#DailyDevotion The First, Ninth & Tenth Commandments Are One
Luke 12: 13“Teacher,” someone in the crowd said to Him, “tell my brother to give me my share of the property our father left us.” 14“Man,” He asked him, “who appointed Me to be your judge or to divide your property? 15“Be careful,” He told the people. “Guard against every kind of greed. Even if you have more than enough, your property doesn’t give you life.”
There are two things Jesus is teaching us here, vocation and not be greedy. On the first Jesus replies to the man, “who appointed Me to be your judge or to divide your property?” Now you may be thinking, “But Jesus is the Lord, of course he can judge these things.” But this guy doesn’t know that. Jesus is just some popular rabbit he thinks his brother may listen to. Jesus however has come to teach, to reveal the Father through himself, to reveal the Father’s will towards humanity, to suffer, to die and to rise on the third day. He did not come to settle disputes between people. They have the elders and judges for that sort of thing.
This discussion goes to the topic of greed. Jesus warns us to guard against every kind of greed. Apparently there is more than one kind. The word for greed here can also be translated as covetousness. It is the desire to have more than you have. It is the desire to have other people’s stuff. In the epistle lesson from Colossians three Paul calls covetousness idolatry.
The catechism teaches us:
The Ninth Commandment. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
What does this mean?–Answer. We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, and obtain it by a show of [justice and] right, etc., but help and be of service to him in keeping it.
What does this mean?–Answer. We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice away our neighbor’s wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and [diligently] do their duty.
The ninth and tenth commandments form a circle back to the first commandment. We want worldly wealth because we don’t trust God to provide for us our daily bread. We look to wealth to provide us every good. It could be wealth related to our own industry or simply going about getting someone else’s wealth but in any case we don’t expect God to take care of us. When God does bless us with more than we need he intends us to share with those who lack. We are to give to those who lack out of the abundance the Lord has blessed us with.
But the Lord blesses us with more than daily bread. He blesses us with the super abundance of his riches. Paul writes, Rom 5:17 “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” The Psalmist writes, Psa 130:7 “O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.” So we should be content with whatever material goods the Lord blesses us with, share from our abundance the Lord has given us with those with less and set our hearts on the abundance of grace and plenteous redemption Jesus has provided us.
Almighty God and Father, you provide for us our daily bread, everything we need to support this body and life. Grant us the gift of contentment for what we have, generosity from the abundance given us and have us set our hearts and minds on abundant riches we have in your son Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.