Yom Kippur Day Ten—The Day
It’s here, tenth of Tishri, tenth Day of Awe—Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement.
If you’ve followed my last two posts you are aware I am covering a commandment from the Ten Commandments each day from the Feast of Trumpets on 1 Tishri through 10 Tishri.
These ten days are called the Days of Awe, possibly because of the awesome experience the Lord intends Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to be for those who celebrate it.
The tenth commandment says “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.” My first question was, “Why is this the tenth and final commandment?” You might say, why not? One had to be last why not this one? That was probably my answer before I started this study. I’ll explain:
Covet, to me, is a wizened word by itself. It just looks small and crunched up. It might even be deeply wrinkled and toothless. It surely has no vitality. Covet in the Hebrew is חמד (chamad) which translates, in addition to covet, to various shades of desire up to idolatry. I was going to do a word search of other occurrences of covet, but Ahab and Jezebel popped into my mind.
The whole sordid mess of these two is told in 1Kings 21. It’s got it all, practically the whole Ten Commandments in one story. And it starts with Ahab coveting the vineyard of his neighbor, Naboth. Ahab was even willing to pay for it. We have false witness, murder, parent-child considerations, stealing, idolatry and I bet Ahab didn’t keep Sabbath! It all started with Ahab just wanting a veggie garden.
The tenth commandment involves neighbor, as does Ahab’s story. I’ve previously covered the inclusiveness of this word in my ninth commandment review. I found it even includes my opponent. The final operative word of the “no covet” commandment, as I see it, is “anything.” This turns out to be the Hebrew word כל (kol). Translated an amazing 4000 plus times as “all.” Need I say more?
There are at least two morals to the story: First, what can start out as a seemingly reasonable want can rise to coveting when I let my mind and emotions out from under Spirit control. That wizened word can grow exponentially into full blown sin. Secondly, and maybe even more sobering on this day of confession, repentance and forgiveness is the generational consequence of sin. Read Ahab’s story to the end. As I repent I must take into account what I may have sown into the generational line and enlarge my repentance as required.
My premise is that the “no covet” commandment is totally appropriate for number ten. As the Ahab story points out, letting covet get out of hand can release a whole bevy of commandment consequence. The commandment gives you some examples where coveting is going to temp you, but winds up saying, כל—ALL coveting violates the commandment.
Wish I could leave you on a more positive note. But really, to think of the provision the Lord has made for our wholeness and the wholeness of our generational line is praiseworthy positive.