It’s been bugging me for a number of weeks now. I brought it up in a text conversation with my brother a week or so ago. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
I am convinced that the most neglected command of the 10 is not about Sabbath, but is rather about coveting. There are laws and movements defending all the other 9 to some extent, but there’s a sparse response to the 10th. In fact I reckon the only reason why church folk would remember it is because the KJV has reference to a shortened term for the donkey which gets all the chuckles.
I think about it and there’s something on divorce to deal with adultery business. Lying and murder have laws in place against them. There’s still that effect of having a special day (even if it persists in being the wrong one) in the week. Honour for parents still has some level of credibility (sure it’s tarnished, but there’s an argument that suggests its been tarnished since it was enshrined).
Think to yourself, though, what is there for coveting? In fact I’m convinced that society actively promotes coveting. Where do you think consumerism comes from? What you think propels capitalism? Altruistic values of benevolence? Do me a favour! When was the last time you saw a campaign against coveting? When was the last time you used the word covet in a sentence? It’s completely neglected, because it is completely rampant and actually hits the core of who we are as people.
There is a way of seeing it as the natural cyclical point to the first command which is a question of worship – the whole thing, there is a good argument posited, is a statement of worship. It’s a statement of love. Here is God who expresses love by liberating you from slavery. Now it makes sense to show love back by desiring Him and Him alone. That should thus mean there’s no room to desire what your neighbour has. That’s why Jesus would come back and say that the enemy of God in the serving stakes is not the devil but Mammon. It gets back to what apparently Rockefeller said about how much money is enough – more. That covetous spirit that desires more, but not more of God. Indeed what we require more of exposes our hearts to what we treasure above all else.
This brings me neatly into the devotional Deborah and I shared this evening before she retired to sleep. She is a beautiful girl is my Deborah and I enjoy spending these devotional times with her. Abigail had already flaked out from the week’s exertions. She’s done well to make it through, has our Abigail, after a week of roughing it with some puny/weakly displays. Anyway, she’d already said goodbye to the world of awake and so left it to her older sister to keep her end up.
Below is the series of cartoons we watched and prayed about as our devotional. It’s not about its strict biblical accuracy – save that for another day. It’s about the linking of key themes of the Kingdom exemplified in Christ and how that’s about valuing not what my neighbour has, or desperately desiring more stuff, but finding the true treasure in Christ. It’s a poignant issue, because it exposes my heart to just what the fundamental driving values are for me and it asks are my investments heavenly ones? How would I know? Good questions with which to embrace a Sabbath rest that says He is al my sufficiency.
For His Name's Sake