Play It Backwards

Hidden Messages in God's Commands

playing vinyl records backwards hidden messages

In the 1960s and 70s it was thought if you played certain vinyl record albums backwards, you’d hear a secret message. Most likely, however, this was just folklore from that era or a marketing scheme to entice buyers to purchase their albums.

As I thought about this idea of a backwards secret message, it occurred to me that the tenth commandment from Exodus 20:17, “Don’t crave, “covet,” what others have,” holds a secret message of sorts—one that opposes God’s rule in our lives. Coveting is at the root of breaking all of God’s commandments, because the things we crave turn the commands backwards. When we covet we are upset that we don’t have the same advantages or blessings that others have. 

So let us “play” the commandments backwards now to see this secret message:

Coveting (#10) often causes people to lie (#9) or steal (#8) to get what they want or gain an advantage in life; coveting another person’s spouse, may result in adultery (#7); people have been known to murder (#6) to get something they crave; parents are dishonored (#5) when children covet, because it shows they are ungrateful for what their parents (and God) have already provided for them; coveting other activities—even beneficial ones—can spoil setting aside a day of rest (#4); being a covetous person dishonors God’s name (#3), because then we are not faithful representatives of God’s kingdom. Finally, this backwards message reveals that coveting breaks the first two commands, “Don’t worship idols” (#2) and “Have no other gods” (#1). Coveting is a secret admission that I know better than God as to what’s best for me, because I’m in charge of my own life. 

The good news is, we don’t need to covet because God has promised to provide for all of our needs. God wants us to trust him to care for us. The Bible says, “No good thing will he withhold from those that love him” (Psalm 84:11). Does this not imply that he withholds those things which are bad for us? In fact, God knows our needs even before we ask him (Matthew 6:8). Therefore, we do not need to covet what others have.

God’s commandments are good, because they reveal the condition of our hearts—we need the Savior! 

“the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith” Galatians 3:24.

Have you trusted in the Savior, are you justified? Click here to learn how to be forgiven of your sins!

Teach the commandments to children. Learn more!
Ten Commandments Bible Lessons for Children

Copyright 2023 S.A. Keith

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