In considering how we learn from the Ten Commandments God’s will, this week we will consider both the 9th and 10th Commandments. They both have to do with coveting - the 9th with coveting the physical property of our neighbor, and the 10th with coveting the living beings attached to our neighbor, as in his wife, workers, and livestock.
So when does an attraction or desire become a matter of coveting? It is coveting when the desire becomes inordinate and consuming. And it is coveting when we are jealous and resentful that the object of our desire belongs to our neighbor.
Coveting is when we make an idol out of the thing we desire. That is, when we covet something we end up believing that the object, rather than God, can truly deliver on the promise to us of a happier and more fulfilled life.
The coveting commandments are a fitting conclusion to the Ten because they have everything to do with the 1st Commandment. “You shall have no other gods!” The 9th and 10th Commandments help to describe how we get off the rails with the 1st, and then why consequently we end up violating other commandments.
King David in 2 Samuel 11 and 12 provides an example of this. Do you remember the chain of wicked events? David commits adultery with Bathsheba. To cover his sin he works deceptively. When his first deception does not work he arranges the death of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. But how did the whole sorry chain begin? It began when his eyes fell upon a beautiful woman bathing, and he inquired about her and sent for her. It started with “coveting” his neighbor’s wife!
So what is God’s will for our lives? It is to be content with what we have been entrusted and to look to God alone for fulfillment. It is to help our neighbor keep what has been entrusted to him, and to encourage his wife and workers to remain loyal to him. It is going to God in prayer and looking to him to provide.
Since You Asked…
Are announcements necessary? And should they be included as a part of the liturgy?
Not all announcements are necessary! Nor should they be allowed to disrupt the rhythmic flow of the service. It is likewise important that announcements be kept to a minimum. But certain announcements are important. Information that will enhance participation in the worship, information pertaining to further Christian service, and information for regarding further opportunities for spiritual edification are such announcements of importance, and they are worthwhile to promote publicly to the assembly. We have chosen the beginning of the worship service as the most helpful and least disruptive placement for announcements.