We all know that discipline of unrighteous members should be carried out within the body of Christ. There are certain things that a man may do which not only make him repugnant to God but which also would corrupt the body of Christ, the church. We will often hear of members being “disfellowshipped for bringing reproach on the church” (covers all, huh?), teaching false doctrine or for such things as unscriptural marriages, but how many do you know of that have ever been disciplined for covetousness? Would any of us recognize a covetous person if we saw one?
“Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:10-13).
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:3-5).
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
During this course, we will consider several examples from scripture which show how covetousness affected the work and ultimately the destiny of specific men and women. We will study these accounts to find out how we compare and how we can avoid being caught up in the same traps. Take a quick look at the various names to see how many you recognize from your previous studies.
EXAMPLES OF COVETOUSNESS
1.Eve, in desiring the forbidden fruit
2.Lot, in choosing the plain of the Jordan
a.In giving Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife
b.In deceiving Jacob when he served him seven years for Rachel
c.In deceiving Jacob in wages
b.Gave away his birthright
5.Pharaoh and the Egyptians
a.Coveted slaves (human bodies to serve them)
b.Coveted their property during the famine
6. Ahab coveted the vineyard that belonged to Naboth
7.Gehazi, the servant of Elisha coveted clothing and money (2 Kings 5)
8.Ahaz in coveting an altar of a heathen (conquered) nation (2 Kings 16:9-20)
a.Required Urijah to build one like it before the temple in Jerusalem
b.Worshipped at the new altar every evening
9. Balaam, in loving the wages of unrighteousness
10.Achan, in hiding the treasure
11.Eli’s sons, in taking the flesh of the sacrifice
12.Samuel’s sons, in taking bribes
13.Saul, in sparing, Agag and the booty
14.David coveted Bathsheba
15.Solomon (Deut. 17:15-17)
a.Brought 666 talents of gold to Jerusalem each year
b.Married 700 wives
c.Brought horses from Egypt
16.Romans coveted land and nations
a.Harsh treatment of those they conquered
b.Required service from Jews and others
17.The man whose brother would not divide the inheritance (Luke 12:13-15)
a.Coveted the money in the bag (treasury)
b.Coveted the price of the alabaster box of ointment
c.Coveted bribe money to betray Jesus
19.Rich fool (Luke 12: )
20.Pharisees (Luke 16:14)
a.Coveted the people’s allegiance
b.Coveted the money disciples gave to Jesus
c.Coveted power over the crowds that followed Jesus
d.Coveted the material Jesus said was mammon
21.Paul died spiritually because of covetousness (Rom. 7:7 [Strong’s to set the heart upon; as in Acts 20:23])
22.Simon the sorcerer coveted the power to give the gifts
23.Ananias and Sapphira ().
24.False teachers (2 Cor. ;2 Pet. 2:3)
a.Coveted the money from the churches
b.Coveted the praise of men
c.Coveted the power over souls
Some obviously coveted money, while others coveted food, clothing, treasures, idols or simply the praise of men.
- Looking at the list of names we plan to study, see if you can add any other accounts of men or women who lost their souls because of the covetousness.
- Where does any form of the word covet first appear in scripture, either Old Testament or New? To do a search, type the word covet with a star after it (e.g. covet*) so all forms of the word will show in the search. WORD STUDY: COVET, COVETOUS, COVETOUSNESS, COVETED, etc. ***See also GREED, GREEDY, GREEDILY, etc.
Online sources for word studies:
- Is there ever a good kind of covetousness (1 Cor. 12:31; 1 Cor. 14:39; 1 Tim. 3:1)?
- What sin caused Paul to die spiritually (Rom. 7:7)?
- Is it right to delight in increase (Job 31:25; Eccl. 5:10-11)?
- Why could the Pharisees not accept Jesus’ teaching about not loving the world (Luke 16:14)?
- With what does God equate covetousness (Col. 3:5)?
- What is a primary motive of false teachers for making converts (2 Pet. 2:3)?
- What does God think of those who give their hearts to coveting (2 Pet. 2:14)?
- Would Judas have done all the evil he did if he had not been covetous (John 12:6)?
- Why do young children often quarrel with each other? Do they understand what they are doing when they wish for something someone else has? How should parents handle those situations?
- What is a major reason people charge too much on a credit card?