Collect of the Week (Proper 17-C)
O merciful Lord, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all. Grant us courage and strength to take up the cross and follow Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Genesis 3:1-8 (From the Bible Story Lectionary)
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You1 shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,1 she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Catechism: The Ninth & Tenth Commandments
What is the Ninth Commandment?
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it.
What is the Tenth Commandment?
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do not entice or force away our neighbor’s wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty.
In the name of T Jesus.
If it has been given to another, it has not been given to you. That seems easy enough to understand. The problem is, our sinful heart desires what has been given to another.
We don’t often think of the sin of coveting being committed there in the garden by Adam and Eve. But it was their desire for what was God’s—knowledge—that caused them to consider the forbidden fruit, and eventually, to eat it. They desired to be like God. They desired what was given to another. The option that was placed before them by Satan, was an option they began to desire, and this desire—already the sin of coveting—is what would lead Even, and then Adam, to eat what the LORD had not given them to eat.
Rather than being covetous, faith in Christ and His promises allows us to be content. By looking at Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on our behalf, we are convinced of the Father’s love. With this conviction, we hold fast to the Father’s promises to provide, and protect. He has promised daily bread, and so we trust that what the LORD has given to us is what the LORD desires us to have. Even more, we trust that what the LORD has kept from us, is what the LORD desires to keep from us.
Of course, what has been given to us today may not be given tomorrow. And likewise, what has been kept from us today, may be given tomorrow. But again, that is for the LORD to decide. For His will is always good and wise.
Adam and Eve were not given to be “like God.” It was not in the LORD’s will for them to have knowledge of good and evil. It had been His will for them simply to have knowledge of the good that he had created and given for them to tend. And so, having been redeemed from the curse of the Law through Christ—the second Adam—we now look to the sins of the first Adam as sins not to be repeated, but to put off. While our hearts will covet many things, in Christ, we learn to trust that what our Father has chosen to give, is what is good to have. And what my neighbor has received, well, that is good for him as well.
In the name of T Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, keep us from all covetous desire, that we might be content with what You have given, and find our peace in the promises of Your Son. Amen.
Daily Prayer (For Tuesday)
We pray…for deliverance against temptation and evil; for the addicted and despairing, the tortured and oppressed; for those struggling with sin.