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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Let your conversation be without covetousness. The word "conversation," as used here, is not restricted to the things we say, although they are certainly included in its broad sense. In this context, the word means one's manner of life. The manner in which we conduct our life here on earth is to be without covetousness. Covetousness is not to be included in our conversation of life - in the things we say and do; it is to be excluded; it is sinful in the sight of God. Covetousness is found only in the hearts of the wicked, and is abhorred by God (Psalm 10:3). Covetousness is consistently listed among all the gravest of sins, all of which God hates (See Rom. 1:28-32; 1 Cor. 5:9-11; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:1-5; Col. 3:5-7; 2 Pet. 2:14).

What is "covetousness," that we may recognize it, and exclude it from our life? According to Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, it is "an intense desire to possess something, or someone, that belongs to another person." In some bible translations, covetousness is termed "greed." It is also the unrestrained desire to satisfy the discontent of that which a another person possesses. Covetousness is a consuming sin, if allowed control one's manner of life. The Son of God, Jesus Christ gave us this warning: Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things, which he possesseth, explaining it with a parable about certain rich man that was never satisfied with the goods that he possessed (See Luke 12:15-21).

Covetousness is to be eliminated from the conversation of one's life, and replaced by contentment with such things as ye have. The apostle Paul's life was filled with extreme "ups and downs," yet he tells us thatI have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (See Phil. 4:10-13). He told his fellow laborer, Timothy: But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (1 Tim. 6:6-8). In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the multitude gathered around Him, and He teaches us today, the need for contentment to rule our lives. He said, Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matt. 6:34).

How is it possible to exclude covetousness from our lives, and replace it with contentment for the things we possess? The answer is, because we have this promise from God, through His Son, Jesus Christ: I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Consider the inspired writing of the Psalmist, David. The content of this passage is just as true today as it was during his lifetime. He wrote, I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved forever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off (Psalm 37:25-28).

Fully realizing the fact that God is continually watching over His children, we may boldly say, the Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Considering the Book of Psalms, we find on numerous occasions King David placed his trust only in the Lord as his Helper. As an example, this truth is found in Psalm 118:6, 8-9, which says, The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? ...It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. Placing one's confidence in God, we can truly say, as did Paul in his letter to the Christians in Rome, If God be for us, who can be against us (Rom. 8:31)?

God told Joshua, I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Josh. 1:5b), and, considering the remainder of the life of Joshua, we know this to be true. In the lesson text, God tells us that I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Regardless of our state, at any time in our life, we can boldly say, the Lord is my Helper. This spiritual truth will abide eternally: What God says, He will never fail to do!