[CF Devotionals] 2011-01-16 - The Tenth Commandment

The Ten Commandments ~ Part 61
Tenth Commandment ~ Part 3

Biblical Examples of Coveting, and the Consequences

We can immediately find two examples of what happens when one covets that which isn't one's own. The first example is that of a man of God, David. We find the account of this incident in 2 Samuel 11. The verses I'm reading are 1-4, but you should read the entire chapter.

"In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home."

What is the result of the adultery, out of covetousness, with Bathsheba? Her husband Uriah is murdered through the machinations of David, there is a dead child, and continuous trouble in the family of David over the remaining years of his life and beyond. Notice that first David looked on that which wasn't his - and then coveted it.

"Do not love the world, or anything in the world. … For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes … comes not from the Father, but from the world." (1 John 2:15-16).

Look at God's response to the actions of David in 2 Samuel 12:1-15.

"The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man, and prepared it for the one who had come to him. David burned with anger against the man, and said to Nathan, "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must "pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."

Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: `I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'

This is what the Lord says: `Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes, I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight, before all Israel.'" Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."

Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die." After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill."

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

Additional studies by Geoff
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