There are many questions among Christians regarding God and His words. However, praise God, Holy Spirit helps us understand all the questions. The question that we are talking about on this blog has been on my mind for quite a while. Why does God refer to Himself as a jealous God? When being jealous seems wrong and sinful. And how can God who is holy and without sin call Himself a Jealous God?
“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).
“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:5)
Before we dig into why God called Himself jealous, it’s better to have an understanding of the word “Jealous”. When we think about the word “Jealous”, we literally think about being envious of someone’s possessions or achievements or something that we don’t have. A person can be jealous of somebody who has a nice car, a beautiful spouse, or one of talents or skill.
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God has created the whole universe and everything in it, everything belongs to Him. There is not a single doubt that He has the whole right to expect worship and praise from His own children that He created by His own hands. Unlike humans, He doesn’t need to be jealous or envious of somebody’s possession because rightfully everything belongs to Him alone.
In Exodus 34:14 and Exodus 20:5, when God says He is a Jealous God, He used it in a term that shows that all worship and praise belong to Him alone and not the idols. God wants what is His already. It’s a good way of thinking or we can call it pure or godly jealousy.
Let’s understand it by a simple example, if you see somebody is flirting with your spouse, you are right to be jealous because your spouse belongs to you and only you have the full right to flirt with your spouse. This jealousy is not a sin but it shows the right to what belongs to you but it’s a sin when you are jealous of something that is not yours. Paul also mentions godly jealousy in 2 Corinthians 11:2.
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Having said that, He is totally right to be jealous when His honor, worship, and praise are given to idols. We must give all glory and praise to God alone because it belongs to Him and not any idol, for He is truly worthy of it.