Covetousness and the Ten Commandments (Part 2)
We will now continue our study of the relationship between covetousness and the Ten Commandments which we began in the prior lesson.

Exodus 20:7 commands - "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." Admittedly, the connection between this command and covetousness is not as strong as with some of the other commands. This is the case because there are many times in which people use God's name in vain and it has nothing whatsoever to do with covetousness. But, that being said, there are times in which people swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and then lie for personal gain. Tragically, there are many who are willing to take an oath or blaspheme God's name because of greed and a lust for money. A covetous spirit sometimes leads people to take the Lord's name in vain if they believe it will benefit them materialistically.

Exodus 20:8-10 reads - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work." Covetousness caused many violations of this law under the Mosaic dispensation. For example, in Amos 8:5,6, the covetous people were saying - "'When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, falsifying the scales by deceit, that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals--even sell the bad wheat?'" It very well might be the case that covetousness was the primary reason why Hebrews violated the Sabbath law. The divinely imposed day of rest was something that materialistically-minded folks had difficulty obeying. To a covetous person, every day is a day to work and make more money to accumulate more things and to grow in power. Such is clearly seen in our world today as well. Some covet material things or experiences so badly that they think nothing of forsaking the assembling of fellow Christians for whatever whim grips them at the moment. This should not be (cf. Heb. 10:24,25).

Exodus 20:12 - "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you." Covetousness led to the violation of this law also, as Jesus explained in Mark 7:9-13 - "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and 'He who curses his father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"--' (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." Some Jews would verbally commit their money and possessions to God in order to avoid having to help their parents financially when they were in need of support. Such hard-heartedness is the result of a covetous spirit! How much of this pledged money actually was given to God? We will never know, but I suspect very little of it. To honor one's parents includes supporting them financially, if such becomes necessary (cf. I Tim. 5:8). Such is an appropriate repayment, and loving children should accept the duty without hesitation. Only a lover of money would fabricate a way to "honorably" get out of this duty!

We will conclude studying this theme in our next lesson.