If you have ever listened to a Christian radio station, or gone to a church that plays more modern worship songs, you have probably heard the song How He Loves by the David Crowder Band. One line of the song has me thinking today. It’s the very first phrase of the song, and is repeated a few times throughout. “He is jealous for me.” I have heard it said that God is a jealous God, but I wanted to dig into that concept more. To really get to the heart of what it means.
Several places in the Bible God is described as a jealous God. Most of them are in the Old Testament, including Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 5:9, Joshua 24:19, and Nahum 1:2. Deuteronomy 4:24 says “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” The New Testament also describes God as jealous in 2 Corinthians 11:2. In most every instance of Him being described as a jealous God, its in the context of His people turning to idols and other gods instead of worshiping Him. Whenever God’s people make other things into their god, the one true God shows His jealousy.
Let’s look more into what “jealous” really means. The Oxford Living Dictionary contains 4 definitions of what jealous means. The first one says “Feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages.” A synonym of this type of jealousy is covetousness. This type of jealousy is a sin, as spelled out in the 10 Commandments, and is not they type of jealous the Bible is attributing to God. Everything belongs to God, nothing has an advantage over Him, and nobody can achieve anything unless He allows it.
The second definition states that jealousy is ” Feeling or showing a resentful suspicion that one’s partner is attracted to or involved with someone else.” Synonyms include distrustful and insecure. This definition doesn’t make sense either, because God is not suspicious. He doesn’t have romantic relationships the way we do. God also knows all things, including whether or not someone is being faithful to their spouse. There would be no reason for Him to feel distrustful or insecure. If He felt that way, He wouldn’t be God.
The third definition in this dictionary says, ” Fiercely protective of one’s rights or possessions.” Some synonyms of this kind of jealousy are watchful, mindful, attentive and vigilant. Now we’re getting into the heart of God! We are God’s people, as were the Hebrew people of the Old Testament. We belong to Him. His jealousy is that of being protective and mindful of us! He want’s what is best for us, and what’s best for us is Him!
The final definition is “(of God) demanding faithfulness and exclusive worship.” Obviously, this definition fits the bill. God wants us to be faithful to Him and only worship Him. This isn’t selfish, like some may take it as. The fact is He is the only one who deserves our worship. He created us. Jesus died for us. He helps us and walks through every moment of every day with us! There is no greater name than that of Jesus our savior!
God is jealous for you. He is protective of you, mindful of you, and wants you to only worship Him. You belong to Him and He loves you!