Bible reading: Exodus 20:17
08/08 – Caring for your needs.
(Tenth commandment and Epilogue).
I hope that your perception of God has deepened more throughout this week. May God have used these themes to make you even more aware of his will and desire to be with you, bless you and help you. But we are not finished yet, there is one more promise left to study.
I am sure that, now that you know that God celebrated a wedding at Sinai publicly, before the entire Universe, with 10 wonderful promises, wedding vows, you are falling in love with Him again.
Quickly, let’s review them: The first promise is that God promises to be faithful and promises that you will not need more gods apart from him.
In the second place He promises to be always by your side, you will not need a photo of Him because you will have the original One constantly by your side.
In the third place, He promises to always listen to your prayers, so that when you use His name, you will never do it in vain.
Fourth, God promises to dedicate one day a week, on Saturday, to have a family reunion, enjoy with you and invite your neighbors and visitors to be at the Sabbath party.
Fifth, God has promised to help you to be an honest and honorable person. If you let him help you honor your ancestors, He will rejoice in having a son who is an example to others, so he will prolong your days (life) so that others will see your testimony.
Sixth, the God of armies who can do everything, has promised to defend your life, so you will not have to kill or attack anyone to survive.
Seventh, God has promised to protect the family, the basis of society. God promised that if you put your family in His hands, you will never have the “need” or temptation to be unfaithful to your husband or wife, because your family in God’s hands will be blessed and will fulfill all your emotional needs.
In the eighth place, God the Creator and Owner of the entire Universe, has promised to take charge of all your problems, even the material ones, so that you will not lack anything, and you will no longer steal.
In ninth place, God, the just and true Judge, promises to come to your defense in all circumstances, so that when they make a plot against you, or you see yourself in trouble that you do not know how to get out of, He will defend you, He will be your lawyer and judge at the same time. You will not have the need to lie nor to raise false testimony against anyone to gain advantage, because God is the one who vindicates your honor.
We have yet to see the tenth promise, and after I will to add a few more promises.
Tenth promise: Caring for your needs
Exodus 20:17 “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”.
From the fifth promise we are seeing an intentional correlativity in each of them. God promises first that it will help you to honor Him and your parents on earth. And then from the sixth, he explains how he is going to help you do it.
First comes the right to life, respect for life and the preservation of it. God promises to help you survive and also to sustain life.
Secondly, God promises to help structure life so that it is sustainable and may develop. The family is the basis of society. It promises to help you to structure your life.
Third, He promises to sustain life and family, providing what you need, you will not have to steal.
Once we have life structured under families, and with assured support, there is a need to foster coexistence between families. God promises to help you have healthy social relationships. You will not lie to defend yourself from unfair accusations.
But if you notice, all these have something in common. All these are visible actions, others can see if you are alive, if you have family, if you steal or if you are unfaithful, if you are interacting with third parties, even if there is distortion in communication such as “a lie”. You need a partner, another person to be able to do any of these actions.
But there is something else, a hidden corner that nobody can see, where you do not need to interact with anyone to be wrong and unhappy. That is your mind, your heart, your desires and your thoughts, something that nobody can see, hear or read. What do you feel? What do you think? What do you long for? What do you want? Men: How many times have you asked yourself “how can I know what women think?” Women directly ask themselves: “But when are these men going to start thinking?”
No one can enter your mind and read your thoughts. 1 Corinthians 2:11 “It is like this: No one knows the thoughts that another person has. Only a person’s spirit that lives in him knows his thoughts. It is the same with God. No one knows the thoughts of God. Only the Spirit of God knows God’s thoughts” (ICB).
Well, almost nobody. There is only one, God. Jeremiah 17:10 “But I am the Lord, and I can look into a person’s heart. I can test a person’s mind. So, I can decide what each one deserves. I can give each one the right payment for what he does” (ICB).
Even before you can express what your mind has thought, even before you can be able to explain what you feel and how you feel, God already knows everything: Psalm 139:4 “Lord, even before I say a word, you already know what I am going to say” (ICB).
Happiness is also something internal. And the tenth promise of God has to do with your inner life. Those of us who are married, have promised to make someone happy. But we could never promise what God YES promises here. One last promise is reserved, the tenth, that NO ONE can do. Only God can fulfill it.
Exodus 20:17 “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.” (KJV)
God promises you, after all the previous promises, such a meaningful existence, so meaningful of experiences, emotions and positive feelings, that from now on you will not envy the things that happen to others. Your life will be so meaningful, that you will not covet your neighbor’s house, his wife, his car, his motorcycle, his television, his pool, his garden, his iPhone … Nothing will catch your attention more than what you have in your own home.
When I look into my wife’s eyes, I see a deep sea of memories, of emotions, of feelings, of experiences, of comprehension and understanding, of love, that no other woman will never match, no matter how “beautiful it may seem physically”. And that is what I will never find anywhere else. I have no need to covet another woman.
In pedagogy it is taught that, to distract the attention of a child when playing with something dangerous, it is best to give an alternative that catches his attention. By doing so, he will release the lighter or the knife, in order to play with something new. We can remove the dangerous object without getting him angry or hurt. If we try to remove the object by force (and it might be justified) the child will not let it go and will get angry, cry, and even fight before releasing it or getting hurt.
God is the best Pedagogue. If He forbids you: “Do not play with the lighter”, He is drawing your attention to that object without further ado. But what He really does is promising you something much better. He is saying to you: “I have something prepared for you, so big, so beautiful, so exciting, that all what surrounds you, will become like nothing. If you accept me as your God, you will not need to be looking at how others’ lives are going, what they have, who they marry to, nor anything like that. I have something much better for you. Let me show you.” We have the greatest God of the Universe, Master of all creation, it is impossible to overcome Him, it is impossible for others to have something that we can covet in these conditions, the most that others can aspire to is to become a part of our heavenly family.
In Psalm 73 we find a reflection on this subject (v. 1-3; 15-17): “God is truly good to Israel, to those who have pure hearts. But I had almost stopped believing this truth. I had almost lost my faith because I was jealous of proud people. I saw wicked people doing well. […] God, if I had decided to talk about this, I would have let your people down. I tried to understand all this. But it was too hard for me to see until I went to the Temple of God. Then I understood what will happen to them” (ICB).
In God, victory is not how the world understands it. An apparent victory can be a defeat (if it is achieved by our own means, lying, stealing, cheating …). But an apparent defeat with God becomes a Victory. Jesus was apparently defeated on the cross of Calvary, and his “defeat” was our victory.
I want to conclude this wonderful series with a series of “extra” promises, with an epilogue that shows and extends even more these 10 promises that God has given us, and that reveals to us how much God cares for you, much more than what you could imagine.
Who among you has counted the steps you have taken since you have risen up to now? Job 31:4: “God sees my ways, and he counts every step I take” (ICB). Has any of us counted the steps you have taken from your home to here? One by one? Jesus has done it. That’s what the Bible says!
Mathew 10:29–31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (KJV). Does anyone of you have counted how many hairs do you have on your head? Or at least, Did anyone here count how many hairs were stuck in the comb or hairbrush? Jesus knows exactly how many are left on me, and that’s not a good example…
John 2:25: “He did not need anyone to tell him about people. Jesus knew what was in a person’s mind.” Jesus knew better than anyone, and continues to know, the human being. According to this verse, when Judas approached him, he knew that he was going to betray him, not even Judas himself knew that he would commit suicide three years later! Jesus knows us much better than we do ourselves. He knows me better than I do. Just read about Peter. He said he would not deny the Lord, and Jesus announced him that he would do so, since Jesus knows what’s in our heart, our mind and our future.
Because he suffered like us, because he knows from experience what it is to fight against sin, because he knows every secret of your life, for all that and much more, He is the only one who can really help us.
Hebrews 4:16: “Let us, then, feel free to come before God’s throne. Here there is grace. And we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it” (ICB). How do we come to the throne of God? Only by prayer.
Mathew 21:22: “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (KJV).
John 14:13: “And if you ask for anything in my name, I will do it for you. Then the Father’s glory will be shown through the Son” (ICB).
John 16:24: “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (KJV).
1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Never stop praying” (ICB).
1 John 3:22: “And God gives us the things we ask for. We receive these things because we obey God’s commands, and we do what pleases him” (ICB).
After reading these promises, I beg you, do not harden your hearts. I do not know what circumstances are going on in your life today, I do not know in what valley of shadows you are walking these hours, these days or months, but there’s one thing I know for sure.
- God knows each one of your problems.
- God knows each one of your needs.
- God knows each one of your anxieties.
- God knows each one of your sins, and he knows how it torments you not to abandon them for good.
- God knows your secret weeping.
- God is waiting for you to ask for help to give it to you. He is willing to help you, but He cannot do it without your permission. Talk to Him today! Tell Him YES, invite Him to take control of your life. Trust Jesus, come to the Lord.
Hebrews 3:14-15 and 4:14 “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” […] Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (KJV).
God has not forgotten you, and He is returning very soon to pick us up, you and me. Jesus is returning to bring us with Him to our heavenly home. Christ is returning to bring you to that heavenly mansion prepared for you by Himself.
Isaiah 49:14–16: “But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely, they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me” (KJV).
I invite you now to go to that God who is always ready to hear you. Talk to Him and tell Him at this time your most intimate concerns. Those problems that overwhelm you, those struggles and discussions in which you have been mingled by others with their lies, or maybe you have caused them, and ask God to keep His promise and help you get out of those problems. Ask him to support you, expose your needs to Him and claim His promises of support and justice.