By He Reads Truth
In this Names of God reading plan, we are learning more about God by studying the names given to Him in Scripture. Rather than having our writers share their own reflections on these passages, we’ve instead provided research-rich content to aid in your study of each day’s featured name of God, including the background of the name(s), a brief explanation of the character of God emphasized by the name(s), and a reflection question to help you dig deeper into the text.
El Qanna (Hebrew)
God called Himself a “jealous God” in Exodus 20 when He spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. This name reminds us that God does not take lightly nor tolerate our wandering hearts. He alone is worthy of our worship and praise, and He will not share it with another.
Scripture presents God as jealous for His deity, His sovereignty, and His glory. Throughout the Old Testament, God uses this name to emphasize that He alone is God, and He alone is holy and worthy of our worship.
God’s right to be the only object of worship
What does this name teach me about God?
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13 thoughts on "Jealous God"
We must never wane from God after understand the extent of his love. He is jealous and we must not put order idols or things on his pedestal.
I can understand his jealousy. He’s done so much for us and asks so little. To slight him by turning to idoletry or turning our backs on him is messed up. He doesn’t give because he expects things in return but he does expect just one thing. Loyalty.
A jealous God — this name reminds me to check the allegiances in my heart. Where are my love and passion directed most. What is competing with God for priority in my life?
While Oprah may reject the God of Scripture for his jealousy, I will not. He is jealous for us in the way a husband is jealous for the love and affection of his wife — he wants all of that which she would direct toward a lover. And he desires and seeks her good, knowing that singular devotion and affection is how true love flourishes. Divided love does not add; it diminishes.
Our God is the only person who deserves out continuous love. Our focus should be on bringing Him our praise and glory. It reminds me to stay in the word and always be grateful for his many blessings he gives to me.
God is the only one worthy of worship. He guards this and takes action against those who do differently. This is a lesson the Israelites failed to learn to their peril.
Day 15: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire. A jealous God.” Deut. 4:24
I think it would be easy for us to be confused by this. Why is a Hod that is perfect now jealous? That seems imperfect. I think we just don’t have a good word to describe this and jealous is the closest we can get. God wants us to be with him and chase after his heart. When we don’t do that, he is jealous of the time we spend chasing other earthly things. He wants us so bad. How beautiful? He doesn’t just call us home, he’s chasing us always! ⚒
I think this concept runs people the wrong way. I’ve heard a story that this verse is what turned Oprah away from Christianity. However, I think this idea of God is completely misunderstood.
I heard John Piper once say, “God is the only being in the universe that can be completely self-serving in all of His desires and simultaneously be for the completely for the good of others.”
When God is jealous for us to obey Him, He is also jealous for us to have abundant life in Him.
One example I picked up on in Deuteronomy. God said not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land because that would be bad for them. They didn’t listen in Joshua and had to face the consequences of their sin.
God wants us to obey; yes for His glory, but also for our good!
Some of the passages cited have very strong language that God Himself uses to describe His anger towards those who worship idols. I felt a bit of fear reading those words, partly from the harshness of the words themselves (which were a little jarring) but also from the knowledge of my own guilt in this area. I know that I have struggled to always commit my heart to God and I have gone after other things to offer me comfort, peace, etc. God is saddened by my actions but also angry, rightfully jealously angry about my unfaithfulness. Thank goodness he is patient and forgiving. I could not stand before Him without Christ’s intercession. But I cannot, must not continue to worship other things, confident in Christ’s long suffering. I do not want to anger God. After all He has done for me, I should be so grateful and praise only Him.
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