Ever wonder why ‘Jealous’ has never been on the Top Ten List of Popular Baby Names? In so many cultures (including ours), parents have marked their children for life with the weirdest names ever – but I’ve yet to be formally introduced to any Jealous Jones, Jealous Jiang, Jealous Jagannath or Jealous Jalil.
Nope, not a fashionable name at all.
And yet, Moses, that great Prophet and Friend of God, tells us that we shall worship no other god, for the Lord, WHOSE NAME IS JEALOUS, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14).
God’s identity, His character, His essence, His very being, are all wrapped up in His Holy Name – a Name of which He is extremely jealous as well. (Ezekiel 39:25b).
Truth be told, I love the fact that my God is a jealous God! I’d hate to imagine that the Deity Who has professed eternal and unquenchable love towards me, wouldn’t give a hoot if I flirted with the gods of this world.
And there are so many really attractive ones to flirt with, aren’t there? There’s the god of Fruitless Good Works, the god of Faith Without Works, the god of Self-Love, the gods of our Fathers’s Religion, and the god of Friendship With This World, to name a few – so many lurking rivals to God’s possessive love for us.
And honestly, these Baals do seem to make life easier and more comfortable for us. It’s much safer to simply blend in with societal norms, hide our lights under our designer sofa beds and be indistinguishable from this world.
I mean, why would anyone want to get embroiled in the culture wars raging all around? Why get one’s knickers in a twist with all these gender bender controversies and arguments? Why stick one’s head out and give an opinion on anything when you know the only result will be your own beheading? Why not just live and let live?
Well, because, when we live for the approval of man, we’ll always be on shaky ground as approval can quickly turn into criticism. And when we live for acceptance by the world, we’ll forever be insecure about being rejected.
God desires His Bride to have an all-consuming passion for Him and Him alone. And yet, too many worldly Baals have seduced God’s Beloved and we’ve gone whoring after them with impunity, undeterred by the fact that these false rivals are only interested in using, abusing, and ultimately destroying us.
So, what will a jealous husband do? He pursues, reclaims, and avenges.
God loves us so passionately and zealously that He’d do anything to protect the objects of His desire from being ravaged, even if it means destroying the idols of their affection. He is an all-consuming fire!
This week, my husband and I celebrated 36 years of marriage. I’d be lying if I told you that we never experienced any pangs of jealousy in all these decades together. If any married couple has never been jealous for each other, then that marriage, I’m sorry to say, is totally insipid.
A red hot, passionate love will always have an element of jealousy ingrained. ‘Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.’ Song of Songs 8:6
Godly jealousy protects covenantal love but it’s never a one-way street. So let me ask – are you jealous for the Lover of your soul? When His Name is blasphemed, do you laugh along? When He is included in an unholy pantheon, do you just shrug it off? When His Word is maligned, do you sit silently?
What’s your jealousy quotient? The answer to that question will reveal your intimacy level with the Lover of your soul.
So, be jealous!