The Tenth Commandment

Thou Shalt Not Covet

Most of us have heard of The Ten Commandments, even though nowadays, we are no longer permitted to place them in the public square.  It would seem they cause great harm to certain people of a certain persuasion.  Maybe they don’t like the idea that they make them feel guilty.  I don’t know.  I can only guess.

However, for the sake of argument, even for those who refuse to believe in God, there is great wisdom in the ancient laws that is indisputable.  Take for instance, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”  I know.  It is one that is particularly difficult to follow.  Yet, if we all did, every venereal disease would fade away in fifty or sixty years.  AIDS would be gone in thirty.

Maybe God had a reason for the commandment.  Just maybe he had our good in mind.

Certainly, even the staunchest atheist would have to admit the good of two of the commandments, “Though shalt not steal,” “Though shalt not murder.”  Would it really hurt if we posted these two commandments everywhere?  Don’t you think we could all tolerate at least these two?

I am sure most atheist parents taught their children not to lie.  I would hope so anyway.  Maybe it was a good idea that our Lord decided to include it in his law.

The first four commandments have to do with our relationship with God.  The first two have to do with idols.  If there is no God or god, why should we worship any god?  Many horrible things happened to people chasing after false gods.  How many died with that stupid Jones character down in South America.  Maybe it would have been a good thing to tell them that following a false god is a bad thing.  Frequently, as in this case, it ended in death.

I would like us to consider especially the tenth commandment.  Not too many do.  I rather call it the forgotten commandment.  I mean everyone knows most of the others, even the most defiant atheist.  However, I would suspect many people don’t know the tenth commandment.  Even if they do, they likely have discussed it very little.

First, it is different than all the others in that it is completely within the mind.  “Thou shalt not covet.”  Okay.  Let’s say you covet your neighbor’s ox.  Is anyone going to know it unless you admit to it?  If someone covets your wife, there is no way of really knowing it, though you just might have a good guess.

Speaking of coveting, I would love to be able to sing like Bing Crosby did.  Now he had a very nice voice.  When I try to sing, it encourages others to leave.  I would like to be able to play a musical instrument.  Leroy Anderson could play half a dozen, very well.  I can’t even play anything on those organs that have those cheat markings on them.  Well, I can play a player piano, as long as I have a few of those neat scrolls.

The one thing I can do with music is enjoy it and do, very much.  I enjoy a wide variety of it from the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan to Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel and a lot in between.

The real problem with coveting is that it is generally the seed of many other sins.  Before a person steals or murders, it usually starts with coveting.  I’m sure I don’t need to explain it all.  All of us have coveted that which another has.  It rarely ends well.  Many times, it ends with hard feelings.  Sometimes, far worse.

Now.  Let us take a quick look at President Trump.  Many have accused him of wanting to make a fortune from his office.  Ironically, he of all people had no reason to lust after the money and power.  He had far more money and power before becoming president.  On the contrary, he sought the job for the good of America and Americans.

On the other hand, the democrats wanted to destroy him because of jealousy.  They coveted the power he had so that they could tell others what to do, so that they could tap into the wealth.  In the end, in this case, the disobedience of the tenth commandment might end in this nation, as we know it.

Ironically, it won’t be the sin of theft or murder that will bring us down, but coveting.

By the way.  I would suggest you all read The Ten Commandments, even those who hate them.  In them is great wisdom.  Why should anyone fear wisdom?

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