February 8 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 34-36 and Psalms 38
Chapter 34:14 jumped out at me this morning – “for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
We nearly always associate jealousy with something extremely negative – abusive – violent – envious – controlling – lacking personal boundaries – domineering – etc.
Somehow I think our definitions have become confused. Let’s redefine the word “jealous” for the purposes of clear Biblical understanding. When you have a relationship with someone, you naturally watch over it, making sure you are fostering an atmosphere that will help the relationship stay solid – you cultivate and weed “your garden”. You are protective of the home and family God has blessed you with, trying to keep evil influences from spoiling a blessed thing. In a Church, the leaders should be “jealous’” to make sure that no one is deceiving God’s people with false doctrine or ungodly conduct. In a marriage, every effort should be made by the couple to safeguard the sacred vows they have made.
When we are “married” to the Lord, He too will watch over us and guard this sacred relationship. If we drift towards “other gods, He will be quick to remind us of His love and that all we really need is Him. I personally find this very comforting – that my Lord would be protective of our relationship – that my wife would be protective of our relationship – that the Pastor would be protective of the Church – that our Prime Minister would be protective over the security of our nation. There is confidence in knowing that people who care are concerned so as to continually invest in these relationships and to not just let them drift or die. Show me a relationship that is allowed to drift in any direction without effort invested to keep it on track and I’ll show you a relationship that is moving towards destruction. When relationships are valuable to us, they are worthy of an investment of time, effort and money – anything it takes for it to survive and thrive. This is “good” jealousy. There is a twisted and warped kind of jealousy that exists in our society, but as usual it is just a sad, demonic counterfeit for something good that God created for us.
Thank God that His name is “Jealous” – where would we be if He did not watch over us!
1. Think of a time when God’s “jealousy” protected you from harm.
2. Tell of a situation where godly jealousy saved a human relationship. (Please don’t use real names.)