“For you must not worship any other god. For the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14)
1. feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages. “Monica’s husband grew jealous of her successful career.”
2. feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship. “Jealous people fabricate supposed imaginings of their partner cheating.”
3. fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions. “Howard does not allow guests to enter the living room that is decorated in white and gold.”
The definition of jealous always describes unhealthy behavior. Yet, God describes Himself as “a jealous God.” Jealousy is an intense harmful response, yet, God used “Jealous” as a gatekeeper adjective that humanity could understand. Why was the warning necessary?
The emancipated Israelites were given divine laws [boundaries] to ensure that they would not involve themselves in the worship of pagan [manmade] gods. Once they were free from the Egyptians, they secretly worshipped statutes and participated in paganistic rituals. “Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7).
What was the root cause of their desire to become involved in pagan rituals? Seeking and enjoying Pleasure!
“Pagan rituals can serve a number of purposes, they are ‘performed to celebrate the seasons, honour the deities, attune with nature, attain self-realisation, induct participants into the mysteries, and for magical and healing purposes'” (Hume, 1998).
Worship of idol statutes seems absurd, yet, we are involved in idol worship at a greater level than the Israelites.
- Relationships [Unequally yoked]
- Prosperity [Worldly possessions]
- Social Media [Wasted Time]
- Entertainment and Sports Idols [Emulating their lifestyles]
- Mystical Religions [Yoga, Crystals, Anxiety Rings]
How do believers in the Most-High God get themselves into the predicament of idol-worship?
Root Cause: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Root Cause: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6).
Root Cause: “Jesus answered, ‘You are mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.'” (Matthew 22:29).
God lovingly created us to worship Him through obedience. Without the diligent study of the Scriptures and praying for the anointing, discernment, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we willingly fall into temptation. Sadly, we end up in the same predicament as unbelievers.
Still, another group of “believers” study the Scriptures but decide to live according to their hearts’ desires. They say “Lord, Lord” but are in agreement with the unbelievers who view God’s laws as “a list of can’t do anything.”
God’s jealousy is for the protection of the righteous!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Dedicated worshippers who love God with all of their hearts, souls, and minds are grateful for the commands that keep us in the safekeeping of our Heavenly Father.
God’s jealousy as our Father provides us with the perfect [godly] husband, wife, and material provisions and prepares us for eternal life with Him.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17).
Yes, I love that we are loved, protected, and given perfect gifts by a “Jealous [Heavenly Father] God!”
Prayer: God, we thank you that You are Jealous. Our hearts are filled with gratitude that we belong to You, and Your ways and thoughts are higher than ours. Please forgive us for our intentional disobedience. We love You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.