Thursday, May 12, 2022
A Jealous God
“You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me” (Exodus 20:5 NLT).
God calls himself a “jealous God.” But does that mean He’s insecure and is therefore jealous? We tend to always think of jealousy in a negative sense. After all, it was Shakespeare who referred to it as “the green-eyed monster.”
We envision a jealous person as someone who may fly into a rage for the slightest reason. But when God says He’s a jealous God, He means it in a different way.
Imagine if a wife said to her husband, “Honey, I love you so much. And by the way, I’m going on a date tonight. I don’t know when I’ll be back. Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye. Love you!” No clear-thinking husband would go along with that plan.
But we’ll say, “Oh, Lord, I love you so much,” and we’ll effectively have another god in our lives. The Bible says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21 NKJV). And having another god is easier than we may think.
A lot of things can become idols in our lives. A vehicle or a house can become an idol. So can a career. Even a ministry can become an idol. Other people can become idols in our lives.
When we take our eyes off the Lord and become more passionate about a hobby or some other thing we do for fun, that can become an idol as well.
When the Bible says that God is a jealous God, it means that He oversees your life. You are not in charge of it. God cares about you. He’s a Father who sees the potential of His children, a father who is brokenhearted when that potential isn’t realized, or worse yet, when we waste our lives.
God is a Father who loves us and wants the very best for us. And He doesn’t want to share us with anyone or anything else.
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