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Psalms 79

How long, Lord? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭79:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Our God is a jealous God, but not in the way that we commonly think of jealousy.  When most of us think of jealousy, we think about being envious of another person because of something they have that we do not.  This is frequently a possession, an ability or skill, a physical attribute, or success.  This type of jealousy is clearly classified as a sin in God’s Word.  Jealousy is described as one of the “acts of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-20, and we are told that we can simply avoid it by being “led by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:18).  This type of sinful jealousy leads to selfishness, suspicion, distrust, hostility and resentment towards others because they are enjoying some advantage that we do not currently have.  It can be possessive, demanding, overbearing, and can stifle freedom and individuality.  It can degrade, demean, and destroy relationships.  This type of jealousy does not sound anything like the description of love presented to us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  Since “God is love” (1 John 4:8), this is obviously not the kind of jealousy that the Lord has for us. 

The foundation for God’s jealousy is found in Exodus 20:4-6: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”  God is jealous when we give something that rightly belongs to Him (worship and the highest priority in our lives) to someone or something else.  God is unwilling to share His honor, praise and supremacy with anyone or anything else.  And why should He?  He created the universe with everyone and everything in it.  He provided a way for us to be free from sin, and to have eternal life in paradise.  He continuously proves His faithfulness, love, and mercy to us.  We literally owe everything to Him!  Because He is worthy of our attention, dedication, trust, worship and adoration, He is entitled to godly jealousy when we do not give Him what He rightly deserves.  Our Heavenly Father loves us more than we can even fathom, and He always wants what is best for us.  “…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).  He is dedicated to protecting each and every one of us from anything that will pull us away from Him, as He knows that the farther we are from Him, the more dangerous it is for us in this world. 

Take the time to prayerfully examine your lifestyle, your thoughts, your giving, and your worship.  If anyone or anything has taken a more prominent place in your life than your relationship with the Lord Himself, make sure to take some decisive and concrete steps to put Him in the position that He deserves to be.

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