Thursday, September 6, 2007


Lord Jealous

Exodus 34:14
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

This has been for me another very difficult compound name of God. I have though for days on end about this name. There are not many scriptures where this word is used. There are only five verses and here they are:

Exodus 20:5
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exodus 34:14
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 5:9
Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

Deuteronomy 6:15
For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Many of the other names that we have studied were given to God by men. I pay particular attention when God gives a name to Himself. There is no mistaking it, our God is a jealous God. He tells us that this is His name. Just what does that mean?

Do you remember ever being jealous? Many times young love is a time of great passion and jealousy. Do you remember the feeling of fear? the ache in your heart? Do you remember the pain within you when the one you loved would pay attention to someone else? Oh, the feeling of helplessness. . . there is nothing you could do, but watch with quiet agony as she talked or walked or God forbid danced with someone else. Some loved to play that game of one against another, stirring the emotions, keeping the pot boiling. . . enjoying the attentions of many and the terrible pain of others. . .young love. . . death by slow degree. . . It was bad enough the flirtations that you could see, but the unknowns, the fears of what was going on out of your sight were even worse. . . if you allowed it, it would consume you. . . We are sometimes so silly when we are so very young and passionately in maybe best described as puppy love. A little heart ache when our love even merely laughs at the joke of another. . . a pang in the pit of our stomach when our love compliments someone else. . . the fear. . . the insecurity.

Most of us get beyond that as we grow older and more mature. Our insecurities lessen, we gain more perspective with each passing little romance. We understand the world doesn't end with a fading blossom. . . Again for most, our time of jealousy, the phase many of us go through when young passes as we out grow it.

Yet to think that God feels this way about me. He says with no uncertainty that HE IS A JEALOUS GOD!!! Watching my day, seeing everything, knowing everything, agonizing when my heart becomes captivated, even briefly by another. The pain in God's heart. . . the pain that I cause Him when my attention wanders. . . So many ways I must cause Him pain. He makes many promises to me. He will stand by me and never forsake me. I worry. I fret about happenings that He has promised to take care of. I don't fully trust Him. He is the source of my joy and yet I look to my job or my writing, my family, my friends, my pictures or . . . name it. . . for my happiness or as is more often the case I allow these things to steal my happiness from me. How that must tear at his heart, to see me acting in such a way.

God expects our undivided attention, our complete loyalty. Is that so surprising? My wife expects the same thing. Do you not think she would be a little concerned and hurt, yes even jealous, if I were much worried about making the neighbor lady happy? or if I spent time fretting whether the neighbor lady would wave at me on my way to work?

I am blind so much of the time and I don't often treat God in that way that He desires. My whole heart is supposed to be His.

Matthew 22:37-38
. . .Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment.

It may seem funny to admit, but I think maybe the only time I really succeed at this, for any length of time is when I am actively worshipping Him. When I am raising my hands and raising my voice to him nothing else is in my mind. I am focused entirely upon Him and upon my love for Him. I think, I suspect that this is why He draws so close during worship.

Psalms 22:2-3
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. (3) But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

We are there opened up to Him, with nothing between us. . . no distractions. . . no competition. . . just us and Him with eyes only for each other. . . our minds so saturated with love for Him that the power of love alone effecting change and healing within us.

Many of the changes we seek in our walk are slow in taking place. We grow impatient. They are usually too slow for our liking, but God does not often effect wholesale changes within us. He makes specific changes when necessary, but in large measure the battle for holiness and change is left for us to fight. He surely is there alongside of us, but we are not His robots or puppets for Him to perform surgery upon our psyche and rip out, no matter how fervently we desire it, those appetites and habits we have acquired from the world in our time of sin. It is the solvent of our love for Him and His love for us that cleans. The marinating in the glow of His presence, is that which soaks in slowly and deeply permeates our depths. I believe that it is in those times of fervent reaching for Him that the greatest changes take place within me.

He requires that we only worship Him. To worship anything else or any other god is a journey in the wrong direction. It is retreat. It is costly ground that again must be fought for and retaken from the enemy. He is not a jealous God for His own selfish purposes, but the love of Him is a place of healing and safety. Love of everything else is perilous to our soul and strengthening to our flesh. . .

I love you my God. . .
I am inattentive so often. . .
My heart wanders at times. . .
My eyes stray from you. . .
I am deeply sorry for the pain I cause you. . .
Let me renew my commitment to you. . .
Let me always remember your love. . .

Dave Stokely

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