Musings – 1/19/13

Hi there!  Now I realize it isn't Saturday today, but I ran out of time to blog this last weekend.  This week's chapter was on God's jealousy.

Jealousy is one of those words people normally don't use when they describe something good.  We look at the word in the sense of what we know of it.  Well when God said that He was a jealous God, it didn't sound too good.  For example, what if you were imagining what God's characteristics are.  If you were trying to image a perfect God with only good attributes, there's a good chance jealousy wouldn't make the list.  It's just not normally something one would thing of as a good thing.

Thus, when the Bible says that God is a jealous god, it's confusing.  However, once again, us humans are trying to shove God into our likeness.  Usually when you or I are jealous, it's sinful – wanting what someone else has. 

Before we go any further, we need to realize that there are two kinds of jealousy.  First, there's that bad kind – vicious jealousy.  The kind where my brother sees my younger brother playing with a toy.  All of the sudden, August reeeeally wants that particular thing.  So, according to August's nature, he goes and takes it – usually by force.  That's the bad kind.  Second, there's the righteous kind of jealousy that should exist between husband and wife.

"This kind of jealousy is a positive virtue, for it shows a grasp of the true meaning of the husband-wife relationship, together with a proper zeal to keep it intact.  ...The worship of idols, and all compromising relations with non-Israelite idolaters, constituted disobedience and unfaithfulness, which God saw as spiritual adultery, provoking him to jealousy and vengeance." 

Now it is much easier to understand why God called Himself jealous.  He meant that He demands from those He has loved and redeemed absolute loyalty, and He will vindicate His claim by stern action against them if they betray his love.  Because the whole Bible was built around a love story – the marriage between God's Son and the worldwide church at the end of time – God's jealousy is the marital kind.  He is jealous for us like the righteous man is jealous for his wife.  

Doesn't that make you feel special?  When we read this chapter, I was amazed by this.  The God whom we rebelled against, disobeyed, whose Son we betrayed is jealous for our love? our praise? our loyalty?  What could be more compelling than that?  The Creator of the universe – jealous for our love!  

I hope this fact convicts you to worship God more fully, to know Him more deeply, and live for Him completely.  xo, Ella 

The link for the book – Knowing God – by J. I. Packer  


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