By: Ely Lagajino
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20: 17 (NKJV)
Every morning, King Ahab goes to the palace terrace to inhale fresh air and watch his kingdom’s view. He always focuses his eyes on the small piece of land planted with grapes that attract him. Every day his heart desires to own this vineyard, although the kingdom of Israel owns a vast hectare of vineyards.
One day he visits Naboth, the owner of the beautiful vineyard, and tells him to sell his land in any amount he wishes. Naboth refuses to sell his inheritance protected by the Leviticalcode.
Ahab returns to the palace angrily, lies on his bed, and refuse to eat. When Queen Jezebel learns what happens to the king, she promises to take the land. Ahab doesn’t mind by what means his wife accomplishes the task. The wicked Jezebel writes a letter in Ahab’s name to the elders of Jezreel, commanding them to proclaim a day of fasting and let Naboth sit in a particular place with two Belial spies in between him.
While the program is going on the spies falsely accuse Naboth of cursing God and the King of Israel. They arrest him and stone him to death outside the city. When Jezebel hears that he is dead, she tells the king to possess Naboth’s land. God sends Elijah the prophet to condemn Ahab for murdering Naboth only to acquire the property.
”Covetousness is to desire something with no regard for the rights of others” and a lustful craving for something that belongs to someone else. It is always complemented with a greedy desire resulting to stealing, lying, murder, and lust.
In these modern times, social media keeps on promoting endless wants and needs that may lead us to deadly desires.
The Bible tells us that contentment, generosity, and faith in God are antidotes to covetousness.