I'd always thought of jealousy as something bad. But understanding how and why God is jealous is an important Biblical principle.
For one thing, jealousy is not necessarily a negative trait.
Like a loving husband is jealous for his wife's affection unwilling to share her with other men, God is jealous for our affection unwilling to share us with other gods.
Secondly, our jealously may be contaminated by pride or envy. But God's jealousy is pure and loving.
It's impossible for God to be arrogant because arrogance means thinking you are better than you are. And God is better than our superlatives.
He's perfect, awesome, never wrong! He's the perfect Father, Shepherd, Creator, Counselor, Helper....
We owe Him our ultimate love, faith, trust, and devotion. Giving God anything less is harmful to our relationship with Him.
To have such a wonderful God jealous for our affections is something that should leave us speechless!
1. Notice the context of God's statement about being jealous:
Deuteronomy 6:14-19: Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.” (NIV)
2. This passage might be the New Testament companion of the Deuteronomy passage.
1 Corinthians 10:18-22: Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (NIV)
3. The Apostle Paul used a similar analogy:
2 Corinthians 11:1-3: I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (ESV)
copyright, Gail Burton Purath, 2015, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted