26 Mar

In Deuteronomy 4:24, we read the word “jealous.”  “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”  NIV

The context is Moses preaching to the Isrealites who are about to go into the promised land. Here, he’s cautioning them against idolatry.

I’ve heard people talk of being hung up on the word, “jealous.”  The Bible tells us God is holy, righteous, loving, forgiving, compassionate, merciful, kind, patient. I could go on and on with the list. How do you reconcile “jealous” with the rest of the list?

Ever tried to describe colors to someone who’s been blind their entire life?

I think trying to grasp jealous from a nature that’s completely holy, loving, righteous – we simply cannot fully embrace it. Our own experience with jealousy stems from human qualities, negative things such as pride, control, anger, fear. Again, the list could go on and on.

Continuing in Deuteronomy Ch 4 from verse 24 through verse 31, we see God is merciful. Even when we fall into idolatry, we are not excluded from his goodness. We can turn back and seek him with our whole hearts and find him. Find him ready to show mercy and remain faithful to us (though consequences should be expected, see Deut 2:7 – yes the Isrealites had to wonder 40 years as a result of disobedience, but the LORD provided, always).

What’s your take on it? How do you describe God’s jealousy?


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