Spirit-Filled Pastor: This Sin Has Deadly Consequences by DOUG STRINGER for Charisma News
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used the commandments prohibiting murder and adultery to illustrate the truth that obedience begins in the heart. The religious leaders of His day didn’t understand this truth; they believed a person was obeying God if he simply refrained from committing the physical acts of murder, adultery and stealing.
Their outward compliance to the law with no regard for the heart had reduced God’s statutes to cold, sterile, legal precepts, separate from their true meaning and intent. God wants us to fulfill the law, or His commandments, through the way we express our love for Him and for others. When we study the 10th commandment, “Thou shall not covet,” we must understand that true obedience to God begins in the heart.
Coveting is not necessarily an initial physical act, though it almost always leads to a sinful action. The Hebrew word for covet, hamad, means to desire, crave, long for or lust for. Like the love (lust) for money, the sin of coveting is the root of all sorts of evil behavior. That is why God addressed it in His commands to the Israelites:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex. 20:17).
Here are some biblical examples of coveting:
Coveting often begins with the lust of the eyes. A person sees something and begins to be consumed with a desire to possess it no matter what the cost, as we see in the case of King David (2 Sam. 11-13; 15-18). One evening David was on the roof of his palace when he saw a beautiful woman bathing close by. He inquired about her and discovered that she was married.