Read: Exodus 20:1-17
Some may wonder why God did not list the Ten Commandments in reverse order, since the 10th commandment correlates to the first sin – desire. Eve’s sin was not simply her desire for a piece of fruit; it was the desire for knowledge that Satan told her would make her like God (Gen. 3:5). Eve’s covetousness caused her to violate both the first and tenth commandments that God later gave through Moses.
When we do not covet, we mostly eliminate our reasons to disobey the other commandments. Wanting what is not ours causes us to lie, steal, commit adultery, murder, and refuse to honour our parents. We refuse to rest because we can’t get what we want in 6 days of work. And we continue to work even on the 7th day, which God declared as a day of rest and a day set apart for Him. We misuse God’s name when we use it to justify something that we want to do. We make gods out of wealth and relationships because we don’t want to put all our trust in God.
It may be hard to come up with sins that do not involve some form of covetousness. Yet because it is the last in the list, we may tend to think of it as being the least important. But it is not. When we stop sin while it is still in our hearts and minds, we avoid making others the victim of our sin, and we avoid many of the serious consequences of sin.
When you covet someone else’s things thinking that they are better than your own, just remember that God’s gifts to you were designed for you and you alone. Contentment is realising that God has already given me all I need. The Bible rightly says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).