Stella was sitting in her favorite chair watching her favorite television show. To her , life couldn't be better for Harold had been grounded and since he couldn't leave his room, he couldn't bother her. Yes, Stella thought life was just great or at least it was until she was startled by someone banging on the front door, causing her to spill a glass of grape juice all over her favorite outfit.
“Quick, I need to see Harold!” Mindy said as she pushed the door open, knocking Stella to the floor. “Where is he?” “You can't see him!” Stella snapped back, “He's grounded and isn't aloud out of his room and no one is allowed in it. Now help me up!” “But I need to see him now.” Mindy said as she gave Stella her hand to help her up.”
“Why would you want to see Harold?” Stella asked, “Do you need to kill him?” “No way.” Mindy said, “I need him alive so he can help me.” “Well,” Stella growled, you'll have to wait until next month and look what you made me do to my shirt.” “Next Month!” Mindy exclaimed, “I need to see him now as in N O W, now!”
“What in the world could you possibly need Harold’s help for.” Stella asked, “Are you trying to get yourself into trouble so you'll be grounded?” “Well,” Mindy stuttered, “There is this new toy at the store and I just have to have it.” “You just have to have it?” Stella questioned. Are you sure you have to have it?”
“Everybody’s getting one.” Mindy claimed. “Everybody?” Stella asked. “Yes!” Mindy exclaimed, “Everybody is getting one and I need Harold's help.” “Why?” Stella asked, “why don't you just go and get one.” “Uhm,” Mindy hesitated, “Because mom and dad won’t let me get one.” “They won't!” Stella exclaimed “No.” Mindy said, “They won't”
“So.” Stella said, “What makes you think that Harold would be able to help you get one?” “That's easy.” Mindy answered, “Your mom and dad let him have whatever he wants.” “Not really.” Stella injected, “And when they don't he always figures out away to get things.” Mindy completed.
“That's true.” Stella said in agreement, “But you need to remember, that he's always getting into trouble for doing it.” “Better him than me.” Mindy said but then her eye caught glimpse of something. “Hey, is that one of those new toys over there?” “Over where?” Stella asked looking to see what Mindy just saw.
“I bet somebody lost it and I found it.” Mindy exclaimed with glee, “Finders keepers you know.” “What?” Stella exclaimed, “Wait a minute, that's not lost that's mine.” “Well it's mine now.” Mindy said as she ran to grab it. “It is not!” Stella screamed running after her, tackling her before she could get to it.
Matthew 7:7-12 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (ESV)
God likes to give gifts, especially to those who ask but God doesn't give everybody everything. There are times when God doesn't want us to have something and then we decide otherwise. These three men did just that.
Achan was told before destroying Jericho that all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.- Joshua 6:19 (ESV) but... Achan answered Joshua, "Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath." Joshua 7:20-21 (ESV) Achan wanted what was not his, took it and lost his life.
Gehazi served Elisha and when Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Syria was cured. And Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, "See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him." So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, "Is all well?" And he said, "All is well. My master has sent me to say, 'There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two festal garments.' " 2 Kings 5:20-22 (ESV) Gehazi wanted what was not his, took it and received leprosy.
Ahab was a king in 1 Kings 21. He wanted a vineyard but when he asked for it he was told no. His wife, the wicked Jezebel, had the owner of the vineyard killed and seized the land for him. Ahab did and God pronounced punishment on him for doing so.
The last of the ten commandments says - You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's. Exodus 20:17 (ESV) All of these men and many others have coveted – wanted something that wasn't theirs and went and took it and there in lies the biggest problem of coveting.
The worst part about coveting what another has is things don't satisfy. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. (ESV)
The Bible reminds us that instead of coveting what others have we should simply be content with what we have.
- Hebrews 13:5 - Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (ESV)
When there are things we would like to have – work for them, ask God for them but don't covet them.
Here's Something To Ponder
- What are the things that you covet?
- Are you content with all that you have?