The Tenth Commandment
Dr. Adrian Rogers
Turn to our text, please, this morning, Exodus chapter 20 verse 17: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's." Now, this commandment is last and it is different from all of the others. The other commandments deal with actions, this one deals with attitude; the other commandments deal with deeds, this one deals with desires. So in order to enforce this commandment, we would have to take the policeman off the corner and put him in the heart. You need a policeman in your heart to convict you, convince you, and control you when it comes to this commandment which says, "Thou shalt not covet."
To covet means to have an unlawful desire. To covet means to want something that is not rightfully yours, something that by right pertains to someone else. I want to say that the sin of covetousness is not limited to money - you might covet someone's influence, you may covet their power, you might covet their fame, you might covet their appearance, you might covet their popularity, you may covet their health. Let me say, dear friends, that it's a very, very common sin, we just simply need to translate it in today's idiom. Perhaps we should say, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's automobile, thy neighbor's dishwasher, thy neighbor's education, kids, thy neighbor's motorcycle. Thou shalt not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor, something that is not rightfully, something that is not lawfully yours.
This does not mean we're not to want things, this does not mean there's to be the cessation of desire. As a matter of fact, it is right to want certain things. Speaking of spiritual gifts, the Bible says to covet the best gifts. There are certain things that you can desire, certain things that you want. These things are normal and natural. We want lov ...
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