Sunday, June 07, 2009

WORSHIP OUR JEALOUS GOD

For you shall worship no other gods,
for the Lord, whose name is JEALOUS,
is a JEALOUS God.
Exodus 34:14

Our God has many names and titles. One of them, however, isn't discussed theses days. You don't hear of it being made into songs, written in calligraphy on wall plaques, or engraved on jewelry. It is "JEALOUSY" But Exodus 34:14 said that's His name!

A few days after his marriage, a gregarious young husband decided to demostrate his love for his bride by taking her out to an elegant restaurant. When they were at the restaurant, a bright, attractive young waitress greeted them. The husband smiled up at the waitress with obvious delight. He noticed her name on her uniform, and used it to engage her in a few moments of spirited coversation before giving her their order for dinner.
As the waitress walked away, the husband turned his eyes back to his wife ...and was startled by the change in her countenance. She looked hurt and grieved.
"Honey," he said, "what's wrong?"
"I saw your eyes lit up when you looked at the waitress. That hurt me!"
He was confused. "Hurt you? Why should that hurt you? I was only trying to be friendly. Hey, that's my nature I'm outgoing. I enjoy people."

What's your take on the above story? To most people - the lady was obviously overly sensitive and probably has a problem with jealousy. JEALOUSY was an issue with the one who had it - and she needed to work it through! But the coupled was in a COVENANT RELATIONSHIP, and in such a union there can be no tolerance of any competing affection. In a wedding ceremony, they both vowed before God that they would cherish each other and love each other with all their hearts.Therefore in the above case, the jealousy was warranted. She was right to be jealous. She wanted his eyes. She wanted his heart - his whole heart. And because of their vows, she had every right to expect these things.
For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.
Exodis 20:5
In order to explore this further we need carefully define what we mean by jealousy? According to J.I. Packer, we see two sorts of jealousy among humans and only one is a vice. The one sense of jealousy which is perhaps most common is expressed in the attitude "I want what you have and I hate you because I haven't got it." This is essentially envy/covetousness and is a violation of the 10th Commandment. Clearly God does not exhibit jealousy in this way. Yet, according to Packer there is another kind of jealousy which he defines as "zeal to protect a love relationship or avenge it when broken." A helpful example of this is the passion a husband exhibits for his wife in order to preserve the faithfulness of this relationship in the midst of a depraved and adulterous world. This is a relationship that is by rights his and he jealousy guards this by taking actions in order to protect it.

If we really understood the jealousy of God - and how pure a jealousy it is - we would avoid sin like a plague. We don't understand it because it's hard to imagine the perfect, pure, radiant God having a burning passion for peole like us. But people like us were designed specifically to house His holy presence, to commune with Him in the intimate depths of our hearts. That's the fundamental purpose of being made in the image of God.
That's why God gives us such graphic images of His jealous love - so we can grasp it. A woman who doesn't know her suitor's love is apt to violate it. So God gives us ample opportunity to know it. We are to be a bride deeply in love, a bride who so adores her Husband that she cannot get enough of His presence.

The key to overcoming a wandering eye is to know how deeply and how purely we are loved by our God. If we truly know His jealousy, we'll never truly provoke it. Our hearts will burn as passionately as His.

Is it any wonder throughout the scriptures God often describes himself as the faithful husband pursuing a love relationship with his wife (i.e., the people of God). Unfortunately, God's people are not always faithful, but our COVENANT keeping Lord is always faithful.

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love for a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments." (Deut. 7:9)
"He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name." Psalms 111:9
What a privilege to know that we are His bride. Let us worship with our whole heart this holy, loving, faithfully jealous, covenant keeping God!

Blessings - TPWC



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thought provoking and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Brother Ricky, thank you for sharing this. My Christ our King reward your richly for your time and effort! Blessings!

babajidesalu said...

God bless you for your post. Something to ponder on.

Jean Welles said...

Ricky, thanks for your post. It's a lovely reminder of God's incredible love for us. Paul prayed that we would understand the depth of God's love. His jealousy for us is because of His indescribably Love for us. What an Awesome God!
Blessings,
Jean