|Prophetess hilda arredondo|
Covetousness--The Hidden Sin Of The Heart
In I Kings 21:1-2, it reads, “And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.” Now Naboth had some land and Ahab, the king of Samaria, his neighbor, looked over unto his vineyard and coveted after this choice piece of land and asked Naboth to name his price for that piece of property or if he wanted, the King could give him a better vineyard in exchange. But Naboth answered Ahab, “…The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” I Kings 21:3. In other words, Naboth refused the King’s offer. He was not interested in parting with his land for money or for that matter, any kind of deal that Ahab would try to make would not sway him or change his mind to part with his vineyard. Then in verse 4 we read, “And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon hid bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.” Ahab became depressed, losing his appetite and motivation because he could not have what belonged to another man! As a matter of fact he got sick and went to bed and turned his face to the wall. Ahab had a problem with an evil spirit of covetousness. What is coveting? Coveting is an inordinate desire to obtain and possess, greatly wishing and longing for some supposed good.
In Exodus 20, we read that the Ten Commandments of God were given to Israel, and today those same commandments are given unto us as the people of God here in AMERICA. The first stone tablet given to Moses at Mt. Sinai listed the first five commandments which instruct and teach us on how to keep a right standing relationship with God so His blessing, protection, peace, and goodness can flow into our lives. Without God’s blessings and the Blood of Jesus upon our lives we will wander aimlessly in this life on a course of destruction. The second set of the five commandments teach and instruct us on how to keep a right standing relationship with our neighbor or fellowman so we can live a harmonious and peaceful life with others. On this second tablet of stone along with thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, or bear false witness against thy neighbor is another commandment which we tend to easily overlook. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbors.” Exodus 20:17. To covet thy neighbor’s house, his wife, his man or maidservant, his ox, or anything that is thy neighbor’s is to desire that which is unlawful to obtain or possess because it does not belong to us, but rather to our neighbor!
COVETING IS AN EVIL DESIRE
Coveting after what belongs to a neighbor is an evil desire and will lead us to the sin of breaking another commandment, thou shalt not steal. COVETOUSNESS, THE HIDDEN SIN OF THE HEART, works right along with the SIN OF ENVY and JEALOUSY. It will subtly drive the individual to work evil of the heart to acquire something that does not belong to him. Depending on the measure of this sinful iniquity in a person’s heart, covetousness works along with “EVIL EYE”, and will pull like a magnet and end up with something that belongs to someone else - a form of witchcraft. Some will go as far as praying an evil travail to get what they want. Please, read carefully this next sentence. Yes, the Lord teaches us in His word that He will give us the desire of a pure heart, but that desire should stay within the boundaries of righteousness and godliness and in no way break the tenth commandment or for that matter any commandment given to us by Him. Let us read on about Naboth in verses 5-7 “But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
Now we see that Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, stepped into the picture and really knew how to stir up that husband. She looked at him lying in the bed, moping and depressed because he couldn’t have his way. In disgust, she reminds him to not forget that he is the King of Israel and he can have whatever he wants, even if it means taking Naboth’s vineyard by force. She tells him to get out of that bed, eat, and be merry because she is going to get that land for him. We began to see here that Jezebel works right along with the sin of covetousness and will work and weave her plan until she gets what she wants.
SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL
Today, we can say that the Spirit of Covetousness works in conjunction with the Spirit of Jezebel and it is not necessarily always a female, but can also work in males. Control, covetousness, envy, jealousy, and witchcraft work with the Jezebel spirit. Jezebel also hates the true Elijah prophets and will try to hunt them down and kill them. Why? Because the true “Elijah Anointing” will confront and expose Jezebel and Ahab’s schemes.
Today, these evil spirits of Covetousness and Jezebel run rampant in our nation and in our churches. Because of this Evil Spirit of Covetousness, families, homes, marriages, businesses, friendships, Pastors, and Churches are many times destroyed every year. Jezebel is allowed to sit comfortably and work her “Evil Schemes” cleverly and secretly while she overthrows, takes, and steals without firing a shot that anyone can hear. Although Jezebel is clever and slick, she cannot hide from the God of Heaven or the True Prophets of the Lord.
Over the years I’ve seen the tenth commandment broken by the Jezebel spirit of the world and in churches. In one particular incident that I can recall, a divorced Christian woman entered a church and everyone loved and sympathized with her unfortunate circumstance of being a single mom. At this time, there was a happily married couple in the church. The husband was a loving, affectionate man with his wife. This woman began to eye that relationship and began first to only desire an affectionate husband like that church woman. But church, that evil spirit of covetousness, a hidden sin of the heart, has no pureness nor knows no boundaries when entertained and given room in our mind and heart.
Something happens to that mind that causes the person to become deceived into thinking that they can take someone else’s property. The Pastor of that flock began to see her eye that couple in excess and then he noticed that she began to hang around more and more with that couple. Then, this Pastor began to see her look at this brother with a lusting desire. This Pastor knew that there was a “Spiritual Danger” and he could not allow this marriage to be broken up right under his nose by Jezebel. This was his flock, and his responsibility was to protect the flock and confront this Jezebel wearing the cloak of covetousness.
JEZEBEL IS SCHEMING
As he exposed the evil schemes of this woman and confronted her about her secret motivations, she glared at him with such hatred and would have struck him if it had not been for the protection of the Holy Ghost that restrained her. She angrily shouted, “I’m entitled to some happiness and God wants me to have a mate and I love this man – he’s mine!”
Somehow the evil spirit of covetousness had taken over her heart, blinding and convincing her that the evil desire to take a husband away from a good wife and the father of those children was justified because she was entitled to happiness. She had been standing and singing songs to the Lord, fellowshipping with the saints, gaining everyone’s support while breaking the tenth commandment: thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife (or neighbor’s husband).
The Pastor spoke firmly, informing her that, yes, we are all entitled to happiness in the kingdom of God but not at the expense of breaking up a marriage and stealing another woman’s husband and shipwrecking the lives of innocent children. She was asked to repent and change her heart; but she would not and left. Church, Christians do this all the time and the spirit of covetousness goes undetected by leadership, not knowing that this kind of sin will cause them to miss heaven and inherit hell.
I’ve also seen the Evil Spirit of Covetousness tear up and split churches. A good example of Jezebel in action – Someone coveted another man’s pulpit and before long that pastor lost his zeal for teaching and preaching the Word of God. He gets up in the pulpit one Sunday morning and suddenly announces that he is leaving the ministry. Some will wonder what happened – covetousness, evil travail, and Jezebel worked hand in hand to put him out.
Yet another example – And then there is someone with a covetous heart that eyes the tithes and offerings of a particular church – pretty soon there is a split and church members leave to follow the new leader. We ask, what happened? Again, covetousness and Jezebel just killed a shepherd’s dream and stole the sheep entrusted to him by God. With no shame, remorse, or compassion, Jezebel walks away happily to start her work with the “Stolen Goods” that belonged to another shepherd. Or if Jezebel can’t take it from you, you can be sure she will tear it up before she leaves, unless she is exposed.
Saints, our Lord Jesus taught us the way of HOLINESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS and WILL NOT BLESS EVIL. Covetousness works along with an evil eye and WE MUST REPENT and GET RID OF THIS SIN and NOT ALLOW Satan TO USE US as a pawn in his hand.
JEZEBEL’S EVIL PLAN
Our Lord Jesus pointed out unto us in Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Covetousness is a Sin that defiles a person. Jezebel made her evil plans to get the vineyard for her husband by hiring two men who were the sons of Belial to murder Naboth, an innocent man. We read in I Kings 21:15-16, “And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.”
Yes, Jezebel delivered to Ahab the vineyard of Naboth, his neighbor whom she had murdered. There was just one thing that Jezebel and Ahab had not counted on. “And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity…” I Kings 21:17-21. Further in verse 23 it reads, “And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.” Yes, Scheming Jezebel had not counted on the Mighty God looking down from heaven on her “Evil Doings”. In other words, the God of Heaven sent a message to Ahab and Jezebel – You have spilled innocent blood and I saw you murder Naboth. You will reap what you have sowed and your judgement shall be death. Today, in the kingdom we have to Kill the Spirit of Jezebel and Covetousness through Sincere Repentance.
JEZEBEL HATES ELIJAH
Jezebel hates the true prophets of the Lord and wants to kill them, but as we read the complete account of Jezebel’s story we know that she was killed by the wall of Jezreel; just as God had said, the dogs licked her blood. Today, much is preached about evil, controlling Jezebels (women) who are called into the ministry. Now we know that Jezebel was an evil woman, but not every woman who is called to the ministry is a Jezebel. Just because a woman is called with the gift to administrate, govern, and lead does not make her a Jezebel in control.
Let us quickly look at Deborah, the Prophetess, who was raised up not by man but rather by God’s Hand, as an executive leader over Israel. She was a holy woman, a ruler (gift of rule) or judge over Israel. The Bible says that Deborah judged Israel from under the palm tree. It does not say that her husband sat next to her under that palm tree to properly cover her. This tells us something about her Godly character. Out in the open, in full view of all, she judged Israel. She was not going to bring any reproach to the name of God or her husband. Deborah was the wife of Lapidoth, but that’s all we know about her husband. He is mentioned only once in Judges 4:4, “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.”
Deborah was a married woman called of God with a nation at heart – a nation that was being oppressed by Sisera and his nine hundred chariots of iron. Deborah went out in the battlefield, not with her husband, but rather with Barak, her brother in the Lord and peer, who was another of Israel’s commanders and together they fought the battle.
DEBORAH – A BATTLE MAIDEN
As a matter of fact, Barak told Deborah that he would not go out to the battlefield without her. Did this make Barak a coward, less of a man? No. Did this make Deborah insubordinate to her husband and out of his covering as a wife? No. What this tells us is that Deborah had her husband’s blessing and he had also recognized her God-given call and released her up to that call. Deborah was officiating as God’s Warrior and Prophetess directed by the Spirit of the Lord. He obviously loved his wife and there was perfect trust between them. I truly believe that in the role as wife she was covered by her husband because they were in unity about her call. But her office as Prophetess was covered by God who initially called her from her mother’s womb. All Prophets are sanctified and called from the mother’s womb. It is not something they find along the road of life or choose as we would choose a career today. Her accountability in her office was to God and then earthly peers such as Barak, who also was a God-called military leader whom she worked with for the purpose of saving Israel.
Now women should be covered by their husbands (if married) which means that they are in submission to those husbands. If Lapidoth would have not blessed his wife and released her up to the Lord, she would then have been out of order and could be compared to a “Controlling Jezebel” and insubordinate to that husband. What would we have said about Deborah in our modern day church thinking? Would we say – Deborah your husband should be the head and you are out of order - because she was doing the commanding related to her position in the ministry and office of prophetess? Would we have thought she was also running around in the field with a man that was not her husband? Remember, Deborah was a Mature, Proven Prophetess and a Holy Woman entrusted by God as His Oracle and Leader.
FIERY SCHOOL OF HOLINESS
I can recall years ago, when the Lord began to prepare me for ministry. Oh, what a Fiery School of Holiness He put me in. The Lord began to send me out to minister and I was terrified to be labeled by the Christian Community of that day as a Jezebel who was trying to usurp her authority over the men. But my God was calling and I had to obey. My husband gave me his blessing and released me to go do the work of the Lord. I remember one day I was going to my first speaking engagement. My husband was just coming into the things of the Lord and I kept waiting for him to come into the bedroom so he could pray for me and give me his blessing. I wanted everything to be in perfect order. I was getting a little frustrated because he was not coming to do what I thought he should do. As I looked out the window of my bedroom, his head was under the hood and it appeared that he was checking the oil in the car; therefore, I said, “Okay, Lord, you bless and anoint me,” and I knelt down, bowed my head, and raised my hands to the God of Heaven.
As soon as I was finished I heard the front door slam and Jose, my husband, called me and said, “Wife, come let us pray that God be with you this day and bless you.” God settled a matter with me that day – that only God can call an office, and only God can anoint that position, and an earthly husband’s rightful role is only over her as his wife. Yes, I submitted to him as my husband, but his authority was not over the office of God that the Lord had placed me in. At that time, my husband was just coming into the things of the Lord and had very limited knowledge of the Word of God; therefore, God gave me several precious brothers who were Pastors and Brother Baraks to me, so to speak. These Pastors were my Friends, Ministry Advisors, and later one of them became my Pastor until my husband grew in the Lord enough to know about spiritual matters.
Today, Jose, My Husband is a Pastor, Ministry Advisor to the Ministry and we have become co-workers together in the Gospel! Today, there are women still called as Deborah’s, Warriors, and Commanders with the Pure Motive of a Nation at Heart. To God be the Glory!
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