Monday, January 27, 2014

Matters of Glory and Trust

By Bruce Atkinson
Special to Virtueonline
January 27, 2014

A Jealous God

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God..." (Exodus 20:4-5)

Let me initially set forth a proper understanding of the word "jealous" as used in Exodus 20:5. English usage incorporates a couple of quite different meanings. Exodus 20:5 does not mean the sin of jealousy that Paul wrote about in Galatians 5:20. In modern parlance, by jealous we generally mean that we're envious of something that someone else has that we want, like money, power, popularity, or material things. This jealousy wants successful people to fail. Our common view of jealousy is actually the internal act of coveting (see the 10th Commandment).

Obviously, God's jealousy can be nothing like that, for the One who gave Moses the Commandments is without sin. Rather, God is righteously jealous when we give something that belongs to Him to someone else. Quite unlike envy, it is a reaction to having been violated by having something stolen from Him. As the Book of Hosea makes clear, the closest human parallel may be the situation in which a man finds out that another man is sexually pursuing his wife - and he has every right to be jealous. The husband is the only one with the right to be sexual with his wife. Thus, when the world, the flesh, and/or the devil flirt with the Bride of Christ and she becomes attracted and takes up with them, God becomes jealous and even angry. He is not exactly happy with His Bride's fickleness and shallow faith.

Read the full story at

No comments: