What Does the Bible Say About Covetousness?
The word covetous as is used in the Bible has to do with a desire to have a possession that you do not have or a desire to obtain something that you cannot have. Possessions are not the problem. The problem is in the longing and the drive to have something, which drives a person away from God.
Psalm 119:36 says Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. This verse teaches us that covetousness is a matter of a person’s heart.
Jeremiah 22:17 says But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it. This verse shows that a person’s eyes and heart can be covetous. If your heart is not right, you can plunge into covetousness.
Ezekial 33:31 reads And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. This verse speaks of people in church. They hear the same message as others hear. Some obey and some don’t. Some people in the church may appear to love the Lord. They talk about their love for God, but they do not do what the Bible says. Their heart goes after their covetousness. The problem here is the heart.
Jeremiah 6:13 says For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. The station of a man does not determine whether he is covetousness.
Proverbs 28:16 states …but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days. Want to live a long time? Hate covetousness.
Covetousness can cause you to want things you can’t afford. It can cause you to seek to destroy relationships, homes, and your own health and well being. It can lead you into a life of misery and crime. Just look at what has taken place in our country with the greed of corporations and individuals. It has literally helped to destroy our economy, our jobs, and the way of life that we in this country have always known and thought would never end.
Covetousness affects all classes of people because it comes from the heart. It drives a person from God. It does not bring satisfaction. It is a sin that will grow in a person’s heart and it is a lust that can never be satisfied.