Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

He is Jealous for Me?

on February 10, 2014

Tonight, at a recovery group I attend, we opened up an interesting conversation that I thought would be a good topic to delve into for my daily reflection.

Is God a jealous God?  YES!

How do I know?

The Bible says He is.  I’d like to take a quick look at a few different places in scripture in which it depicts God’s jealousy.  I personally see a beautiful picture being painted as I read over these lines of scripture.

Firstly, in Exodus 34:14 (Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.)  God is NAMED “Jealous”.  I’ve heard Him called LORD, I’ve heard Him called Savior, Provider, Protector, Almighty, Redeemer, King, Healer, Counselor, Husband, Victor….and so many others….  but Jealous?  Yep.

Secondly, in 2 Corinthians 11:2, (I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.)  God is stating directly that HE IS JEALOUS for me, with a GODLY JEALOUSY.  This concept of godly jealousy changes my whole thought process on the word “jealous”.  In my mind, jealousy always had a negative connotation.  But, as I read this verse, I am presented with the term “godly jealousy”.  And as I read on, I see that He is jealous for me because He longs for me to remain pure for the day that my True Husband, Christ, comes again!  How beautiful!  It reminds me of the way I long for my own children to remain pure in their hearts, minds, and bodies as well.  It is not an “angry jealousy”.  It is a jealousy provoked by a deep affection, a jealousy prompted by a loving heart.  This kind of jealousy is a “loving jealousy”.
In James 4:5 (Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?)  James is reminding us that God, in His loving and godly jealousy, longs for the spirit He has caused to dwell in us….what does this mean?  In my understanding, God wants us to live in alignment with His Spirit.  When we make a decision to let Christ in our hearts as the Lord and Leader of our lives, God gifts us with His Holy Spirit.  The Spirit indwells our very bodies.  Our souls are no longer parched with thirst, they are no longer dying of spiritual starvation.  Once we have committed to walk with the Lord, God Himself enables us to do it by His very Spirit.  Unfortunately, it is possible to choose not to walk in alignment with the Spirit God so freely gives us.  It is possible (free will) to live apart from Him, even if we have invited Him into our hearts.  I believe this is what James is preaching about in this verse.  God is jealous when we choose to walk with any other Spirit than His own.  Why?  Because He loves us.  He wants the very best for us.  He knows that if we walk in alignment with Him, we will get the very best.  He also knows what happens when we don’t choose to walk with Him.  So, His jealousy is one of amazing devotion and love.
In Song of Songs 8:6 (Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.), we see the depth and strength of God’s jealousy toward us.  He longs for us so deeply that it is referred to as a blazing fire, a mighty flame.  God wants us to love no other idol above Him.  Why?  Because He thinks He’s all that?  (Well….He is….so why shouldn’t He think that??)  No, that is not why.  God longs for us with a love as strong as death because He knows how terrible eternity will be for us if we don’t choose Him.  He love us more than we can imagine, and He wants us to spend eternity with Him, not apart from Him.  Why?  Because He wants us to have Love, Peace, Joy, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control.  He wants us to come to know Him and love Him now, so that we can have these beautiful fruits fostered in our lives on Earth, and perfected in us in Heaven!
Joel 2:18 ([ The Lord’s Answer ] Then the Lord was jealous for his land and took pity on his people.) reminds us that although all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, He shows us Mercy (not giving us what are sins deserve) and Grace (giving us something we do not deserve) and fully forgives us our shortcomings and unconditionally accepts us into His family.  Yes, God’s jealousy is an all-consuming fire.  He wants us to Love Him first, most, and best.  He wants this because He knows that it is the ultimate best plan for our life as well as for the lives of those in the following generations.

Rise up and see that God’s jealousy is what causes Him to pursue us with a passion.  God calls us to Him.  He woos us, He searches for us, He calls out to us, until we answer Him.  He doesn’t stop pursuing, regardless of how long we turn away from Him.  His love and jealousy truly are as unyielding as the grave.  And, I, for one, am incredibly grateful for that Truth!

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