God Is Jealous for You
By: Alisha Headley
“For I the Lord your God, am a jealous God” - Exodus 20:4
Jealousy. It’s something I’ve been guilty of in my past. I have found myself often repenting for being jealous. Jealous of what others have. Jealous that others are seemingly advancing in their career while I’m sitting idle. Jealous of others’ perfect relationships they tend to display on a regular basis.
This human jealousy can easily turn into hostility and negative gossip. We may look on social media at other’s women’s lives, and although it is just a highlight reel, never depicting the whole story, sometimes we find ourselves envious.
Many of the women we read about in the Bible also struggled with jealousy. These God-fearing women had to deal with similar feelings we deal with today. Hannah longed for a child and was provoked by Peninnah, who could bear children while Hannah was barren (1 Samuel 1:2-8). Likewise, Rachel and Leah bickered out of jealousy over love from their husband (Genesis 30:15). Similarly, Sarah was cruel to Hagar and jealous of her fruitfulness in bearing a son to Abraham (Genesis 16:5-6).
As women who are in Christ, we are to focus on honoring and praising God, and not dwell on what we don’t have or what others do have. Colossians 3:9 reminds us to “set our mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” What a great Scripture to help us eliminate our tendency to become jealous by constantly fixing our focus on things above.
God’s Jealousy Is Not Like Ours
There is a difference between the human jealousy I’ve mentioned versus a holy jealousy that God speaks about throughout the Bible and in today’s Scripture. God’s jealously is a result of the intolerance of unfaithfulness on the part of His people, especially when their tendency to be drawn away by other gods grew. Time after time, king after king, God’s people worshipped other gods. They would turn to other gods to help them instead of trusting in the one true God.
Other gods of any kind are referred to as idols. An idol is anything or anybody that causes you to deviate from following Christ. An idol claims the loyalty and glory that is meant to belong to God alone. And this is what arouses His jealousy and even anger (Psalm 78:58).
If you’ve spent time studying Scripture, you know that the Bible is one big love story of God pursuing his people. He asks us, who live in a fallen world, to turn from our idols and turn to Him.
Putting something or someone in front of God is what hinders a relationship with Him. God’s jealousy is out of protection for us from our enemies. He knows what’s best for us and has a greater plan that we are all a part of (Jeremiah 29:11).
What other gods do you have in your life?
Is there anything or anyone gaining more attention and filling the gaps of hurt or emptiness where only God is meant to fulfill?
It could be a TV show, a habit of shopping and spending money. Perhaps it's other people. Perhaps you idolize your husband and are more concerned with him than you are with pleasing God. Or it’s your career and money you idolize, putting everything else second in your life.
Countless times throughout history, God placed kings in places where blessings were waiting for them if only, they would have trusted God. Instead, they turned to their own ways. Jonah 2:8 says “those who cling to worthless idols, turn away from God’s love from them.”
Let’s heed the instruction from Colossians 3:5 by “putting to death, whatever belongs to your earthly nature… your idolatry.” In doing so, we can experience God fully as we are removing those gods that hinder us from walking in the fullness of God. Let’s fill up with God’s love making us whole and complete and put to death those idols that are no longer serving us, and please our God.
Alisha Headley is a writer and speaker who has a desire to meet the everyday woman in her everyday life with biblical truth. Healing from a chapter of life consumed with lies she once believed about herself, she is inspired to point women to Christ to experience the freedom and power to overcome those lies with the truth written in God’s word. You can follow her blog by visiting her website or connect with her on facebook + instagram.
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