The question often arises, and understandably so, about how sin arose in God’s universe. We understand how, at least somewhat. And at its heart, it was because of covetousness. Perhaps covetousness, then, is the ultimate original sin.
Read Isaiah 14:12-14. What hints are given there about the fall of Lucifer? How did covetousness play a crucial role in that fall?
“Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.” — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 35.
Read Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5. With what does Paul equate covetousness, and why?
How fascinating that twice Paul would equate covetousness with idolatry. People practice idolatry when they worship — that is, dedicate their lives to — something other than God, something created rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). Could covetousness be, then, wanting something that we shouldn’t have, and wanting it so badly that our desire for it, rather than the Lord, becomes the focus of our heart?
No doubt, Lucifer didn’t at first know where his wrong desires were to lead him. It can be the same with us. The commandment against covetousness, the one commandment that deals only with thoughts, can stop us from acts that will lead to the violation of other commandments as well. (See, for instance, 2 Samuel chapter 11)
|Read 1 Timothy 6:6-7. How can focusing on what Paul writes here help protect us from covetousness?