A Systematic Expository Study on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 46: CONTENTMENT AND FREEDOM FROM COVETOUSNESS
Hebrews 13: 5, 6
Walking with God through faith in Christ brings peace and a lot of blessings into our lives. The christian who fully trusts God and depends on His unfailing promises also enjoys contentment in his life. He is contented, satisfied with what he has, knowing that God is good and that he cares adequately for him. He rests without tormenting anxiety because he acknowledges that God is omniscient and knows what is good for him. He does not envy others and become discontented since he knows that God does not have the same plan for all of His children. He is satisfied and contented with Godís unfolding plan in his life. If there are needs yet to be supplied, he prays with faith and thankfulness, waiting patiently for Godís time which is always the best for him.
The absence of contentment in our lives easily results in covetousness. Covetousness is an attitude; it is wanting to acquire things, longing for them, setting our thoughts and attention on them - whether we ever possess them or not. Covetousness and greed follow a principle of increasing desire and decreasing satisfaction. He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity (Ecclesiastes 5: 10). Covetousness makes people to focus on money and material things. The more they get, the more they want. They are never satisfied.
THE WARNING AGAINST COVETOUSNESS
Hebrews 13: 5; Exodus 20: 17; Psalm 10: 3; 1 Timothy 6: 9-11; Joshua 7: 20, 21, 25; 2 Peter 2: 3, 14-17; Jeremiah 6: 11-13; 1 Corinthians 6: 9, 10; Ephesians 5: 3, 5; Colossians 3: 5, 6; Luke 12: 16-21; Psalm 119: 36, 37.
Covetousness is the opposite of contentment. It is a consuming desire to have the things of this world. It is lusting after what God has forbidden or withheld from us, craving after something, having abnormal desires for it. Godís Word clearly declares covetousness a sin - indeed an abomination like idolatry. What is coveted becomes an idol in the heart. Those who are ruled or governed by this lust adore their gold and put their trust in it, making it a god. So the covetous are branded with the most detestable character of idolaters (Colossians 3: 5) and with the idolaters will miss the kingdom of God. Except they repent.
Covetousness damns the souls, incurs Godís wrath and indignation. See what covetousness did for Balaam, for Achan, for Ahab, for Gehazi and for Judas Iscariot! (Numbers 22: 22; Joshua 7: 25; 1 Kings 21: 17-19; 2 Kings 5: 20-27; Matthew 27: 3-5). In view of these fearful and terrible consequences, can we call this heinous sin a little sin? Remember Godís command: Thou shalt not covet... anything that is thy neighbours (Exodus 20: 17). Keep the exhortation before you always: If riches increase, set not thine heart upon them (Psalm 62: 10). Forget not to pray: Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness (Psalm 119: 36).
THE WATCHWORD IS CONTENTMENT
Hebrews 13: 5; 1 Timothy 6: 6-8; Luke 3: 14; Philippians 4: 11, 12; Genesis 32: 10; 33: 11; 1 Kings 3: 5-8;9-14; 2 Kings 4: 9-13; Colossians 3: 1-3.
But godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6: 6). Of course, contentment without godliness is great, eternal loss. We must not be satisfied or contented without godliness, without holiness. If we want to gain heaven and eternal life, we must pursue and pray for godliness - holiness - until we possess it. Having been made holy, made ready for heaven, we must be content with whatever God deems fit to give us here while waiting for our inheritance in heaven.
Contentment is a tranquility of the soul - being satisfied with what God has appointed and apportioned for us. In contentment, we yield our will to His Will knowing that His Will as well as His time is the best. We are not so much under the pressure of human desire for material things to the point that we say: Give me children, or else I die (Genesis 30: 1) or Give me..., or else I die. We have settled it in our hearts that Godís resources are infinite and without measure, and He will not withhold from us whatever He knows to be for our good.
Contentment becomes our normal characteristic when we are crucified to the world and the world is crucified to us. The believer who is dead to the world, who is weaned from the world, who sets his affection on things above and not on things on the earth, who loves God above any earthly thing will find contentment the normal expression of his life.
THE WORD OF OUR COMPANION
Hebrews 13: 5, 6; Genesis 28: 15; Deuteronomy 31: 6, 8; Joshua 1: 5; 1 Samuel 12: 22; 1 Chronicles 28: 20; Matthew 28: 20; Psalms 63: 7; 118: 6-9; Deuteronomy 33: 29; Romans 8: 31.
The Almighty God Himself is our ever-present, ever-faithful Companion. Resting on this divine assurance, meditating on His promise, power and presence, all our worry, anxiety, fears leave. His promise, ďI will never leave thee nor forsake theeĒ, grants us peace; His power guarantees our provision and protection. The One whose power is omnipotent, whose wisdom is infinite, whose faithfulness is inviolable, whose love is unchanging is always with us.
This God is our Helper. With Abraham we can say, God will provide (Genesis 22: 8) and with Paul we declare, If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8: 31). With such confidence in God, covetousness will have no place in our hearts rather contentment will have its proper place in our lives.
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