I. GOD HAS PROHIBITED IT.
A. It Is Wrong In Principle: -- Exo. 20:17, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's."
B. The Lord Abhors It: -- Psa. 10:3, "For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, And the covetous renounceth, yea, contemneth Jehovah."
C. It Is Hated By The Good: -- Prov. 28:16, "The prince that lacketh understanding is also a great oppressor; But he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days."
D. Even The Prophets And Priests Of Israel Were Guilty Of It: Jer. 6:13, "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely."
E. It Is A Disease Of The Heart: -- Ezk. 33:31, "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but do them not; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their gain."
F. It Causes Violence: -- Mic. 2:1,2, "Woe to them that devise iniquity and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away and they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage."
G. Some People Wish For Everything: -- Hab. 2:9,10, "Woe to him that getteth an evil gain for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the hand of evil! Thou hast devised shame to thy house, by cutting off many peoples, and has sinned against thy soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it."
H. Covetousness Caused One To Make An Unreasonable Request: -- Lk. 12:13-15,
"And one out of the multitude said unto Him, Teacher bid my brother divide
the inheritance with me. But He said unto him, Man, who made Me a judge or a
divider over you? And He said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from
all covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the
things which he possesseth."
II. IT IS CONTRARY TO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
A. It Is Unbecoming To Saints: -- Eph. 5:3, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints.'
B. We Are To Put It To Death Along With Other Evil Things:-- Col. 3:5, "Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornicatin, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Notice that covetousness is idolatry.
C. It Will Disqualify An Elder: -- Titus 1:7, "For the bishop must be blameless, as God's steward; not self-willed, not soon angry, no brawler, nor striker, not greedy of filthy lucre."
D. We Are To Be Content With Those Things That We have: -- Heb. 13:5, "Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have; for Himself hth said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee."
III. SOME EXAMPLES OF COVETOUSNESS.
A. Achan And The Spoils Of Jericho: -- Jos. 7:21, "When I saw among the spoil a goodly Babylonish mantle, and a wedge of gold, and two hundred shekels of silver, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it."
B. Ahab Coveted Naboth's Vineyard: -- 1 Kings 21.
C. Gehazi Coveted Naaman's Gifts That Elisha Had Refused: 2 Kings 5.
D. The Pharisees Were Covetous: -- Lk. 16:14, "And the Pharisees who were lovers of money, heard all these things: and they scoffed him."
E. Ananias And Sapphira Were Covetous: -- Acts 5:1-11.
CONCLUSION: Let us not covet this world's goods to the extent that such becomes more important to us than serving God and our fellowman. Such becomes idolatrous. Let us, like Paul, learn to be content with such things as we have.
By Jim Sasser
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