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Covetousness is a root inherent in all born in sin, and so there is a commandment of the Old Testament, given by God, that we must not covet our neighbour’s house, wife, male or female servant, donkey or anything else that belongs to our neighbour, and so serious is this sin that this command stood alone next to: “You must not testify falsely against your neighbour.”[1]

God’s grace to David would have been that God was able to take Uriah’s life in battle, which would have set Uriah free from a wife who was unfaithful to him, and at the same time allowed David to have Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, after his death. It would have given the appearance to Israel that David was merciful to Uriah, a faithful soldier in his army, through taking Uriah’s widow into the palace as his wife. God’s grace would have covered over both David’s lustful heart and Bathsheba’s unfaithfulness to her husband by her promiscuous bathing in full view of the palace occupants, if David had gone no further with the sin in his heart, but repented of it.

Cain’s sin was to covet Abel’s righteousness. His sacrifice was that of his own labour, reminding God of His curse on man that they would produce crops by the toil of their hands, and so God did not accept Cain or his gift. Whereas, Abel saw that he was Adam’s son and needed to sacrifice, but he also saw he was God’s son, and therefore sacrificed as God did by shedding blood to cover his sins. It was a sacrifice that came not from his labour, because a shepherd does not labour with the flock but only leads them to pasture.

So God said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”[2] The mastery of sin comes from repentance and belief. Envy and jealousy are fruits of covetousness, but there is a jealousy that is of God, for He gave us a spirit that tends to envy and jealousy, envy for Him and jealousy for Him.

This path of enlightenment is to lead us to sacrifice correctly and not from the fruits of our labour, but to lay down our life. The life of a disciple puts to death that of a believer, and the life of an overcomer puts to death the disciple. Therefore, pray for one another[3] to set each other free and to lift each other up as practice of the mastery of the sin of covetousness.

Jesus came full of Grace and Truth, and the New Living Translation translated it as: He came full of unfailing love and faithfulness.[4] It is that when we do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves, we fulfil the Old Testament Law and the Prophets[5], but to do for others as we would have done for ourselves fulfils Jesus and His Law. So now we are to not only do to others what we would have done to ourselves, but we are to do for others what we would have done for ourselves. It means to do for others what they desire for themselves, which is to be full of Grace and Truth. That is, to be full of unfailing love, which is perfectly patient always with others, to be always good and always kind, and to be full of faithfulness is to be always truthful.

So therefore, we prepare others to become all that the Father desires of them and for them, yet not considering it for ourselves nor expecting reciprocation by another, but ensuring with all our might and strength that the others make it, laying down our own lives and overcoming our own weaknesses and even the weakness of the others that they would make it for the Father’s delight and good pleasure, so that they become His pride and joy. In so doing, we do for them, not to them. It is like parents with a teenager, who see that their teenager is too distracted with friends and the enjoyments of life to carry out his household chores or even iron his clothes. So the parents cover him by doing it for him without expectation of reward or even thanks. For the parents hope and know that the teenager will grow out of this stage into a more mature stature to take up his own responsibilities fully, and even going the extra mile by relieving his parents of some of their workload. And so the parents take full delight in the fruitfulness of the maturity of their offspring and are filled with pride and joy at his achievements, no matter whether they be simple or highly talented. For it is God who gives us our talents and gifts, not we who created them, but it is that we take them to work with them diligently and multiply them into a full harvest.

In the end, we will give it all back to the Father, for it all comes from Him and belongs to Him, just as Jesus will hand the throne back to the Father at the end of His Millennial Reign. To understand Grace is to understand its cost, for those who die for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God[6] know the cost. Jesus will not give the Kingdom of God to anyone who doesn’t know the cost for it would dishonour those who gave their lives for their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.

For the unity that Jesus desires for us when He prayed to His Father, “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me,”[7] flows when everyone of us are doing precisely what we are called for and gifted to do. Then we will see the beginning of oneness that He gave us the glory for that we may be one as They are One[8] as we help each other to excel in each one’s gifts and so master the sin of covetousness. And in our understanding of one another through this unity of purpose, the words of the Lord: “Look! The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them,”[9] will come to pass in its fulfilment to honour the desire of Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit that we would experience such perfect unity, the unity that brings the impossible into existence so that the world will know Jesus came from the Father, and that we are loved by the Father as the Father loves Jesus. Amen


 

[1] Exodus 20:16,17 NLT

[2] Genesis 4:6-7 NLT

[3] Matthew 6:6 NLT “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.”

[4] John 1:14,17

[5] Matthew 7:12

[6] Revelation 20:4 NLT

[7] John 17:23

[8] John 17:22

[9] Genesis 11:6

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