God indicts the entire nation for its covetousness. A major reason why coveting is so dangerous is shown by our credit system, which is based on the premise of possessing something before one is actually able to afford it.
In this profit-producing scheme, advertising is credit's companion. The marketer's purpose is to speed up the business, possession, and profit cycle. However, in reality over the long haul, credit actually slows things down and makes items more expensive because the credit must be paid for through interest in addition to the item's original price. It also creates greater debt, enslaving the debtor to the creditor. This same principle is at work in every other unlawful act of which coveting is a part.
Who will listen to this reality? Through America's almost insanely massive and ever-growing indebtedness, God is demonstrating that people simply will not heed either sound human or divine advice because their minds are driven by the desire to have whatever it is that they want right now. It has a grip on the heart so strong that nothing yet has been able to break it.
This tenacious hold is why tithing comes as such a shock when people learn that God requires it. Many are living way over their heads. When they learn of tithing, the penalty for their earlier stealing from God greatly influences current spending. They must then learn to pay in adversity, sacrificing as they go on in obedience.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Tenth Commandment
Do these two prophecies describe America? "Everyone is given to covetousness," "greedy dogs which never have enough." A Protestant saying is that "the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." An anonymous wit paralleled this, saying the U.S. motto should be, "The chief end of man is to glorify prosperity and enjoy it forever." A European observer wrote that "desire is enthroned in the mind of the American consumer." We are immersed in a constant barrage of advertisement. Our whole economy works to stimulate our desire for food, clothing, automobiles, furniture, jewelry, and travel, filling our minds with the "gimmies." It is difficult to resist unless our focus is disciplined toward going in the right direction.
Because of these sins, God calls upon the nations to devour His people. The leaders are just as blind to the nation's real needs because, instead of speaking out and acting upon moral issues, they are embroiled in their own lusts. While America sinks into the quicksand of that way of life, they proclaim an even better and brighter tomorrow!
Another reason why coveting has the power to destroy the coveter is revealed in the credit purchasing system that dominates the American economy. Buying on credit is based upon the idea of possessing something before one can afford it. Advertising usually accompanies credit, and the two of them together seductively lure the unwary and weak. Yet because of the charges collected by the lender, credit actually makes things even more expensive, causing greater debt!
But, God asks in Jeremiah 6:9-13, who will listen? People will not listen to such simple wisdom as delaying a purchase to pay in cash to save money. They will not listen even when told they will be able to make more purchases because they will have more money to spend. They do not listen because their minds are on their sin. The cycle of sin continues onto other sins their covetousness motivates.
This is why tithing comes as such a shock to many new brethren. As a nation, we are living way over our heads. When we learn of tithing, the penalty for our prior stealing from God really hurts. We then have to learn to pay in adversity. Covetousness has boomeranged and caught us in a way we never dreamed.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Tenth Commandment (1998)
This description of Judah is given just before God drove them into captivity to Babylon. God's pattern, beginning back in Genesis 15, is to scatter, to destroy when the iniquity is full. God determines what "full" is, and it might be different for the Amorites than it is for those who have made a covenant with Him. Nonetheless, when God judges that the people's iniquity has reached a certain point, He scatters. This description shows that they were filled with iniquity from top to bottom.
John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 1)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Jeremiah 6:13: