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 as 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.  Of course, 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 one time or another – that twinge of anger rising up inside 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? God, the Lord of everything, who can make anything we can’t even dream of, the all-powerful and amazing God is jealous. Why would He be a jealous God, a God who has everything, the great I Am who is beyond compare – why would He start comparing and 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 if 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 – it wouldn’t matter to Him, because we matter to Him, and He wants our undivided devotion.

It’s as simple as that. 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, I’m going to make you jealous with foolish people.” And so the story goes – we know today that the Jewish people gained an unwanted brother, a brother that is not a nation but lives all over the world – within 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 called “The New Testament”. A family feud has broken out as to who knows God. In the realm of faith we hear this claim all the time, the claim that “we” are the ones who know God and claim exclusive rights on the Eternal One. While this might seem ridiculous to the rest of the world, I’m sure God smiles about sibling rivalry among His children (as long as they don’t kill each other). The point is, we are passionate about God, and that means everything to Him. The worst we can do to Him is to hurt His heart with nonchalance – Jesus calls it “lukewarm” and very passionately says about this attitude (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 is extremely passionate about you and me.  That’s an important part of the Gospel ultimately leading up to the Passion of Christ. Christ’s passion for people lead to His actions, worldwide known as His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. That’s why we celebrate Easter; that’s why we celebrate Jesus, the Son of God.

“He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane; I am a tree
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.” (Song lyrics by David Crowder)

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