Deuteronomy 32:21: “They have roused my jealousy by worshiping things that are not God; they have provoked my anger with their useless idols. Now I will rouse their jealousy through people who are not even a people; I will provoke their anger through the foolish Gentiles.”

This image shows a guy with two girls, subtitled: “This is the life” – maybe for the guy, probably not so much for the girls. Ménage à trois is not known to be a concept that works.

In his song “Jealous Guy” John Lennon wrote:

“I was feeling insecure
You might not love me anymore
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside
Oh didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy”

In the realm of human relationships we run into jealousy, maybe more often than we realize.  The first thing that comes to mind is a romantic relationship. However, there’s also jealousy among siblings, jealousy at work, jealousy over physical appearance and talent. So, jealousy is found everywhere in the fabrics of human society. Some people are more prone to jealousy than others, but I believe everybody has felt it at some point – that twinge of anger rising up inside of us when we feel slighted.

Curiously, in the closing chapters of the book of Deuteronomy we read about a jealous God. What is that all about? Why would He be jealous, a God who can make anything we can’t even dream of, who has everything, the all-powerful all-knowing and amazing God – why would He say: “You made me jealous!” to mere humans?

Actually, we should feel honored that God is jealous of us. If He wasn’t, we wouldn’t mean anything to Him. As it is, we mean the world to Him – so God gets ticked off when we are more interested in xyz than in Him. Never mind that He created xyz, and He could probably replace xyz in a heartbeat with another more dazzling creation. However, that’s totally beside the point, because we matter to Him, and it’s our undivided devotion that He is looking for.

So, God is jealous because – yes, you guessed it – He fiercely loves us. And He has His way of getting our attention. To the people of Israel He basically said: “You made me jealous with foolish things, now I’m going to make you jealous with a foolish people.” And so the story goes! We know today that the Jewish people has gained an unwanted brother, a brother that is not a nation but lives all over the world. Among the despised heathen nations faith in Christ has spread like a wildfire. This unwanted brother reads and believes in the Torah and Prophets and added a few more books to the Bible, commonly known as “The New Testament”.

Generally speaking, religious wars smell a lot like like family feuds to me. All parties involved say and believe the same thing: They all claim exclusive rights to the Eternal One and spread the word around that “they” are the only ones who know God – or “they” are the ones who supposedly know God best. While this seems ridiculous to the rest of the world, I can imagine God smiling about this kind of sibling rivalry – as long as we don’t kill each other of course.

The point is, we are passionate about God, and that means everything to Him. Passionate as He is, God will be most offended by our indifference – Jesus calls such attitude “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16):

“But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

Spoken like a true jealous Son of God!

God’s jealousy goes to show that He is extremely passionate about you and me.  That’s an important part of God to understand. Never forget, it’s the Passion of Christ that led to the cross and His subsequent resurrection. Without passion there’s really no Easter! We have a God whose jealousy ultimately leads to our redemption. His jealousy is a true indicator that His love knows no compromise. Such love can be trusted, and such love will never fail!

You are a jealous God, strong is Your passion. You are a jealous God; You want to be, you got to be my one and only.  (Basically Two, Bill & Evelyn Snyder)

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