Exodus 34:14: “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

Browsing the internet I ran across an image the other day with a guy embracing 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.  The first thing that comes to mind is romantic relationships. However, there is also jealousy among siblings, jealousy at work, jealousy over physical appearance and talent, and the list goes on and on. So, it’s hard not to run into jealousy – we have to deal with it. 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, 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 much to Him. As it is, we mean the world to Him – so God gets angry 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 is 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 loves us passionately.  That’s an important part of God to understand. Never forget, it’s the Passion of the Christ that led to the cross and His subsequent resurrection. Without passion there is really no Easter. 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! 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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