but I always struggle to understand the 10th and last one, "You shall not covet..."

This this is the question that I shall post: What is the sin of Covetousness? Is it materialism? Is it jealousy? Is it an unholy dissatisfaction? Eugene H. Peterson paraphrases the term "covet" as "lust", an interesting interpretation to be sure.

So what is it? What does it mean, in our 21st Century world, to Covet?
I look forward to your comments (that means you too, Dad!).

PS> Yes, I looked it up a bit and asked my pastor, but I'd still like to hear your point on the matter. Thank you.


Sue said...

Sue-Dictionary--"covet": don't live your life waiting for the next "want-it".

Sue said...

hey, i like your new name "growing like the lilies" and your new quote below !! sooo lovely and refreshing! :)

justus said...

Dave, I think it means, not to want everything everyone else has. Don't want your friends belongings, or things that don't belong to you.
But I could be really wrong!

Sarah said...

i had a snappy, intelligent sounding answer all ready to go and then realized that it was complete crap. that's a really good question, DAve, and i'll have to think about it some more.

I was going to say that i think it's basically wanting other people's stuff for my own. Then i was struck by the fact that if that's the case, i break that commandment a lot. A LOT. Then i thought, well, maybe that's not all there is to it. But then again, maybe that IS all there is to it and I just don't want to face how often i sin. Oh, zing.

Dad said...

Hi Dave, Dad here. I've just got into work and Mom has mentioned your blog.

So to keep it really short, to covet is simply to want something that is not mine. The problem is that it leads to more "serious" situations. For example Jesus in Math 6 mentions that we shall not kill, but then says "But I say do even hate your brother," because in extreme cases hate can lead to murder. In the same way wanting something that is not yours can lead to stealing, but it can also lead to jealousy or to not likeing someone unfairly.

The fundamental problem is that to covet means I am not satisfied with where God has put me and the resources He has provided. It comes down to a lack of faith and trust in Him.

Hope this helps. Feel free to get to me on this.

Lots of love, (to Janie and Corrina as well), Dad

Rach said...

I covet my friends who have classes of students who can use the toilet by themselves.

JAnie & DAve said...

don't we all, Rach? Don't we all?

Sue said...

hahahaha. toilets are overrated.


westcoastloon said...

Ooh great question and great responses so far. I think that covetness is saying "God you didn't give me enough." In this case the sin of covetessness is lack of faith it's telling God that His provision hasn't provided, that what He's given me isn't going to make it to the end of the month. It's thinking that I know what I need better than God does and telling Him that He hasn't thought this through very well. Which I case means that it's a major case of pride as well.

Lori said...

I agree with the above. And I also think it is one of the hardest commandments. Cause who doesn't want what they see someone else having? It happens all the time. Where's contentement and gratefulness for what we do have? Our humanity goes straight to the coveting way easier than the contentment and thankfulness

Lori said...

by the way, Janie and Dave, and whoever else who I know... you can read up on my feelings on contentment and fulfillment on my latest post