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This Lord’s Day, the sermon deals with the tenth commandment: you shall not covet. God’s prohibition against covetousness touches on what we desire. Yet the Scriptures also make clear that, while some desires are evil, others are good. In our Scripture call to worship this Sunday, we see that even God desires some things. Psalm 132:13-14: For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: ‘This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.’ The connection between this passage and worship is that we see God, in his desire for Zion, establishing and blessing the worship of his people. He even dwells there, in his covenantal presence, to bless and protect and graciously provide for his people. In so blessing and desiring the place of Old Covenant worship, we see how much God delights in our worship. This is itself a great act of condescending grace. God wants his people to draw near to him. In the New Testament, we do not do this through the Jerusalem temple, but through Jesus Christ. This Sunday, remember as we gather for worship that God desires that his people worship.
In the prayer service, we will look again at Nehemiah’s prayer for success. We begin with the hymn “How Blest is He Whose Trespass” (Psalm 32).
As you prepare your mind and heart to hear God’s Word on covetousness this coming Lord’s Day, I one final time give you our catechism for your aid:
Q. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbids all discontentment with our own belongings, envying or grieving when good happens to our neighbor, and all inordinate affections to anything that is his.1
1 1 Cor 10:10; Gal 5:26; Col 3:5
We covet in many ways, and we do it often. It is an internal sin that touches on our affections. And yet it is just as serious as the other commandments. We dare not minimize it, as Jesus himself warned in Luke 12. For this Sunday’s worship service, to go with the theme of covetousness, I’ve selected many hymns that have to do with aspiration and desire.
Call to Worship: Psalm 132:13-16
Hymn 322 [Red] Praise to the Lord, the Almighty One of the great answers to covetousness is thankfulness. If we could but learn to be thankful and content, our stormy covetousness spirits would settle down like a placid lake. This hymn gets at this in the second stanza: Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, shelters thee under His wings, yea, so greatly sustained: hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been granted in what He ordaineth.
Congregational Reading: Psalm 145:14-21
Doxology: Diademata, Red 293
Hymn 35 [Red] The King of Love My Shepherd Is
Hymn 283 [Red] Now Thank We All Our God
Scripture Reading: Exodus 40:1-15 & Revelation 11
Hymn 76-77 [Red] As the Hart, About to Falter
Sermon: Covetousness from Exodus 20:17
Hymn 246 [Gray] Be Thou My Vision
In Sunday School, I will be taking your questions. It’s a Quodlibet. If you’d like to email me your question in advance, you may do so.