Contentment begins with knowing and delighting in our Lord God. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you. Psalm 37:4-5.
God gave the ten commandments to the Israelites by the hands of Moses. These commandments, Words from the Lord, are the guardians of experiencing joy and peace in this life. Learning to live within God’s boundaries of rightness, is learning to walk and talk in God’s way. What God asks us to do is impossible without Him. We pray to Him instill the desire to walk with Him, knowing He is our God. Without Him, we want to declare that we are gods and we have the right to do as we please. They call this rebellion.
Ten commandments, ten ‘thou shalts, and shalt nots!’ When God sent Jesus to earth, there were only two commandments to follow, Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Two commandments, easier, right? The first includes the first four of the ten commandments on loving God. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. In Philippians 2:3-4, Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
This summation of loving others becomes more difficult. The vertical ways of loving others, written separately would be an inexhaustible list. A heart filled with God’s love gives a fountain of love to others. The ten commandments tell the ‘how’ of obeying the two commandments to love God and others.
Romans 13:8-10 ends with a summation in the tenth verse. Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.
The verses in Genesis 15:7 and Exodus 20:2 given to Abraham and to the Children of Israel, four generations apart and 430 years apart. This is the same God who proclaimed Jesus as His Beloved Son. “After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God. descending like a dove and settling on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:16-17.
Just as God set His people free from Egyptian slavery, He delivers his people from the torment of sin, giving us grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
The last commandment is, You shall not covet. Why is this commandment the last one? Desiring what others have opens the door to breaking God’s Law by using any means to acquire it. You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:2-3.
Coveting breaks the second commandment to love others. Coveting leads to discontentment. So, put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Colossians 3:5.
The author of the book, The Ten Commandments, Kevin DeYoung, explains coveting this way. You might be coveting:
-If you hurt others in order to get more for yourself.
-If you are preoccupied with getting more for yourself
-If you are unwilling to give up what you already have
-If you frequently grumble about your house and your spouse.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13.
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. I Timothy 6:6-7.