Having more things won’t make you happy. In fact, riches are often warned against in the Bible as a huge danger to your faith. Thank God for what you already have, and not just material things either. Thank him for salvation, forgiveness of sins, and adoption as sons.
“Do not covet” is one of the ten commandments (Ex 20:17). That word, to covet, is not a word that we tend to use much anymore. It means to want something that is not yours. In Exodus 20, we are given the examples of a range of things that belong to your neighbour: his wife (or her husband, if you are female), his servants, his animals, or anything else he owns. We are not to desire the things that belong to someone else.
Sure, this is in the ten commandments. But when we compare it to the other things on the list, it doesn’t seem so bad, does it? After all, wanting something that is not ours doesn’t seem to be in the same category as murder, theft and adultery. Yet God put it on the summary of the law.
King Ahab gives us a great illustration of where coveting can lead to in 1 Kings 21. Here is a man who has so much. We know Ahab built several cities including the capital, Samaria. 1 Kings 21 sees Ahab in his second palace in Jezreel, a man with such wealth and power. Yet he wants more. There is a field next to his second palace that he would like to use as a vegetable garden, yet it is owned by a man named Naboth. He offers to purchase the land from Naboth (v2) but is rebuffed as land was not a commodity to buy and sell in Israel. It was ancestral land, given by God, and was not to be sold except in extreme measures and for a short time period. Naboth was right to refuse.
This shouldn’t have mattered so much, really. It is one field compared to all Ahab already owns. But Ahab sulks. He recasts the situation as one where he is the victim for not getting what he wants (v6). The desire for this field consumes him. He cannot eat or sleep. And, in the end, his wife Jezebel goes to extreme measures to obtain the land for Ahab. In a terrible account of injustice, we read of unfair charges, the killing of an innocent man, and unlawful possession of the land. And all of this leads to judgement from God delivered by Elijah (v17-24).