Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our God is a Jealous God

By Colleen Podmore

We sing the song, ‘Our God is an Awesome God. He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom, power and love. Our God is an awesome God’ pg 54

And it’s true; Our God is an awesome God! Not only is He Yahweh, a personal God, He is El Shaddai, Lord Almighty. He is El Elyon, the Most High God. He is Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is El Olam, the Eternal God.

He is Yeshua, Jesus, a God who saves. He is Hamashiach, Messiah, the Anointed One. He came to earth to save people from their sins and to reveal the Father. John 3:16 says: ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life’.

Our God is an awesome God! He is also a servant king. He came to earth not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. He came to suffer as we suffer, to identify with us and to deal with the root cause of our sufferings which is the sinful nature and to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness.

Our God is an awesome God. He is also the Spirit of Truth and of Life, a Counsellor and a Comforter. He is Holy. He is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. The Spirit of Counsel and power and knowledge!

Our God is an awesome God!!

Tonight I would like to speak about another of God’s attributes and that is Our God is a Jealous God!

Exodus 34:14

‘Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God’

This verse really reiterates the second commandment – Exodus 20:4

‘You shall not make for yourself an idol...for I, the LORD your God am a jealous God...

Does it surprise you that God is a jealous God?

There are many references to God’s jealousy

Dt 4:24 ‘a consuming fire, a jealous God’

Dt 32:16,21, ‘They made Him jealous’

Josh 24:19, ‘He is a jealous God’

Psalm 78:58, ‘They aroused His jealousy’

God’s jealousy is also connected with judgement. For example:

1Kings 14:22 talks about how the actions of Israel ‘stirred up Gods jealous anger’

Paul asks the question in 1Cor 10:22, ‘Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?’

And in James 4:5 it says, ‘the Spirit envies intensely’ or jealously’

Well by now you might be confused because isn’t jealousy a sin? How can God therefore be jealous?

Let’s look up some verses - Romans 13:13. 1Cor 3:3, 2Cor 12:20, Gal 5:20

Yes jealousy is a sin so how do we explain God’s jealousy? Does God sin?

Well, we know that there is no sin in God. He is sinless. I thought of two reasons to explain this apparent contradiction. You may be able to think of more.

Firstly, we’ll turn to 2Cor 11:2 which may help us understand,

Paul says, ‘I am jealous with a godly jealousy’

So there is a difference between God’s jealousy and our human jealousy.

Secondly, I was thinking it might have more to do with the character of God verses our character. When we are jealous, because of our sinful nature all sorts of other ugly sins are aroused: hatred, revenge, maybe murder, strife etc.

But when God is jealous because He cannot sin, His jealousy is completely different as His character is Holy he cannot be lead into further sin. But I love the fact that our God is a jealous God. Imagine if He wasn’t and didn’t care whether we worshipped Him or some other idol?

Let’s have a look at the dictionaries definition of jealousy, this is human jealousy: envious, suspicious, apprehensively watchful, zealously careful and compare that to Godly jealousy

Godly jealousy is an expectation of exclusive right to possess and to claim our love and allegiance. God’s jealousy demands our exclusive devotion to Himself! He can only do that because He is God.

We will never be able to claim exclusive devotion from another human being in the way that God can, because we are not God.

Our God is a Jealous God – Hallelujah – he will not share us with anyone or anything. God demands our exclusive 100% devotion.

The final question that I would like us to think about is this, ‘Is there any indication in the new testament that Jesus is also jealous? Did he show jealousy when He walked on earth?’

• Another way of translating the Hebrew word which mean jealous, is to use a similar word which is zealous.

In John 2:17, it says of Jesus, ‘zeal for your house will consume me’ quoting Ps 69:9. Jesus was intensely jealous for the Name and temple of God.

• Jesus made His desire for the exclusive devotion of His disciples clear.

(Read) In Matt 10:34-37, ‘…anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.’

Exclusive devotion – Our God is a jealous God – He wants and deserves our 100% devotion to Himself.

Let us follow Him Jesus, with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt22:37), for our God is an awesome God!


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