In this sermon, Youth Director Mike Bittenbender concludes his series on the Ten Commandments with a message on the 10th Commandment– Do Not Covet. Here are some excerpts:
What is it you love, long for– that thing that you tell yourself that if only I had blank, or if only blank would happen I’d be happy? What is in your life that perhaps leaves you discontented? DeYoung says, “If the answer is anything other than God, you’re an idolator.” As I close out this series I want to give you one last quote form Kevin DeYoung,and then remind us how these Ten Commandments show us the love of God. The quote is this: “There’s a reason that ‘do not covet’ is the last of the Ten Commandments. It comes at the end because it is such a fitting summary of everything that has come before.
It’s impossible to covet and love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. It can seem strange that the ‘Ten Commandments’ start with such lofty ideals, I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me… and then ends with a prosaic whimper, ‘stop looking at that donkey.’ But do you see how the two are connected? God is saying, ‘I’m the only God you need. Don’t turn to Baal. Don’t turn to statues. And don’t turn to animals or friends or abilities either. Let nothing else capture your gaze and affections ahead of me!’”
Lastly, let us not forget why these commandments are given. As I have mentioned before, these commandments are given after the exodus from Egypt. God brings the Israelites out of the land of slavery, and now is establishing both a moral and civil law for His people but also the means to have a deeper relationship with Him and others. God did not tell His people that He will bring them out of slavery only if they obey each of these commandments perfectly.
He is not saying, “Hey, get your life straight and then come have a relationship with Me.” Rather, “I brought you out of that terrible place, love me and this is how.” That is how He is today. He doesn’t tell us to get our life together before we can follow Him and have a relationship with Him. Rather, He says, “I will bring you out of your slavery, out of whatever sin it is. I will give you that freedom in Christ and now come have a relationship with me and thisis how.”