Base Page for Cross and Crown Sermons
Home Page for Information
Explore the Book Sunday School Lessons Outlines

Do Not Covet

Ex 20:17 NKJV

C:\Commandments 2009\Command-10TAB.USE.wpd May 3, 2009

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."


Introduction       Dennis The Menace

In Hank Ketcham's comic strip "Dennis the Menace," Dennis is looking through a catalog saying, "This catalog's got a lot of toys I didn't even know I wanted." -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).


Case No. 2552. Henrietta Garrett "On the night of November 16, 1930, Mrs. Henrietta Garret, a lonely 81 year old widow died in her home in Philadelphia, and, unwillingly, started the most fantastic case of inheritance litigation in history. She had failed to leave a will, or no will was found to her $17,000,000 estate; a mystery still unsolved. She had expertly handled her financial affairs since her husbands death in 1895 and therefore many felt that she must have realized that without a will, her fortune would become involved in legal battles.

Although, Mrs. Garret, at the time of her death, had only one known relative, a second cousin, and less than a dozen friends; attempts to prove relationship to her and claim a part of her estate was made by more than 26,000 persons from 47 states and 29 foreign countries, represented by more than 3,000 lawyers. In their efforts to obtain her estate, there were those that committed perjury, faked family records, changed their own names, altered data in Family Bibles and concocted absurd tales of illegitimacy. As a result, 12 were confined, 10 received jail sentences, 2 committed suicide, and 3 were murdered. I wonder how many would have admitted they were guilty of covetousness?"


1.   The . . Personal Quality Of This Command. 17b

       "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."


A.   The Lord Speaks To Each Of Us . . Individually.

       1.    No Need to look at some one else.

              a.    This is true in all of the commandments

                     1)   You shall have no other gods before Me.

                     2)   You shall not make for yourself an Idol.

                     3)   You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,

                     4)   Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

                     5)   Honor your father and your mother,

                     6)   You shall not murder.

                     7)   "You shall not commit adultery.

                     8)   "You shall not steal.

                     9)   You shall not bear false witness

                     10) You shall not covet


       2.    We Are Personally Commanded To Obey.


B.   The Lord Speaks To Each Of Us . . Insistently.


       1.    Note The Number Of Times This sin is mentioned.

Mk 7:22-23 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man." NKJV

Lk 12:15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." NKJV

Ro 1:29 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, NKJV

1 Co 5:11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. NKJV

1 Co 6:9-10 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. NKJV

Eph 5:3-5 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Col 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. NKJV

1 Th 2:4-5 4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness. NKJV

Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." NKJV


D. L. Moody said,“I have heard many confessions, in public and private, during the past forty years, but never have heard a man confess that he was guilty of this sin. The Bible does not tell of one man who ever recovered from it, and in all my experience I do not recall many who have been able to shake it off after it had fastened on them. A covetous man or woman generally remains covetous to the very end.” D.L. Moody


“You” and “I” shall not Covet


2.   The . . Prohibition Of This Command. v 17b

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not

covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."

Covet English Definition

1. To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's).

2. To wish for longingly. --intr. To feel immoderate desire for that which is another's

Covet HEBREW Definition

hamad, to "desire"; "dishonest gain";

Covet GREEK Definition

"the wish to have more"). An inordinate desire for what one has not; in NASB this word is translated "greed"; its basis lies in discontentment with what one has.


A.   Synonyms . . Of Covetousness.

       1. Greed, 2. Envy. 3. Lust, 4. Stingy, 5. Selfish


B.   Samples . . Of Covetousness.

       1.    Achan    Jos 7:20-21

20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, "Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it." NKJV


       2.    David    2 Sa 11:2

2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.   

       3.    Judas     Mt 26:14-16

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.

16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. NKJV


       4.    Ananias and Sapphira. Ac 5:1-5

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. NKJV


Illustration  Stinging Ants

Recently A Man laid a small circle of poison around a hill of stinging ants. Thinking the tiny granules of poison were food, the ants began to pick them up and carry them throughout the colony. I returned later to see how well the poison was working. Hundreds of the stinging ants were carrying the poison down into their hill.

Then I noticed a hole in the circle of poison. Some of the poison was moving the opposite way—away from the hill. Some smaller, nonstinging ants had found this “food” and were stealing it from their ant neighbors. Thinking they were getting the other ants’ treasure, they unwittingly poisoned themselves.

When we see someone with more than we have, we must beware. The hunger to beg, borrow, or steal our way into what is theirs may poison us spiritually. - Bob James


“Do Not Covet


3.   The . . Preciseness Of This Command. 17c

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."

Your neighbor's house You shall not covet your neighbor's wife,


A man went to the Mall with his wife. She was Looking at some sale items and her husband was just looking around. A very attractive woman passed by who was very shapely and was showing it off. This man looked. You might say he gawked at her. His wife noticed and asked him, “Was that worth the trouble your in?”

nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox,

nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."


Illustration  Thou Shalt Not Covet Hamburgers

Every day I carried the same meal in my blue snap-down lunch box: Baloney sandwich on white bread. Small bag of potato chips. Thermos bottle of tomato soup. Moon pie. Robbie Buckner sat to my right. He never brought a lunch box to school. At noon each day, his mother delivered him a hamburger from the restaurant down the street. In those days my family was relatively poor, so I got to eat a hamburger at a restaurant only a couple of times a year. Robbie ate them every day.

Each lunch period I was forced to smell his hamburger. I watched in agony as Robbie opened his mouth wide and chewed off a mouthful. I was tortured as I listened to him smack each bite, while I forced a baloney sandwich down my own throat. But that last phrase did me in: “or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Yep, that includes hamburgers. And who is my neighbor? Anyone outside of me. (Kent Crockett)


Illustration  As Told By Ray Prichard

My Brother Alan told me an interesting story. He said that when he was in residency in the early 80s his chief resident was the doctor who was in the emergency room the night they brought Elvis in. So I asked my brother—"What’s the story? Was it really Elvis and was he really dead?”

No question there. But Alan said the chief resident told him that at first he didn’t recognize him. In fact, after declaring the man dead, the doctor had walked out of the room and started filling out some paperwork. Someone said to him, “Hey, do you know who that is? That’s Elvis Presley.” The doctor went back inside to have a closer look, and sure enough, it really was Elvis.

The Bloated Soul

What had happened? Elvis was so bloated from his drug use that he didn’t even look like himself. In the end, his features were so distorted from years of careless living that he was only a bloated image of what he had once been.

And yet this week, on the 15th anniversary of his death, the record industry honored him as the best-selling singer of all time. He had more silver and gold and platinum hits—110 in all—than anyone else in history and nearly twice as many as the Beatles.

Elvis had it all. Money, fame, wealth, power, success. All the things that people spend their lives seeking.

What many covet, he had.

What many yearn for, he attained.

Yet it wasn’t enough. In the end, he turned to drugs to satisfy the aching emptiness. Let me repeat it again. If having more things could make us happy, we would be the happiest people on earth!

How Do We Combat This Sin?



A. Guard Your Heart.             Watch Your Comparisons


B. Become a Great Giver.         Give Time, Talent, Treasure

C. Ask God to Give You a Grateful Heart. Be Content