1. “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of coveteousness, for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Lk. 12:15.
Our Lord Jesus Christ saw this evil desire in man and warned us seriously against it. We have seen this evil in the lives of many people of the past. Today we still see many people that eagerly desire things that do not belong to them. The underlying danger is that force is applied ultimately to achieve that which is coveted.
Somebody had approached Jesus Christ to put pressure on his brother to enable him share in his brother’s inheritance: “Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.” Lk. 12:13. But Jesus replied: “Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? Lk. 12:14.
It was that immoderate desire to share what the law permitted not that made the man request Jesus to assist him. It was coveteousness that made the man desire to share from what does not belong to him legally. We see much of that behavior in our society today where people take unlawfully what does not belong to them. The excessive desire to have what does not belong to them leads peoples to unlawful activities.
So Jesus rightly reminded the man that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.
We are still being warned today to stop coveting what does not belong to us. There is great danger when a man begins to desire more than what God purposes for him.
2. It is awfully disturbing that rich people covet greatly. They sometimes lawlessly overstep their boundaries to take forcefully what does not belong to them. Some top officials in offices and a good number of politicians covet and convert the money that belongs to the government to their Bank Accounts. Coveteousness has made many people take away what belongs to government, money or materials, wrecking down the nation’s economy.
The church should not stand still watching the coveteous people loot the government’s property but should keep on sounding warnings upon warnings against those that covet what they see in government treasuries and carry to their homes or foreign Bank Accounts.
Why are these rich men never satisfied with what God intends for them? The reason is because of their high degree of coveteousness.
God has commanded: “Thou shall not covet thy neigbour’s house, … wife… nor anything that is thy neighbor’s” Ex. 20:17.
It is disheartening whenever we read about Ahab and his wife. It disturbs our heart that king Ahab in his position as a king coveted Naboth’s vineyard. His wife asked: “Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?” I Kg 21:5. The king replied Jezebel his wife: “…because I spoke unto Naboth the Jezreelite and said unto him Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered I will not give thee my vineyard.” I Kg 21:6. Jezebel displayed her wickedness and reminded King Ahab to use his power to get the vineyard. Naboth was killed. Today, people still use their power to forcefully acquire what they covet.
3. “Woe to them that device iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they practice it because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, they take them away. So they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.” Micah 2:1-2. As it was in the time of Prophet Micah so it is still today.
Although rich ones today, have their places of worship where they occupy their permanent front seats, they have not relented in oppressing the poor and they have not stopped taking what belongs to the poor by force because the power is in their hands to do so.
Ministers of God shall never relent in preaching against oppression of the common, the poor no matter how unpleasant it is to the ears of the powerful, wicked ones. The amount of wealth cannot determine those that will enter the kingdom of God. “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mt. 16:26
Coveteousness, an uncontrollable excessive desire to have, has led many to armed robberies, murders, assassinations, frauds here and there. The society is virtually rotten, in disrepair and near collapse because of coveteousness both in the youths and among adults. People even covet what they do not need: they have very good cars for all their smooth journeys and do not even have enough space for parking them, but they have seen another model and they covet it and steal money to buy it.
Those that are coveteous are never satisfied in this world. Nothing satisfies them. Their possessions are never enough for them and they can still take by force or steal what does not belong to them. The situation was very bad in the time of Jeremiah but he did not rest from shouting against coveteousness. It is still so today. So we should rigorously call people to come out of it.
Hear what Jeremiah said: “for from the least of them even unto the greatest of them everyone is given to coveteousness: and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.” Jer. 6:13. That is also a great warning to our present day Prophets, Priests, Pastors, Districts Pastors, General Overseers, General Superintendents, Apostles, Senior Apostles, The Seers, The Bishops and The Archbishops. The command for all is “Thou shall not covet”. Gladly there is a way out. Repent totally and come to Jesus and give your life totally to Him. Ask Him to cleanse you from all your sins and give you a new heart, a new life today. The Church should also pray: O Lord remove coveteousness from our leaders. Amen.