But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6
1 Kings 21:1-19
1 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.

7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.

12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.

14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.

19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

One of the commandments of God that must not be neglected is the injunction against covetousness (Exodus 20:17, Luke 12:15). Covetousness denotes having a strong desire for things that belong to other people. This act is condemned in the strongest possible terms in scriptures (Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5). Covetousness can take the form of having a strong desire for another man’s money, goods, properties, spouse, position or title. Covetousness is insidious. It spreads gradually without being noticed, eventually causing serious harm. It is very destructive. Covetousness is organic. It happens in a slow, natural way. It spreads and grows so fast that before a covetous person realises his state, the situation would have almost become irreversible. Covetousness is deadly. It is capable of destroying both the coveter and the person whose properties he or she desires. Covetousness is a spiritual disease, and a contagious one at that. A bosom friend of a covetous person may end up becoming covetous because “can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Many evils and crimes are traceable to covetousness, as seen in our Bible reading today.
Going through scriptures, we can identify many fruits of covetousness. In Genesis 31:41, covetousness was responsible for the oppression Jacob faced in Laban’s house. Jacob was the son-in-law of Laban. He served him faithfully as a shepherd, yet Laban was still covetous of the little Jacob had, so much so that he made life unbearable for him. History is on record that several wars were caused by covetousness, and several people have been mercilessly oppressed because of this sin. Another fruit of covetousness is theft (Joshua 7:21) and robbery (1 Kings 20:6). Achan in Joshua 7:24-25 lost his life and the lives of his wife and children to covetousness. In 1 Kings 20:1-6, Benhadad the king of Syria waged war against Israel because of covetousness. The prevailing problems of robbery, piracy, militancy, terrorism and other issues of insecurity are traceable to covetousness. Covetousness is also responsible for meanness as seen in the case of Naboth and Ahab. Many cases of meanness on earth are traceable to covetousness. It is also responsible for unscrupulousness and scoffing (2 Kings 5:20, Luke 16:14). A born-again child of God should not be covetous because covetousness is not a fruit of the Spirit. Covetousness can result in serious family trouble (Proverbs 15:27). It leads to disappointment (Ecclesiastes 5:10), folly (Jeremiah 17:11), apostasy (1 Timothy 6:10) and misery (1 Kings 21:4). To avoid covetousness, examine your life on a daily basis and repent whenever a trait of covetousness is noticed.
Are you covetous? Do a personal assessment and repent if need be.

Genesis 24; Psalm 103:11-22

Source: Open Heavens 2014

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