Tuesday, July 21, 2009,

How Much Do You Need? The Danger of Coveting, Part 30 of 60

TEXT: "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" (Exodus 20:17).

"You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s" (Deuteronomy 5:21).

IDEA: All of our hungers point to the deeper hunger that only God can satisfy.

PURPOSE: To help listeners see the deception of trying to satisfy the deepest hunger of their lives with lesser things.

Who is Augustine?

What do you know about him?

In his Confessions, he made the statement, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

How did he come to that?

What did he mean by it?

I. All our hungers are simply hungers that point to the deepest hunger in our lives.

We covet what our neighbor has because we believe that if we have it, our hunger will be satisfied. When we get what our neighbor has, does that cause coveting to stop?

We believe that in all of our hungers, when they are filled, we will be satisfied, only to discover that the anticipation is greater than the reality.

How do people end up in a profligate life? One hunger fulfilled leaves us unsatisfied which leads to another.

II. The tenth commandment really points us to the first commandment.

Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

We can never be content with what cannot satisfy us.

God does not condemn desire, but He does warn us in this commandment that desire for the wrong thing can destroy us and will not satisfy us.

III. The deepest hunger of our life which expresses itself in other hungers can be met only by God.

Jesus in John 6:27-35 said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will you perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will you do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Bread and water fill legitimate hungers, but they point to the deepest hunger in our lives which only Christ can fill.