Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Ten Commandments #10: When Desire Is Dangerous

Exodus 20:17


The Tenth Commandment contains the combined teachings of the other Nine Commandments.

It goes to the Heart of man's relationship both with God and man.

It is what someone has said, "THE MOST RESPECTABLE OF ALL SINS."

It deals with a man's inner motives and desires, not his outward actions.

Therefore, a person can be guilty of breaking this commandment without his fellow man ever knowing it.


A. This is probably one of the most misunderstood commands of God.

B. It does not mean that one is not to long for nor desire the same things his neighbor has!

C. The EVIL is when the desire becomes the passion of one's life.

D. The word comes from a Greek word meaning "grasping at more."

Illustration: "It is to desire something with an inordinate passion which overrides the right means or which reaches after that which is unlawful and uses unlawful methods to secure it."

E. The New Testament goes even deeper than unlawful desire.

F. It means: " desire more than one needs, more than one can possibly use, to desire to accumulate money, or to amass material goods, to garner power for the mere sake of possession or that one may spend it on selfish ends."

G. Coveting is the first sin recorded in the Bible.

1. Adam and Eve desired that which was God's Alone.

2. Then they TOOK It!

H. I have seen and heard a lot of repentance, but never one time for the sin of coveting!


A. Covetousness leads to EVERY OTHER SIN!

B. This can be illustrated by some Old Testament stories:

1. Ahab's coveting of Naboth's vineyard caused all manners of sin to be committed!

2. Achan's coveting caused the defeat of the nation of Israel.

C. It destroys one's contentment!

D. There can be no contentment when one wants more and more and more.

E. It makes things more important than people and money more important than men.

F. It blinds one to the things that are important in life.

Illustration: "Henry Ford is reported to have kept a pair of field glasses on his desk with silver dollars as lenses. When asked why, he replied, "It is to remind me that when the dollar is held too close, it blinds one to everything else."


(Luke 12:15) "Take heed, and beware  of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

A. Jesus particularly hated covetousness.

B. He knew it not only could destroy character and happiness, but would ultimately lead one into hell.

C. It was to warn of this that He told the parable of the rich fool and concluded by saying, "....these things shall require thy soul..."

D. Let us search our hearts and remember it is not what we have, but who we are that counts with Jesus.


The only way to conquer this sin is by desiring the will of God instead of the will of our own flesh. If we will seek God first all the things needed will be given (Matt 6:33).