Links Daily Devotional

How God Wants Us

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24, NIV)

Lately I’ve been thinking it’s time for a new driver. By “lately” I mean that I’ve been thinking this for maybe two years. This is how I do things. Call me faithful, call me reluctant, call me cheap.

I suppose I could look desirously at the cool new equipment some of my friends cycle through, but I’ve never been inclined to do that. I don’t want what they have in the same way that I want what I have.

In that last line lies a helpful picture for understanding the jealousy of God.

It is possible, of course, to read in Scripture that God is jealous and immediately think, What’s up with that? Isn’t jealousy a sin? How can God be jealous?

If we are to understand the jealousy of God, we must recognize the fork in the road that separates two brands of jealousy. There is the jealousy that covets what belongs to another, and there is the jealousy that protects the people that belong to me.

Let’s put this to the test. Should we not as spouses be jealous for the affections of our marital partners? Sure, this affection must in degree be shared—with your children, with your spouse’s parents and siblings, even with your spouse’s friends. But certainly not with another of your same sex. The physical and emotional affections of your spouse belong to you. And if you were not jealous for these affections, we would be quick to question whether you really love your spouse!

So we find the same with God. In covenant with the household of faith (first the Jewish nation, now all believers in Jesus as Messiah), God gave his every grace, every guidance, every aim of love. He even sent his Son as the atonement for our sin. He is ours and we are his.

But if God were not jealous for our affections, we would have to question his love for us. An unjealous lover is an indifferent lover—as if there could be such a thing!

So it is true that God is jealous. He is jealous when he sees our hearts go after other things, after idols of the heart. And since he is preeminent in the universe, all other things are lesser things. God, like any good parent, wants the best for his children. And in the cosmos, God is best. God wants us to have him! This is why he is jealous when we seek what does not satisfy. It is why he wants us first and why he wants us back when we wander.

Yes, God is jealous. And we do well when we satisfy his jealousy. In fact, we call that worship.

Jeff Hopper
September 17, 2014
Copyright 2014 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.