Jealousy. Not typically a quality we deem as godly.
So I remember being surprised the first time I heard God being described as jealous... even being provoked to jealous anger.
But then I got to thinking about it. Because these words are used to describe Him when the people He loves... those whom He is trying to guide, to lead, to provide and protect... choose someone or something else to which they give their attention.
In this case, it was the nation of Judah. They had turned their hearts to worship foreign gods. They also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree; there were even male cult prostitutes in the land. They imitated all the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites.
1 Kings 14:23-24
It wasn't as if they were not aware of God.
As if they had never been introduced to Him.
They had, in fact, been led to this promised land BY Him. Been given it as an inheritance. And these descendants knew their heritage.
They in fact, lived in the very place which was God's home on earth.... Jerusalem, the city where Yahweh had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put His name.
I Kings 14:21b
God had settled His very presence with man in Judah... in the temple at Jerusalem. But a new king with a personal agenda was led astray... as were the people in his kingdom.
So God became jealous.
You know that feeling when you've made a friend. You think it's a real connection, until suddenly they're making excuses why they can't meet you for lunch. Why they aren't available to talk, or hang out. But you see their picture on social media... smiling it up with other people.
It's not that they don't have time for you.
It's that they didn't choose to spend the time they have... with you. They chose another. So that sickness begins to creep in. That self-doubt turning to anger because you can't understand how you're not good enough for them... for their social group.
Imagine that feeling from heaven.
Imagine how God feels as the Creator.
He gave us life... His very breath within us.
He inspired people to write out His thoughts to us.
He has provided, protected and prospered us.
Then we go and choose other things... other people to put at the very center of our heart. We become indifferent to the One whom the world does truly revolve around. We put off another day the prayer, the quiet time, the worship and praise to the One who laid His life on the line... to save ours. I mean, we'll get to it... just not today.
So could it be that God can still be provided to a jealous anger which burned within Him all those years ago? Now we may not worship gods of stone. And we may not climb to the altars in the high places of Judah which are detestable to God.
But do we put Him first...
Each day, every day... all day?
As He does us.
How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!
Psalm 139:17 TLB
This is the love of a jealous God.
Jealous for our hearts to turn to Him.
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