This broadcaster has 968 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
August 3, 2022 12:00 am
If God really is sovereign and He has promised to meet all our needs, then why do we covet? In this message Stephen reminds us that contentment will be found when we stop asking for more from God and start asking for more of God.
My soul soul. You have many goods laid up six time I five times. He refers to himself being mine. Interesting that this individual was wrapped up just as you and myself. Ladies and gentlemen will wrapped up coveting the passion for possessing just what we get wrapped up in ourselves when we are not going if that battle is not conquered by the spirit of God.
Every time we walk out the front door we develop lives centered around ourselves to shape times of prosperity set when you seem to grow the most, or is it times of adversity that God uses most adversity really is a good teacher but it's usually an unwelcome teacher, as were going through it. This is wisdom for the heart. Today, our teacher, Stephen, Davey is applying this principle to our finances.
We've come to the end of our vintage wisdom series on the 10 Commandments. This lesson is called one nation under green.
Grab your Bible. If you're able to.
As you spend the next 25 minutes in God's word.
One of my favorite automobile is Volvo Devon 60 GLA turbo the great family car. It really is in the family. Now what do you get the turbo but we had a family, so their family called them like today understanding going to let nobody to drive in the like another Chrysler and they said no they said we just bought a brand-new car. We want you to take that to Atlanta yesterday pulled up in the driveway and a brand-new 19 9760 GLA Volvo turbo my my pony would appreciate it as a problem they got at a speaker system and everything else that I get are they call but I thought like this is not funny at all. It's two days I have preached on this subject were going to deal with the subject that you may see more think is very anticlimactic to the list of 10, and yet I believe this commandment knocks at our doors more than any other. If you have your Bibles take them in turn to Exodus chapter 20, and were going to look at the subject of covetousness, a sister word is greed interesting that one company considered covetousness to be a solution to their problem. American company based in Panama was having trouble with her employees quitting the job with an agrarian economy, society work. These people didn't have much money and after a weeks work when they got there the cash from this company.
They had more money than they had ever seen in their lives and they assume that all they would ever need, and they would often quit so the executives put their heads together and decided away to keep them.
They gave each employee a copy of a Sears catalog and all of a sudden those people saw things they had never dreamed of before and realize they needed more in the ratio of employee turnover was incredibly rude this now inmate. It may be a solution for this company.
But the problem is it has invaded our culture and it invades our churches covetousness or greed. If you would call it that it's prevalent in our society. You just been reading the newspapers for the past month and you discovered the truth it pervades everything about our culture and our society. And it's interesting when we study these commands that they are so relevant that the day look at it with me that command is given in verse 17 he says you shall not covet your neighbor's house.
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his servants, male or female, or his oxen or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Now the word covet is the Hebrew word, it means to desire to take pleasure, and in fact it is a neutral word in the New Testament and you find the counterpart of this word is Nexium, which means literally a passion for possessing. I have that. The thing that makes this so hideous is you are trumpeting something that belongs to somebody else is saying that thing that object that person that someone else has, or has the right to, and you covet that thing or that person and he really gets to the nobodies here.
I mean he isn't playing games.
He said Don covet possession Don covet spouses covet anything. Don't take pleasure in pursuing possessions that are not rightfully yours so I study this passage. It's interesting that I think we could make a case that coveting begins or is built on a foundation of comparison is built on. Perhaps the foundation of comparison. Your car is is just fine until Volvo turbo pulls up into the driveway. Your house is perfectly adequate until you go visit so-and-so and you see what God and the terrible thing about this is your wife is all right. Perfectly acceptable to you, start comparing her with someone else's wife or husband with someone else's husband comparing. I believe we can joke about it and laugh with, isn't that true, you know you find out ladies that Henry bought his wife flowers last week. Now that wife they got flowers she's going to make sure that three or four of her friends find out and she's going away for an opportune moment. Like when her friend called earth is a winning cousin for supper. I don't know my husband is not me flowers you know really letting that I think this passage is probably a tremendous text for marriage in itself.
Don't covet your neighbor's wife. What is that mean your spouse that is working through what God is given you.
Somebody once wrote that marriage is like taking a plane trip to the Bahamas for vacation when the plane arrives, you get off and discover you're in the Swiss Alps. The ingredient that is necessary is learning how to skate a love that the healthy ingredient in every marriage even though you may observe someone else's and think boy, that's so much better.
The healthy ingredient is that in our marriages.
We have all discovered how to skate. So, in the process of discovering that stop looking around and comparing that situation, your financial situation. What you have or don't have. God says directly through Moses's top desiring possessions that don't belong to you, or people.
Let me give you two principles for removal and this command is not prohibiting activity but attitude is crucial to understand is an attitude that may lead to activity but what he is condemning here is that attitude he is not limiting the overt act of thy hand, the inner secrets of the heart. Nobody else knows about but you struggle no one else would have a clue you're going through what you he says in the inner recesses of your heart. There is where you covet it is there where the battle is one in the secrecy of your heart. Covet don't covet person we can translate this into today's society.
Don't covet someone's position. Look around the job anything that guy just got promoted. You should have gotten that much more capable than he is somebody you do what you do the same thing that you and I both learn to do all you guys you know back then in junior high school. You're sitting the bench watching the basketball team play. I speak from experience may better personalize this. I'm out there and on second stringers delegates. I still remember that character.
He was first string I'm watching the whole game and you know what I'm hoping my team when he breaks his leg so that I can get in there like he's got the position. I will bring that right into what we live today people have positions people have possessions we want to and we rejoice in what God's given them absolutely not.
So anyone said it so easy to weep with people who weep.
What is so difficult to rejoice with those that rejoice. Why because were covet your greedy people interesting in Romans chapter 7 the apostle Paul who took pride in his standing before the law and discover this until recently. Romans chapter 7 Paul says hi discovered, according to the law that I am dead and he pulls one of those commands out and guess which one it was that confronted him, thou shalt not, and Paul said, I have I have been able to handle the other nine but it is this one that lays below that I want to take this command into the New Testament and I want to illustrate it and apply it to turn to Luke.
If you would please look chapter 12 Luke chapter 12 here's an illustration and application of the sin of coveting verse 13 someone in the crowd said the Jesus teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me interesting and they please or I don't have. I have a right to this, just you got authority telling that the deadly up the spoils.
Verse 14 Jesus said to him, man who pointed me in charge or Arturo for you where be on guard against every form of greed. That's the word plan Nexium covetousness for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions so he tells them a parable here is illustrated. The land of a certain Richmond was very productive and begin reasoning with himself saying, what shall I do, since I have no place to store my crop and I want to give you know in this passage, three failures in the schools, like the first one was he failed to consider is neighbor and you want as I read through your just circle the words I made my right he begin reasoning to himself. Verse 17 what shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops. He said this is what I will do after down my barns and build larger ones in there I will store all my green and my good and I will say to my soul soul. You have many goods laid up six times he says I five times. He refers to himself, me, mine. It's interesting that this individual who was wrapped up just as you and myself. Ladies and gentlemen who are wrapped up in coveting the passion for possessing that's what we get wrapped up in our cell. If that battle is not conquered by the spirit of God. Every time we walked out the front door we develop lives centered around ourselves when we want going the position I want. I have list of things I want the bottom line in the bank account. I very wealthy man. By the way wealth is in itself to neutral is how you handle it. This of this individual had a terrible disposition for selfish. Many came to visit a Bible teacher Bible teacher was writing records the visit.
He said the I have a lot of money and in its many very selfish but I'm not really sure why in this file. Teacher took him over to the window and he said look out what you see. You look at the window on the street below, and he said I see men, women took the man by the arm and he took them over to a mirror he said now what do you say now I see myself teacher said in the mirror and in the window is class. The only differences the glass of the mirror has been coded thinly on one side with a coat of silver. No sooner do you add the silver you begin seeing only yourself and not people see the tragedy this man in the story is not that he was wealthy.
The tragedy was he was wrapped up in a very little package of Dell, that's one failure in this fool's life. He failed to consider is neighbor Paul writes to his son in the faith in first Timothy chapter 6 and he says listen, the love of money, not money, but the love of money is the root of all evil.
We usually stop there.
But we forget there's the rest of the verse. There, he says, and some commenting after it have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows you I think one of the chief sorrows of that is relation to this Scripture loneliness thing. An individual who is wrapped up in himself is a very lonely person because no one else can invade his life.
He failed to consider is neighbor. Secondly, he failed to recognize his own mortality. Let's look at the last part of verse 19 so you many goods laid up for many years to come underline that many years to come. Take your ease, eat, drink, Mary God said to him you for this very night your soul is required of you. I used to think that God was taking his life is in it at all.
The fact was, God knew that that man would die that night. Heart attack. Whatever a burglar breaking in taking his life. We don't know God knew that his life would end that night. This man didn't know it. He said I have many years and I'm just gonna settle back and spend it on myself. God says you fool, this very night your soul is required of you. Now who will but you've prepared interesting to Charlemagne, the great conqueror's tomb was discovered and opened to the shock of the archaeologists. They found that Charlemagne had been positioned in his throne on his request. He was seated on this golden overlaid chair are throne and he was dressed in the finest that you known was just a skeleton at this time and yet his hand and been fixed on his knee with his index finger pointing and they came closer and they discovered he had woven into the fabric of that material. Mark chapter 8 verse 36 believer and it said this of this world conqueror. Here's the epitaph he wanted.
Remember Mark 836 what shall it profit a man, he gains the whole world and lose his own soul, O tongue-in-cheek if you ever seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul no, the point is that this man failed to recognize he was mortal. There is a deceiving obnoxious factor in people who possess and pursue things that they are removed from accountability, especially to God.
They are an attendant. They are very obnoxious because they they failed to recognize their mere mortal third failure in this fool's life as he failed to acknowledge God. Note the last part of this passage. Verse 21 God says so is the man that is the fool. So is the fool who lays off treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. There's a French artist who painted a very interesting canvas piece. He read this passage of Scripture, and he decided to put it on canvas and eight and in oil and so he he painted away and he painted the picture of a man sitting behind the desk and on the desk were bags of golden coins behind him was a long shelf and on that shelf were many other bags of golden coins and there was a window to his left and you could see through the window and you saw bumper crop nothing but dark green fields. This man was sitting there with a rather smug look on his face when the artist finished did something unusual. He said this doesn't portray it right and he turned the canvas over any painted the same picture again same man same – same bag to go same harvest same bumper crop through the window but this time he painted it all overlaid with in code of dust and one more thing was added there was the shadowy figure of the death angel with his hand on his shoulder leaning forward with his lips pursed as if to say, fool ladies and gentlemen, the grave danger of coveting is we become self oriented. We only see ourselves, our things what we want, we fail to recognize our neighbor we lose sight of the fact that it any moment we could be standing before God we will not live forever in this body. Those who are wrapped up in pursuing things fail to recognize a sovereign God who waves his hand in effect saying stop and look to me. In fact, what I want to do is apply this now in the rest of the passage we've usually go find in this chapter right down the middle and it hurts because we take it out of context.
The next passage to the end of the chapter deals with what is basically turned anxiety how to get over anxiousness has nothing to do with anxiety has everything to do with overcoming consciousness. Look at the next verse, verse 22 and he said to his disciples that is to get them away from the crowd. He said a lot to me to what I just thought these people. I will client he says. For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life as to what you shall eat, nor for your body as to what you shall put on for life is more than food and the body than clothing. You know, as I read and reread and reread again, this passage to questions begin to form.
It's as if Jesus Christ has just given the instruction and now he pulls his disciples over any says luck. I want to give you a test I want to see if you are materialistic. I want you to see in yourselves whether or not you are greedy whether or not you are coverages.
He gives them some principles that I think we could form in the two questions I challenge all of us to take the test right now you're ready question number one.
What's more important to you getting more financially were growing up spiritually. Verse 24 consider the ravens so Nori in the storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than the birds in which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his lifespan can be translated 18 inches to your height. Not really sure how to translate that one little word span or life. However, it is in your translation. Great illustration of how we live with our spiritual growth in mind how passionate are we to grow up spiritually in the Lord, how often do we go to God is a whatever it takes between me and the faith.
That's the point where fragments keep reading and you'll see he refers to that mature growth. Verse 27.
Consider the lilies how they grow in your trailer spin but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not sound like one of these, but of God. So raise the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace. How much more will he clothe you like this all men of faith see what's important developing faith or my financial portfolio is the point he is saying I want to develop in you men you believers faith in me supersedes pursuit of anything. What you get turned on to the fact that I can mature you if you will yield to me. Take your eyes off that stuff and put them on question number one was what's more important to you getting more financially growing up spiritually.
Why go to question number two. That's the what concerns me most. Having money I can manage or having God manage me. Verse 29.
Do not seek what you shall eat what you shall drink, and I keep worrying for all these things the nations of the world eagerly see what your father knows that you need all these things. See, for his kingdom. Don't be afraid, little flock, for your father's chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity, make yourselves purses which do not wear out, and unfailing treasure in heaven when the thief comes near nor moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. What really turns our crank is it having money in our hands to spend or living with the attitude of placing ourselves in the hands of God. What I give my time and my thought how much I have to manage alleviating the fact that you and I'll have the struggle with making those ends meet. But does the thought never occurred to us that it isn't just that it is allowing God to manage our lives is the issue is pursuing, not our kingdom, but his kingdom now our stuff, but the things that relate to glorifying and honoring God seeking first his kingdom admitted were some of the best times and aren't some of the best times in your life when you have been financially in need. Having to depend on God. We don't want it, but when we come through it with a command that I something about God is why Spurgeon once wrote, we are at our spiritual best when we are shipwrecked on the island of God's sovereignty would you take inventory just a moment go back into your mind into your thinking back in time when God reveal his hand. Was it when you had money to manage or when it was it when he was managing you.
It is hard for me to come up with a time of desperate need. My wife and I have been married for a week and 1/2 we find ourselves in the parking lot in a seminary, Detroit, Michigan hadn't even been accepted in the seminary, yet never been there. I was confident, because my grade point average, but because it was a small school and they were desperate for students but I could get in.
We live in 1/2 a dozen different places always looking for the cheapest place. I was a janitor cleaning bathrooms.
My wife worked as a secretary were always looking for the cheaper place so that we could continue building my librarian and surviving my last move. Our last move was in a home you could call it that, in Detroit in the city limits cross the railroad tracks right away, just a block or two away from the Fisher body Plant. That wasn't really a classy neighborhood to live in the place where you would lock your doors as soon as the sunset and the stench was always in the air you we we would dust marsh would dust every day because at Fisher body plan would just shoot these polluted air at the to the sky and that we had a habit of the guys I went to school with very small school were very close so we scraped together our pennies. We get a van putting together for the gas and we drive to our the Grand Rapids and every day I think we had about 50 bucks and that I was getting good in there and in a matter of 10 minutes. I had my arms full with a $50 work and as I was leaving was Baker book House. My eyes fell on a set I've been coveting after for a long time but I didn't have any money, but my friend had a credit card hundred and $50.
That's how much our rent was by the way, that house. I thought all the way back to Detroit humming at the Martian history got in there and told her about that in an bless her heart, never a complaint and I does books out of the boxes and was sitting there in the thought occurs occurred to me rent was doing that we didn't have money for rent not justifying that purchaser though going to something crazy like that are night got a phone call her landlord was a believer and he said a statement this past month got is really been good to my wife.
We don't want you to pay the rent. My first thought was managing about $300 worth of all you little faith.
One of the most exciting times was that point of abandonment and times in your life. Just go back you get caught up in the here and now and what you're trying to just stop a second just one of the most exciting spiritual moments in your life and when you had extra or when you needed to depend on God. That is when he is evident. That's the point. Don't covet possessions. I'll take care of you ladies and gentlemen it is time we stop asking for from God started God Stevens calling today's lesson one nation under greed. This was the 11th and final lesson in a series on the 10 commandments called down from Sinai. You can go online and listen anytime or address is wisdom online.org and you'll find this and every other series on that site when we return next time will have a series for you from the book of Judges.
Join us for that next time here on wisdom