Daily Devotional – Monday, June 28, 2021
“You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” (Exodus 34:14, NLT)
When I think of the attribute of jealousy, my thoughts focus primarily on how it is lived through sinful human beings. Generated by envy, it is capable of producing no good thing. But jealousy is not for that reason an attribute that is necessarily always evil. I was reminded of this as I was going through a teaching lesson on the Ten Commandments. We are not to covet or desire after things that don’t belong to us; when we do, wrong displays of jealousy can produce the exact opposite of the love that we are to have for God and others. However, all jealousy does not stem from a desire to have what belongs to another.
God names Himself, ‘Jealous,’ and warns the Israelites that they are not to worship any other gods or create idols to bow down to, because He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). As this quality is being attributed to God, it cannot be evil. So, how are we to understand jealousy as ‘righteous?’ Because God is not envious of something that belongs to another; He is protective of what belongs to Him. And make no mistake, we belong to Him. He formed the first man, breathed His breath into the mound of dirt which then became a living being; that same breath continues to produce life in each one of us to this day. It is He who plans us (Ephesians 2:10), makes us (Psalm 139:13-16), sustains us (Psalm 145:16-17) and determines our days (Job 14:5). And, perhaps most amazingly of all, we are each made in His image (Genesis 1:27), for Himself (Romans 7:4-6). He is well within His rights to be jealous when we act as though He must compete for our affection and worship.
God’s jealousy for our worship and devotion does not stem from insecurity, meanness or from being overly protective. We belong to Him and have no right to choose to give Him less than our full devotion, even though He has provided us with freewill and can do so. He does not force us to accept His place in our lives, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for choosing to reject Him. Not because He’s vindictive, but because we have chosen to live our lives outside of His perfect Will to our own detriment. If you struggle with God’s assertion that you belong to Him, ask yourself these questions: Who but God knows you better? Who but the Creator sees the big picture of your life? Who but the Father loves you so much, that He would choose to make a way for you to be His child, even after rejecting Him? Yes, He is a jealous God, and He is also love, gracious, just and forgiving. Why would anyone refuse that kind of jealous love?
~ Pastor Jane
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First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!