Why is God a Jealous God?
Why Does God Get Jealous?
The God of the bible is often misunderstood and these misunderstandings can be helpful in creating caricatures that are certainly unfavorable. One of the many misunderstandings concern God's jealously.
"...for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God..." (Exd 34:14)
This can be a difficult passage for some who are new to the understanding of the Christian God and even some who have believed for their whole lives. Why does God get jealous when people worship other gods?
You can learn even more about God through Consistency in Christ.
He Created Everything and Everything Belongs to Him
To be transparent, you probably won't agree with this if you are not a Christian. But consider for the moment that the bible is true. With this in mind, understand that God created everything from nothing and everything belongs to Him:
"All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3)
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him." (Col 1:16)
Not only did God create everything, He also give rules which He sets forth from His own character. One popular example is the 10 Commandments and the Old Covenant Law that goes with it. Now since Christ has come, we live by the Holy Spirit and Faith, no longer under the Law but under grace. But Jesus lived like we are to live, so you can say with His life He gives us the guidelines for our own.
So What About These Rules?
From Old Testament times to New Testament times, the primary rule has been to 'Love God'. In both instances this love for God often looks like obedience, loyalty, praise and worship. In Essence, to put the creation and rules together, you could say we were created to worship, honor and glorify God. Because God created us and holds us together, He certainly deserves it.
Think of the intellectual who discovers some great truth and wins a prize. Doesn't he deserve recognition? How much more does God deserve recognition for the great works He has done. Not only that, but nothing in His creation can do what He has done. Let's quickly summarize:
- God has created everything
- God has given rules (one of which is to praise His name)
- God deserves praise for His ability
Perhaps there is not so much a disconnect now, but a need for clarification.
- God Deserves Praise
- He Commands Praise
Then we see that He either gets praise, or His creation praises something else.
Why Does He Get Jealous and Why is it Not Bad?
This is the problem isn't it? Hasn't God commanded that we not be jealous?
"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." (Exd 20:17)
Let's point out the difference:
God is Jealous for us, our praise and our worship when we give it to something else. He is jealous because all those things belong to Him and He deserves them. Consider a mother who prepares a delicious meal and all you do as a child is eat then leave without a word. Wouldn't she deserve praise for her work and skill? At least a thank you?
Now consider coveting. Consider when you want something that does not belong to you. This is an issue because when you covet, you reveal a dissatisfaction and a discontentment with what you have and what has already been provided. Most often we covet things that do not belong to us and things we have not earned. God wants our joy to be complete in Him. Our contentment should be with His grace and His provision.
Can You See the Difference?
God is the creator and upholder of all things. We are created and held together by God and His mercy.
In fact, God continues to have mercy on us even though we sin out of ignorance and out of understanding. How much more does He deserve praise for not only who He is, but what He can do.
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