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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #10 God’s JEALOUSY!

One of the many attributes of God which is seldom preached on — is His JEALOUSY!  But, wait a minute!  Isn’t jealousy as SIN?  How can it be right for God to be jealous and for us not to be?  As with all other questions, we need to ask not what we think, but what does the Bible actually say?

Here are some texts on the jealousy of God:

Exodus 20:5 – 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,

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

Deuteronomy 4:24 – For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 32:16 – They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols.

Psalm 78:58 – They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.

Psalm 79:5 – How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire?

Ezekiel 16:42 – Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.

Nahum 1:2 – [ The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh ] The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.

Zephaniah 1:18 – Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath.” In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.

Zechariah 8:2 – This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.”

James 4:5 – Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

There is no doubt that God is a jealous God, that idolatry makes Him furious, that His jealousy is intimately connected to His anger and vengeance, etc.  We even read in the book of Numbers about a law of jealousy:  Numbers 5:15 – then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.

However, believers are told in Romans 13:13- Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. We also read in 2 Corinthians 12:20 – For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.  The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:2 – I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

How are we to understand the jealousy of God?  The answer, I believe, is that there is a godly jealousy.  Just as there is a godly hatred and a godly anger, there is a godly jealousy.  How can jealousy be a virtue in God and a vice in men?

  1. Biblical statements about God’s jealousy are anthropomorphic, i.e. descriptions of God in language drawn from the life of man. In reading anthropomorphisms, we need to remember that man isn’t the measure of his Maker, and that none of the limitations of humanhood are implied. Consequently, God’s jealousy isn’t tainted with frustration, envy and spite, but is a zeal to preserve something precious.
  2. There are two kinds of jealousy among men. One says, “I want what you’ve got, and I hate you because I haven’t got it.” The other is manifested in romantic relationships, and is the fruit of marital affection. This sort of jealousy is a positive virtue, as its aim is to keep the marriage intact.

John Stott says, “In the second commandment God goes on to describe himself as ‘a jealous God’. There is no need to be disturbed by this. Jealousy is a resentment of rivals, and whether it is good or evil depends on whether the rival has any right to be there. Since God is unique, and there is no other, he has the right to ask that we worship him alone.” (John Stott, from page 96 Christian Basics, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969).

J.I. Packer in his Knowing God put it best:  “But there is another sort of jealousy—zeal to protect a love-relationship, or to avenge it when broken. This jealousy also operates in the sphere of sex; there, however, it appears, not as the blind reaction of wounded pride, but as the fruit of marital affection. As Professor Tasker has written, married persons ‘who felt no jealousy at the intrusion of a lover or an adulterer into their home would surely be lacking in moral perception; for the exclusiveness of marriage is the essence of marriage’ (The Epistle of James p.106). This sort of jealousy is a positive virtue, for it shows a grasp of the true meaning of the husband-wife relationship, together with a proper zeal to keep it intact.”

Are you thankful for God’s JEALOUSY today?

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Some of My Favorite Quotes: J.I. Packer on the Worship of God!

“If it is right for man to have the glory of God as his goal, can it be wrong for God to aim at the same goal? If man can have no higher end and motive than God’s glory, how can God? And if it is wrong for man to seek a lesser end than this, then it would be wrong for God too. The reason why it cannot be right for man to live for himself, as if he were God, is simply the fact that he is not God; and the reason why it cannot be wrong for God to seek His own glory is simply the fact that He is God. Those who would not have God seek His glory in all things are really asking that He should cease to be God. And there is no greater blasphemy than to will God out of existence.” (J.I. Packer in The Plan of God found at http://www.the-highway.com/plan_Packer.html)

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in God's glory

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 113)

Psalm 113

Praise the Lord.screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-5-54-19-am

Praise the Lord, you his servants;
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
    the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
    on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
    as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2017 in praising God

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 47)

Psalm 47

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 6.24.03 AM

Clap your hands, all you nations;
    shout to God with cries of joy.

For the Lord Most High is awesome,
    the great King over all the earth.
He subdued nations under us,
    peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us,
    the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.

God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
    the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
    sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing to him a psalm of praise.

God reigns over the nations;
    God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble
    as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
    he is greatly exalted.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2016 in GLORY OF GOD

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 75)

Psalm 75

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A psalm of Asaph. A song.

We praise you, God,Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 6.02.17 AM
    we praise you, for your Name is near;
    people tell of your wonderful deeds.

You say, “I choose the appointed time;
    it is I who judge with equity.
When the earth and all its people quake,
    it is I who hold its pillars firm.[b]
To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
    and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.[c]
Do not lift your horns against heaven;
    do not speak so defiantly.’”

No one from the east or the west
    or from the desert can exalt themselves.
It is God who judges:
    He brings one down, he exalts another.
In the hand of the Lord is a cup
    full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
    drink it down to its very dregs.

As for me, I will declare this forever;
    I will sing praise to the God of Jacob,
10 who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
    but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”FirefoxScreenSnapz633

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Time for a Great Quote (J.I. Packer on God’s glory)

“If it is right for man to have the glory of God as his goal, Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.43.25 AMcan it be wrong for God to aim at the same goal? If man can have no higher end and motive than God’s glory, how can God? And if it is wrong for man to seek a lesser end than this, then it would be wrong for God too. The reason why it cannot be right for man to live for himself, as if he were God, is simply the fact that he is not God; and the reason why it cannot be wrong for God to seek His own glory is simply the fact that He is God. Those who would not have God seek His glory in all things are really asking that He should cease to be God. And there is no greater blasphemy than to will God out of existence.” (J.I. Packer in The Plan of God found at http://www.the-highway.com/plan_Packer.html)

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in GLORY OF GOD

 

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God’s Highest Goal Is His Own Glory! (time for a great quote)

Friends:

I just watched a message by Andy Stanley in his series entitled “Canvas.”FirefoxScreenSnapz632 It was so good I immediately ordered the dvd when I got home from church.  You can order the dvd here, if you are interested.

I think Stanley did a terrific job of challenging our tendency to make ourselves the center of our universe.  It sounds egocentric to say that God’s highest goal is to glorify Himself.   Stanley used the following quote by J.I. Packer to defend that biblical truth:

FirefoxScreenSnapz633“If it is right for man to have the glory of God as his goal, can it be wrong for God to aim at the same goal? If man can have no higher end and motive than God’s glory, how can God? And if it is wrong for man to seek a lesser end than this, then it would be wrong for God too. The reason why it cannot be right for man to live for himself, as if he were God, is simply the fact that he is not God; and the reason why it cannot be wrong for God to seek His own glory is simply the fact that He is God. Those who would not have God seek His glory in all things are really asking that He should cease to be God. And there is no greater blasphemy than to will God out of existence.” (J.I. Packer in The Plan of God found at http://www.the-highway.com/plan_Packer.html)

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in God's glory

 

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