VIDEO The Object of Jealousy

The Object of Jealousy

For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14

Sometimes reading the Bible raises questions. For instance, we are warned in Scripture to avoid jealousy and envy—it is “rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30)—and yet one of God’s names in the Old Testament is “Jealous”—for He is “a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).

Why is jealousy an attribute for God but a sin for us? Because of the motivation. God is not jealous for us because He envies something we have that He doesn’t have. Instead, think of “jealous” as “zealous”—God loves us so much that He is zealous for us to worship Him alone, to live in close communion with Him. God is jealous for us because He knows we will benefit from our devotion to Him. On the other hand, when we are jealous, it is for selfish reasons. We want something for our own pleasure that another person has. God’s jealousy is others-centered; human jealousy is self-centered.

If you find yourself experiencing jealousy, ask yourself, Who is the object of my feelings? Do I want the best for the other person or the “best” for myself?

God is jealous for the good of His redeemed people—but He can never be jealous of anything or anyone. John Blanchard


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