GOD’S TENTH COMMANDMENT SHOWS THAT HE VALUES CONTENTMENT.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Exodus 20:17.
Verse of the Day: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6, NIV).
Randy and his dad watched the special news bulletin that had interrupted their favorite television show. The newscaster reported the arrest of three teenagers who had beaten a classmate to death with a baseball bat after the classmate refused to give up a jacket. When the report ended, Dad turned the volume down.
“What do you think about what those three teenagers did?” Dad asked. Randy shrugged. His dad asked him that kind of question all the time.
“It was wrong,” he answered.
“Why was it wrong?”
“Well,” Randy said, as if the answer were obvious, “because killing is wrong.”
Then Randy added, “And killing is wrong because God said ‘Do not kill.’ And God said ‘Do not kill’ because he values life.”
Dad smiled broadly. “Wow!” he said. “I’m impressed. Now I have another question,” Dad said. “Those three teenagers did something wrong before they even started to beat up that boy, before they took his jacket. In fact, their first sin led to all the others. Do you know what that was?”
Randy fell silent for a few moments, but finally he shook his head at his father.
“What’s the last of the Ten Commandments?” Dad asked.
Randy thought for a moment, then answered, ‘”Do not covet.'”
Dad nodded, but said nothing.
Suddenly, Randy’s eyes grew wide. “I know!” he said. “The thing that started it all was when those guys coveted the other guy’s jacket!”
“Exactly,” Dad said. “Their first sin was coveting. . . .”
“God said ‘Do not covet.'”
“But – did God say that?” Dad asked, pressing further.
Randy thought for a minute. Finally he shook his head. “I don’t know.”
“God said not to covet because he wants us to be content,” Dad said. “The Bible says, ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain.’ God values contentment because he is never discontent. He has everything he needs-because he is everything he needs. And he wants us to be content with him and with all he gives us.”
Dad paused. “Before I turn the volume up on the TV, why don’t we pray for God to help us both become less covetous and more like him?” Randy smiled and nodded thoughtfully.
TO DISCUSS: What does it mean to covet? Why do people covet? Why do you think God doesn’t want people to covet? Can you trust God and still covet? Why or why not?
TO PRAY: “Lord, protect us from wanting what others have. May we be content with what you have given us.”