Why does God describe himself as a jealous God? “For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). Isn’t jealousy wrong and unworthy of God?
The answer is, God is #1. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, ever-present, fully good, full of love. Is he hard to beat? No, he is impossible to beat. As ten plagues pummeled Egypt, Moses proclaimed to Pharaoh, “so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God in all the earth” (Exodus 8:10; 9:14).
“I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). God says this, not because he is cocky, but because it is true, and God is always true. God is jealous, not of us, but for us. We belong with him. He promised, “I will be your God; you will be my people.” It is a relationship akin to marriage; Jesus calls the church his bride and he is the bridegroom. No one would fault a husband’s jealousy for the affection of his wife. It is not to be shared or spread around.
But it is more than that. When God says, “I love you,” he is also saying, “I want the best, the very best, for you,” so he gave you himself. He is saying, “I love you enough to die for you, so that you can have the very best.” And what is the very best if not God? Always. Forever and ever. God’s jealousy for us is the best thing that ever happened to us.
My heavenly Father, from eternity past to forevermore, You are God, who was, and is, and is to come. Timeless, You created time, then entered time. I long to be present with You in eternity, where Your holiness reigns forever.
Forgive me, God, when I pursue something less than you. and everything else is less than You. May You always be my first love, may I first and always seek Your Kingdom, your righteousness, and leave everything else in Your care.