No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s. Exodus 20:17 (TM)
From the home office in the Throne Room of Heaven, Exodus 20 is God’s Top Ten List of Rules not to break (there’s more than 10 rules – believe me – just wait until we get to Leviticus!). It’s always interesting to go through God’s Top Ten list. It was #10 that stuck out to me today. Growing up, when I learned the list and read it for the first time in the good ol’ King James version – it told me not to "covet". That was easy. I didn’t know what "covet" meant and never gave it much thought. And, since none of my neighbors had a donkey (and even if they did, I certainly wasn’t going to "covet" it…what ever that means…if you get my drift). Number 10 has always been an easy one to glance over.
The Message does a good job of making it clearer. It also makes it more convicting, though with the "ox and donkey" reference it is still easy not to catch God’s drift. You see, we live in a world, in an economy, that is predicated on wanting more. When you lust after what your neighbor has you go out and buy one yourself. And, let’s be honest. We’re all just kids in a great big toy store.
I’ve got to get me one of them iPhones.
Did you see his new car?! I want one.
I wish I had her wardrobe. I swear, she owns everything in the store.
Why did she end up finding such a great guy? Why should she get married when I’m still single?
It’s not fair that he has that new, huge house and I’m still living in this dump.
Sweet flat-screen. Dude, where did you get that?
Lusting is great for the economy, but God’s concerned about the effect that has on my heart. That’s why He talks so much about learning to be content. And, I’ve still got a lot to learn in that department.
God, help me to be content; help me learn to focus my thoughts and my heart’s desires on you.
Be my treasure.