Sunday, March 20, 2011

God Is A Jealous God: Isn’t Jealous A Sin?

Heavenly and gracious Father, I come before your throne of grace humbly, to say thank you.  I thank you for life this morning.  I thank you for health and strength.  I thank you for your ever seeing grace and mercy.  And I thank you for Jesus.  I pray this morning a special blessing on all church doors open to share your word to the lost.  I pray a blessing on the sick and the shut in.  I pray a blessing on those who are incarcerated.  Although their bodies are imprisoned, their mind does not have to be, thanks to your Son Jesus.  I pray that you continue to be a blessing to an undeserving people, and thank you for the opportunity for eternal life.  I pray that all who reads this message, will receive it.  I pray a blessing on wherever they are, and I pray a blessing of peace to be on them.  And Father, we pray that you forgive us of our trespasses, whether by thought, speech, or deed.  We give you all honor and glory, and we pray this in the name of your Son Jesus.  Amen.

JEALOUSY #1 - You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me” (Ex 20:5)

 JEALOUSY #2 - “But if you have bitter jealousy and strife in your hearts, do not glory and lie against the truth.  This is not the wisdom coming down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish.” (Ja 3:14-15)

The Bible is our manual.  It gives us instruction, direction, purpose, but most importantly, it gives us what is needed to live a life that will be pleasing to God.  Like all manuals, if they are followed correctly, the desired results will be achieved.  For example, if you bought a printer for your computer, and followed the manual to the best of your ability, the printer should be up and running.  However, if you run into any challenges, you would have to call customer support.  The Bible has many mysteries that can be challenging.  Who would be our customer support?  The Holy Spirit for one, but if not a direct revelation, you have pastors that can help in areas where clarification is needed.  Unfortunately, because it is the Bible we are referring to, and the Bible has rules that many do not want to adhere to, a misunderstanding is inevitable.  Take for example what Oprah said on a show some time ago.  "I was raised a Baptist and we were too hung up on traditional ways. I was sitting in church and heard that God is a jealous God. I asked 'Why?' Come on-let's get over it!" She related a "jealous God" to an insecure God.  The jealousy she was referring to is a sin, but is God capable of sinning?

          What Oprah and many others need to understand is how the word “jealous” is used.  When God said He is a jealous God, He is speaking of people making idols and bowing down and worshiping those idols instead of giving God the worship that belongs to Him alone.  God is who wakes us up in the morning.  God is why we have our bones intact and our organs functioning.  God is why we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a tongue to speak.  God is who gave His only begotten son, that if we just believe in him, we will not perish, but have ever lasting life.  With all the gifts that God bestowed upon us, for us in return to give our praise, honor, glory, and worship to other gods is disrespectful and wrong.  The jealousy that is referred to here is a holy jealousy.  God exhibits holy jealousy because our love and adoration rightfully belong to Him; He is jealous with a holy jealousy when we love and worship false gods in idolatry. His kind of jealousy is not sinful because we belong to Him and He created our hearts to belong to Him as well.  Suppose a husband/wife sees their spouse flirting with another, they have a right to be jealous, for only they have the right to flirt with their spouse. This type of jealousy is not sinful. As a matter fact, it is accepted. Being jealous for something that God declares to belong to you is appropriate. Jealousy is a sin when one has desires for something that does not belong to them. Worship, praise, honor, and adoration belong to God alone, for only He is truly worthy of it. Therefore, God is rightly jealous when worship, praise, honor, or adoration is given to idols. This is the exact jealousy the apostle Paul described in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy...”  Here you can see he even gives a notion that there is a jealousy that is appropriate.


The jealousy that is a sin, we use it in the sense of being envious of someone who has something we do not have. We may have not been jealous of someone but we may have been a victim of jealousy towards us.  How many of you who are light skinned has experienced jealousy towards you by someone darker?  How many of you who have long hair, have experienced jealousy from those whose hair can not grow so long?  How many of you have a good looking spouse, and have experienced jealousy from someone who wished they were in your shoes?  How many of you have a decent apartment or home, and when others talk about how good your home or apartment is someone says they’ve seen better ones?  I can go on and on.  This type of jealousy is a sin.  Even when spouses get angry and fly into a rage when they learn that their spouse has talked on the phone with anyone, is a sin. This jealous person desires to have a level of exclusivity that doesn't belong to them. 

              This kind of jealousy is a sin and is not a good attribute that should be displayed by any one who calls themselves Children of God.   It shows that we are still being controlled by our own desires. The Word of God states we are to have the perfect kind of love that God has for us. “Charity (Love) has patience, is kind; charity is not envious (sinful jealous), is not vain, is not puffed up; does not behave indecently, does not seek her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil.”  (1 Cor13:4-5). Amen!  That type of jealousy (above) also has selfish overtones.  The more we focus on ourselves and our own desires, the less we are able to focus on God. When we harden our hearts to the truth, we cannot turn to Jesus and allow Him to heal us (Matt13:15). But when we allow the Holy Spirit to control us, He will produce in us the fruit of our salvation, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).

          If you consider this type of jealousy, it indicates that we are not satisfied with what God has given us. The Word of God tells us to be content with what we have, for God will never leave or forsake us (
Heb13:5). In order to combat jealousy, we need to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves. We can get to know Him through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with mature believers. As we learn how to serve others instead of ourselves, our hearts will begin to change. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom 12:2).

Is God a jealous God?  Yes He is.  He is displeased with those who bestow upon others what belongs only to Him.   But it is this type of misunderstanding of scriptures, and no willingness to clarify what is not understood, why many have strayed away from the faith or simply have a flimsy foundation of faith.  God expects faithfulness; in heart and action.  He wants love and obedience.  He does not take well to the cheating heart.  Just as we do not take well to a cheating heart in our spouse He does not take well to a cheating heart either.  Just as we are not able to accept infidelity in our spouse He does not accept infidelity of worship either.  Amen!

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