Jealous God | Deuteronomy 4:24

Welcome to Real Life. Is jealousy ever a good thing?

Only a year after we vowed lifelong love, something was terribly wrong in our marriage. My husband was spending more and more time away from home. At first, he made lame excuses. Later, he didn't even bother with that. Finally, he left. He moved in with another woman. The pain of his betrayal plunged like a knife, deep into my heart.

I was jealous, of course. My husband was bedding another woman. 

We divorced. Eventually, my heart healed. God has since blessed me with a faithful, loving husband of 30 years, Terry. However, the memory of my first husband's betrayal helps me understand this aspect of God:

"For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." Deut. 4:24 NIV

Jealousy. It’s usually considered a negative trait. We assign it to unhealthy relationships. One partner is insecure and, therefore, jealous of any other relationships in his lover’s life. From this perspective, attributing jealousy to God almost makes him appear foolish.

But, God is wise, good, and pure. Nothing about Him is foolish. When I recall my jealousy over my first husband’s affair, I see the truth. A lack of jealously on my part would have indicated a lack of love and commitment. Jealousy was a healthy response. So it is with God’s jealousy over me.

Our God is not far off. In Him, we live and move and have our being.[1] Throughout the Scriptures, we find evidence of the Lord pursuing a love relationship with His people. In the Old Testament, Israel is His wife. In the New Testament, the Church is the Bride of Christ. His love goes beyond friendship. It is passionate. He is the Lover of my soul.

As the nation of Israel arrives at the border, ready to enter their Promised Land, Moses lays a foundation for their covenant relationship (spiritual marriage) to God. He warns them against idol worship: don’t make an image of God and worship it; don’t worship His creation—sun, moon, stars; and don’t worship the man-made gods of other nations …

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

What is it that turns my head? What distracts me from an intimate covenant relationship with my God—the Lover of my soul? Temptations to idolatry abound: possessions, work, ambition, other relationships, pleasure, entertainment, selfishness, re-creating God in my own image. Have my acts of spiritual adultery plunged a knife deep into His heart?

Oh Lord, I am humbled by the intensity of your love. 
Purify my heart in its consuming fire.

Taking it further ...

[1] Acts 17:28


  1. Thanks for the reminder of God's amazing love. I'm overjoyed that He is jealous for me, and you're right, as usual, that a lack of jealousy in your personal situation would have indicated a lack of love.

    1. Hi, Linnea. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. (I'm so glad my son helped me get my blog fixed.) I know - isn't it wonderful to be loved so passionately by God! :)


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