9: Beware of Covetousness-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class March 4, 2023.

Main Theme: By appreciating all God has done for us and given to us we can be happy and content without needing things we don’t have.

Read in Class: Isaiah 14:12-24. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What hints are given there about the fall of Lucifer? How did covetousness play a crucial role in that fall?

Apply: Read 1 Timothy 6:6, 7. How can focusing on what Paul writes here help protect us from covetousness?

Share: Your friend says he covets rich people’s fancy and homes and expensive cars, but all he does is daydream about these things. He says coveting is a pretty benign sin. In light of Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5 how do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: Joshua 7. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What happened after the powerful victory at Jericho, and what message should we take from this story for ourselves?

Apply: Think about how easily Achan could have justified his actions: well, it’s such a small amount compared to all the rest of the booty. No one will know, and what can it hurt? Besides, my family needs the money. How can we protect ourselves from this kind of dangerous rationalization?

Share: Your friend says it was not fair for God to allow Israel to suffer such a defeat just because of Achan’s sin? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class John 12:1-8 and Acts 5:1-11. Discuss the common thread of these passages.

Study: Judas pretended to be concerned about the poor while Ananias and Sapphira pretended to be generous, but what sin lied in all their hearts? How did this sin lead to their fate?

Apply: How can we make sure we do not suffer the same fate as Judas, Ananias and Sapphira?

Share: Your friend asks, which was worse? Ananias and Sapphira keeping the money or lying about giving the entire amount? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Corinthians 10:13. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What promise is given here, and why is this so important to understand in the context of covetousness?

Apply: How then, in God’s power, can we be protected against this dangerously deceptive sin?

  1. Make a decision to serve and depend on God and to be a part of His family. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15).
  2. Be daily in prayer and include Matthew 6:13, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.” When feeling covetous of something that you know you should not have, pray over it, claiming promises in the Bible for victory, such as 1 Corinthians 10:13.
  3. Be regular in Bible study. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11, NKJV).

Share: What, if any, have been the consequences in your own life from covetousness? What lessons have you learned? What might you still need to learn from them?

I Don’t Need Anything the World has, the World Needs What I Have

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17 NLT

When Paul stood before Agrippa he showed us the attitude of someone who has truly experienced the unconditional love of Jesus and has a genuine relationship with Christ. When someone has a sincere conversion, the things of this world lose their appeal. The tenth commandment, “Thou Shalt not covet” is not a struggle to keep. When Christ abides in the heart, the Christian is not looking at the things everyone else has and wishing they could have those things too. Instead they look at the world and desire for the world to have what they have. This was Paul’s attitude as he stood before king Agrippa.

Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?” Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.” Acts 26:28-29 NLT

Paul is standing in chains and his prisoner uniform before king Agrippa in all of his royal splendor. Yet Paul does not desire what Agrippa has. He wants Agrippa to have what he has! Likewise those who have had a real experience with Jesus will not be looking at the world longing for what the world has. Instead we long for the world to have what we have.

Coveting becomes an impossibility when your heart is filled with God’s love. When your heart is filled with God’s love you do not envy the world. Instead you feel sorry for the world because it does not have the love and joy that you have. Instead of having worldly ambitions we have the ambition of Paul, when he said,

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 20:24 NLT

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.