Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Foundational Truths – God – Jealous(y)

As you will remember when we began this study it was in connection with a study of the Godhead with the goal of looking at the duties if you will of each member. First though we thought it most advantageous to look at some (since an infinite God most certainly has infinite attributes) of the attributes each share and in fact every attribute is shared equally among each member of the Godhead. If this were not the case then the unity of the trinity (Godhead) would be broken which is an impossible.

So today we will look at the Jealous God. The thought of God being jealous to many is unthinkable, usually because in their minds they ascribe the human sinful nature of jealousy to God which is not what the Scriptures have in mind at all. And while the definition of jealous(y) certainly does include that our purpose will be to look at God’s jealousy and only look at the sinful type only as a contrast. So lets dig in.

Webster’s 1828 states of Jealous

Jealous - adv

- Solicitous to defend the honor of; concerned for the character of.

- Suspiciously vigilant; anxiously careful and concerned for.

Or as a noun -

- Indignation. (Righteous)

Human jealousy describes the hostility one has toward a rival or one believed to enjoy some advantage over us. It should be emphasized that not all human jealousy is sinful though as seen in the prophet Elijah's reaction in 1 Kings 19:9-10 (God asks) “What are you doing here, Elijah? He said, "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” So let’s be clear not all human jealousy is sinful

However, jealousy is an emotion we most often describe as seen between lovers; and yet God communicates His Jealousy with Israel as a husband would a wife (or visa versa) (Jer 31:32; cf. Ho 2:19, Isa 54:5, Jer 2:2) and because of His love for His people He jealously acts to maintain their fidelity. Divine jealously is not the petty emotion so often seen in fallen men and women, but describes God's justifiable intolerance to any and every rival (i.e. idols, gods). Jealousy is God's rightful demand for our exclusive affection in light of His provision for us.

In short, God's kind of jealousy is appropriate and good, for He is defending His word and His Holy honor as well as that of His chosen elect. He makes a strong, exclusive demand on those who are His. As such, we must treat only the Lord as God to the exclusion of all other people and created things!

The Scriptures are replete with references to God’s godly jealously over His, dare I say property (people). For you are not your own you know, you have been bought off the slave market at great price (1 Cor 6:19b-20). Consider a few others:

Josh 24:19; Ezek 16:38; Ps 79:5; Ex 34:13, 14; Deut 4:23; Deut 5:9;

So in light of this let us examine our life style honestly and prayerfully.

Have other persons, places, or things assumed a more prominent status or role in our lives than our relationship with the Lord God Almighty, the eternal, immutable lover of our soul? If so, take some decisive and concrete steps to cast out and destroy the "idols" in our life and give to Him the high and lofty position He alone deserves. Our daily choices will demonstrate whether He is truly Lord or if we have given Him only lip service!

And let us not forsake the spiritual welfare of other believers; are we as jealous for their spiritual welfare as we should? This is at the very heart of Gal 6:1 and the demonstration of Paul in 2 Cor11:2-ff.

Think about it…

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