But first I have to say, I can't believe we're already at letter J! Ten letters done, sixteen to go. Almost halfway there!
Ok, back to Jealousy. Did you know that God is a jealous God? Did you know that one of the many names for God is Jealous?
Can you imagine introducing someone to a friend or loved one whose name is Jealous?
"I'd like you to meet my boyfriend y'all. Family this is Jealous, Jealous this is my family!"
Ok, so what's Jealous about and why does God name Himself Jealous?
Jealous - intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness; disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness; hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage; vigilant in guarding a possession
synonym - possessive
antonym - unenvious
Hebrew - Qanna - jealousy. Denotes one who is jealous. Used particularly of God. The Lord permits no rivals. He is the only one worthy of human worship.
The first time God called Himself Jealous was way back when He gave Moses the Ten Commands. You can read that in Exodus 20. Then, when He had to make new stone tablets because Moses broke the first two, He called Himself Jealous, because He is a jealous God. You can read that story in Exodus 34.
Ok, so why is God jealous? Of what or whom is He jealous?
Anything that is worshiped or loved more than Him.
It's good to love our children. But not more than God.
It's good to love our spouse. But not more than God.
It's good to love our parents and extended family. But not more than God.
It's good to love our church family. But not more than God.
It's good to love our spiritual heritage. But not more than God.
It's good to love our hobbies. But not more than God.
It's good to love our job. But not more than God.
It's good to use the talents we have been created with, but it's not good to depend on our talents more than we depend on God.
It's good to enjoy what money can provide, but it's not good when we love money and what it can buy more than we love God.
It's good to be passionate about causes, politics, and anything else that we could talk all day about, but it's not good to be more passionate about those things than we are towards God.
It's good to be passionate about what God has led us to do, but it's not good to love what He's led us to do more than we love Him.
God is Good. God is Jealous. A Good God is Jealous for His child. A Jealous God wants our heart. Undivided. He is jealous for us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and then enjoy the other gifts He's given us, like our children, our spouse, family, hobbies, etc.
He doesn't want the leftovers of our passions and love.
Scroll back up to the antonym of jealous - unenvious. What would it be like if God were not a Jealous God but an unenvious one? What would that look like?
There must be a reason God wants us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? If He weren't jealous, would we even belong to Him?
If He was not Jealous, would He have sent His Son Jesus to live and die and rise from the dead for us?
If He was not Jealous, would He have let us sin without consequences?
If He was not Jealous, would we even know He exists?
Because He is a healthy jealous, we have been freed.
Because He is a healthy jealous, we have been freed to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths.
We have the ability because He lived, died, and rose from the dead to give us the ability.
Here on earth we will live and walk on a fine line. Enjoying our stuff and our peeps and loving God, or Loving our stuff and our peeps and enjoying God.
He's not demanding anything. He's not like a jealous spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend. He doesn't demand that we not enjoy our family, our relationships, our stuff. He doesn't keep us from enjoying those either. His grace covers us when we enjoy Him and love the rest. He forgives us when we get off track and love something or someone more than Him and He gives us the ability to confess it and get back on the track that Loves Him and enjoys everything else.
But if a God who is Jealous for us, who was so jealous for us that He gave His own life (what jealous boyfriend or girlfriend would ever do that?) why would we want to make Him jealous?
Loving a Jealous God more than stuff and peeps doesn't mean you can't enjoy your stuff and peeps. (Remember, we're talking healthy jealousy). It only means that you Love Him more so that when there are bumps in relationships or stuff or people are taken away, you can handle it with a shrug of the shoulder and say, "I choose to love God more because He has given me the ability to love Him more than my stuff and my peeps."
And when you have an attitude like that, you enjoy the relationships and things you've been given and have peace.
And just think: Jesus was tempted with the very same problem when He lived life on earth as a man in frail human flesh. He struggled and was tempted with the very thing of loving his family, his life, his job, his stuff, more than He loved His Father. Remember, He begged God to let the cup pass....
He was tempted, in EVERY way, just as we are, but was without sin. He didn't give into the temptation so that we could find strength from Him when we are tempted. He showed us how to love God and enjoy the rest and gives us the ability, when we ask for it, to do the same.
J is for Jealous.
1 John 1:9; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; 11:42-43; 16:13; James 1:12; Colossians 1:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; 3:5; 1 Timothy 4:4; 6:17-19; 2 Timothy 1:7-12;
Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:11, 14-18; 4:15; 5:2; 7:25; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Peter 1:3-9; 2 John 5:3-5; Matthew 26:39, 42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42.
and there are so many more! Dig!! Dig while we can!!