God Is Jealous

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord,
whose name is Jealous, is a jealous god.
Exodus 34:14
We have an uncanny ability to take what is good and use it for evil. God designed us to work, yet we become workaholics. God provided us with food, yet we find ourselves eating for pleasure instead of nourishment. God gave us marital sex, yet we’ve decided we know best when it comes to boundaries. Over and over again, we take what is good and we mess it up. The same is true with jealousy.

When we think of jealousy, we think of what we have made it out to be. ‘If only I had that brand-new truck…’ or ‘If only I had her athletic ability…’ We are quick to compare and unhealthily desire what we don’t have. This kind of jealousy is envy, and it draws us away from God. God himself lets us know in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is not envious.
 
So, when we read about the Lord being jealous, we can’t equate it to the jealousy we are used to seeing and feeling. His jealousy is the right kind of jealousy. When the Israelites were worshiping other gods, they were taking the praise and glory that belonged to God and bestowing it elsewhere. God was jealous for a people and the worship that belonged to him, and this is still accurate of God today.
 
God will forever and always be jealous for his creation, for we were originally designed to be in relationship with him. When we fell into sin, God pieced together this masterful plan to bring us back to him. He paved the way for Jesus to come and take our place so that we could be brought back into the family of God. This beautiful adoption story radiates of God’s jealousy for us. He wants us back, and I’m so glad he does.
 
As we continue to live here on earth, we will keep on being tempted to give the worship and praise that belong to God to other things, people, and areas in our life. May we be aware when certain idols are consuming our thoughts, and may we be quick to repent and come back to the one who loves us unconditionally.
 
There is no thing, no person, and no experience that will satisfy our souls the way that Jesus does. The band Of the Land describes this well from their song Only You:
 
            Only you can quench our insatiable hearts
            For our rest can only be found in Your arms
            Our lives are Yours for only You can satisfy
            Only You can satisfy
 
Let’s rest in these truths today. God loves you, and he is jealous for you.
 
Questions for reflection:

  1. Think back on this past week, what kinds of things have been consuming your mind and thoughts? What has been distracting you from seeing God and worshiping him?
  2. How has this jealous God pursued you? Reflect on the times where God clearly was at work in your life (through his Word, prayer, or someone else speaking grace/truth into your life). Thank him for those moments.
Garrett Crown | Student Ministries Associate 

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