“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
A Jealous God
We like to think about God as a loving, forgiving, generous, patient, our friend, everything we need. He certainly is all those things and more!
Thinking of God as a jealous God makes us a little uneasy. To our English ears, that sounds bad or even sinful. That sounds like God wishes he had what we have or that he could somehow be like us. But that is not what it means when the Bible says that God is a jealous God.
When God describes himself as jealous, he means that he has an all-consuming zeal to see that we are okay. It means that he wants to be with us. More than that, though, it means that he wants us to be with him. He wants to be our God. In fact, when God says that he is a jealous God, what he is saying is that he wants to be exclusive with us. He does not want us to have any other gods. He wants all our attention and worship and praise. He does not want to share us with any of the countless false gods and idols in this world.
God wants us to be exclusive with him. But, sadly, we aren’t. How many times have we cheated on God just in the last week–when we loved our friends or our hobbies or ourselves more than we loved him?
Still, in spite of how often we have been unfaithful to him, God showed his unwavering commitment to us when he sent his own Son to die on the cross to pay for all our sins so that we could belong to God now and forever. That is how jealous God is of our relationship with him.
Now, aren’t you glad your God is a jealous God?
Dear Lord, thank you for being committed to me and for saving me through Jesus. Help me to look only to you as my salvation. Amen.