6. WE ARE NOT TO COMMIT MURDER.
Exodus 20:13 - "You shall not murder." Many people are killed each day for money. In America, over ten thousand murders are committed every year (and that doesn't even count the murder of the unborn). People seek to take another's life for various reasons, but one of the fundamental reasons pertains to money (or some other possession). Some children murder their parents for their inheritance. Covetousness is often linked to murder. We would do well to remember Luke 12:15 - "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
7. WE ARE NOT TO COMMIT ADULTERY.
Exodus 20:14 - "You shall not commit adultery." There is a clear link between adultery and covetousness as Exodus 20:17 spells out. It is possible to covet another man's wife. David, that great king of Israel, provides a most unfortunate example of coveting Uriah's wife, Bathsheba (cf. II Sam. 11,12).
8. WE ARE NOT TO STEAL.
Exodus 20:15 - "You shall not steal." The strong link between coveting and stealing is undeniable. A powerful biblical illustration is found in Joshua 7:20,21 - "And Achan answered Joshua and said, 'Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I have done: When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it." Achan took for himself what belonged to God! He stole from God and lost his life as a consequence. His greedy spirit led him astray.
9. WE ARE NOT TO BEAR FALSE WITNESS.
Exodus 20:16 - "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Many people lie for profit, as we noted in the first lesson in this series. Covetousness is often linked to bearing false witness. In the Old Testament, Jezebel commanded that false witnesses be brought against Naboth in order to take possession of his vineyard - "And seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, 'You have blasphemed God and the king.' Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die" (I Kings 21:10).
10. WE ARE NOT TO COVET ANYTHING BELONGING TO OUR NEIGHBOR.
Exodus 20:17 - "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife...nor anything that is your neighbor's." This is the last of the Ten Commandments, but, as we have seen, it is linked to varying degrees to all of the other nine. God's word speaks loud and clear throughout its pages - "You shall not covet"! Will we listen and obey?