Is God Jealous?

“…for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD…is a jealous God.”  Exodus 34:14


One celebrity has famously stated that she could never worship a God who is jealous; therefore, the God of the Bible must be rejected or reinvented. The confusion comes because of our misunderstanding of the nature of jealousy. We instantly categorize the word “jealous” with other negative words, like greed, hatred, or envy. But consider it this way:


John paused at the door of his home, fumbling with his house key while juggling the bouquet of roses he’d brought to surprise his wife. He smiled as he pictured her squeal of delight. He’d worked two jobs for the past ten years to pay the bills while she pursued her degree and an internship she loved. He’d stayed home with the kids on his days off so she could enjoy time with her friends, but he didn’t mind at all. He adored her. The love of his life. What a treasure she was to him!

The door opened and he lurched into the silent hallway, trying not to drop the flowers. He wandered into the kitchen, wondering at the stillness, and saw a note on the table: “Dear John, I’m sorry, but I must pursue my own happiness. I’m in love with that prisoner I’ve been writing to, and I’ve left you to be with him when he is released. The kids are at my mom’s. You’re a nice man, you’ll find someone else. Thanks for everything.” He stared unseeing at the note, trying to understand. That prisoner? The convicted rapist? Con man? Married 4 times? What was she thinking? Now consider this—Did John have a righteous reason to be jealous? Outraged? Heartbroken? That’s the way our loving Creator feels when we love ourselves instead of Him.

Do your choices, desires, and affections provoke jealousy 
in the heavenly Father who adores you?
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