A Jealous God

By Not Known

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Ex 34:14).

How well do you know God? How many of His great names have you experienced in your life? The Bible lists numerous examples of people who have given God names as a result of their encounter with Him.  Hagar called God The God who sees when the angel of the Lord appeared to her after she ran away from her mistress, Sarai (Gen 16: 13).  Abraham named God The Lord Who Provides when the Lord provided a ram on behalf of Isaac (Gen 22:14). Moses recognized God as his Banner when God delivered the Israelites from the Amalekites (Ex 17: 15). Isaiah described God as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father (Isa 9:6).
When God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt,  He was given numerous positive titles and descriptions.  However, during the giving of  the Ten Commandment at Mount Sinai, God described Himself as a jealous God (Ex 34:14). Why? Although  jealousy does not carry a positive connotation in our days, when used as an attribute of God, it is always in a positive sense.  When speaking of the jealousy of God, the word is used to “illustrate  rather than represent the emotions of the divine mind as such emotion cannot be represented by other words” (New Unger’s Bible dictionary).
This description is also used to describe a man’s jealousy for his wife (Num 5:14-30) and God’s passionate anger against sin (1 Ki 14:22). Just like a husband who will not tolerate his wife for loving another man, so God demands undivided loyalty from His people. The exclusiveness of this relationship is especially evident in the giving of the Ten Commandments. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything… You shall not bow down to them or worship them (Ex 20:3-5).  This covenant is accompanied by a promise that if the Israelites obey God, He will make them His treasured possession – a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:5-6).  Furthermore, God will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you (Ex 34:10).
What can we learn from this truth?  First, instead of being burdened by this revelation, we should be comforted that God loves us so much to be jealous. Second, examine your lifestyle prayerfully. Are there things in our life that takes a higher position that might make God jealous of?  Although we may not bow down and worship other gods, our priorities may show otherwise.  Surrender those things.  Make a covenant today and affirm your commitment to God.  
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mk 12:30).”




Agnes Tan