Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jealousy - vice or value?

Jealousy is always perceived as negative - a green-eyed monster that is motivated by pride and greed, and revealed by envy, frustration, spite, destructive behaviors and ruined relationships.  God, however, calls Himself a "jealous God" in Exodus 20:5.  He also says that one of His names is "Jealous" in Exodus 34:14.  How do we explain this seeming self-disclosed weakness in God?

1.  God uses terms like "jealousy," "hand," "finger," "joy," etc. to communicate who He is human terms that we can understand.  If He used other than human expressions, we would not understand any facet of who He is.  When God refers to Himself as "jealous," however, the term is not tainted with sin or negative connotations.

2. God's jealousy is about His zeal to protect the love relationship that He has with us.  "Jealousy arouses a husband's fury" Proverbs 6:34.  God's jealousy refers to guarding a marital relationship against attack - proof that the marriage is valued.

God is married to His people (the Bride of Christ) and He will not stand idly by when other suitors begin hitting on His wife.  He is not tolerant of the gods of materialism, prosperity, success, workaholism and a myriad of other gods that contend for His place in our lives.

How does God's jealousy apply to us?

1. Appreciate that the God of the universe loves you so intensely that He will not allow other gods to take His place in your life.

2. God's jealousy requires us to be zealous for Him.  He is passionately devoted to us and He expects the same from us.  He expects us to have a burning desire to please Him and to love Him exclusively.

3. God's jealousy threatens Churches and individuals who are like Laodicea - sound in doctrine, respectable, but lukewarm. (Revelation 3:15f.)  If we can be consumed with video games, rock concerts, and football games, how can we be anything less for the Lover of our Souls who paid such a huge price to redeem us from the just wrath of a God whose name is Jealous?

Loving the jealousy of God for me and my relationship with Him      ~  Bob

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