|Thou shalt not covet|
''Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.’’
The word covet is to have an excessive desire for something, especially that which belongs to someone else. Coveting something that belongs to others often stems from or leads to jealousy or envy. God warns His people not to desire what belongs to others but to be content with such things as we have. (Hebrews 13:5).
Let us consider a couple of examples in the scriptures on the subject of covetousness for our admonition.
Ahab, king of Israel, coveted a vineyard that was close to his palace. It belonged to a man by the name Naboth. When Naboth refused to part with the family’s heritage, Jezebel the wife of King Ahab arranged for his execution and took the land for her husband. (1 Kings 21). The LORD sent His servant Elijah the prophet to pronounce judgment upon Ahab and his household. Ahab died on the spot where Naboth was unlawfully killed, with dogs licking his blood as they did to Naboth. It happened just as it was prophesied. Their son Jehoram was also killed by Jehu the anointed leader of God, who had his body dumped on the plot of land that had belonged to Naboth. Moreover, Jezebel the wife of Ahab, was eaten by dogs on the very land that she unlawfully took off Naboth. 2 Kings 9:30-37. God is Righteous.
Also, David, the beloved king of Israel, took the wife of a man named Uriah, a servant of his, impregnated her and eventually had the husband killed. God was angry with His beloved servant and sent the prophet Nathan with a word against David and his household. The LORD said to David ‘’ Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’’ (2 Samuel 12). Moreover, The LORD said,
‘’Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’’ (2Sa 12:9-12).
God forgave David when he repented but his household was plagued with one trouble after another because of his sin.
The LORD is against us taking what belongs to others. It always leads to a curse. Let us be mindful of our ways.