05/26/15 – 155
Yesterday we left with the question, ‘is it a sin to feel jealousy’? The example I gave was of someone flirting with your spouse. To answer, I’d have to say no, it’s not a sin, but with a caveat.
In the covenant relationship of marriage, we make a commitment to intimacy with no one other than our covenant partner – our spouse. When someone tries to insert himself into that relationship by approaching one of the partners in a way that should be reserved for the other only, we should feel appropriate jealousy. This means that we should feel protective of something that is rightfully ours. In the same way, we have this wonderful covenant relationship with God! So, naturally, He feels jealous when we begin to worship other things, false gods etc. It’s like having your spouse invite an unwanted 3rd person into your lives. This is what God said to His people:
Hosea 2:19 I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.
Sounds like a marriage, no? The point is that God’s jealousy is appropriate, and His actions are also. This is what He says after punishing the Israelites for making and worshipping the golden calf:
Exodus 34:6-7 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
By the way, did you know that most of the time the Bible (especially the Old Testament) talks about adultery, it’s not talking about sexual sin as we think of it, but of unfaithfulness to the covenant with God? When people began to allow false gods into their lives, God called them ‘adulterous’ people. Something to think about there.
According to the examples set for us, we should feel jealous – for the right reasons. The emotion should drive us to take appropriate action. Here is an example from Paul, sent when the church in Corinth was allowing false teachers to distort God’s Word:
2 Corinthians 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
Are you jealous of someone right now? If so, is it for the right reasons? Are your actions giving someone else rightful cause to be jealous?Today let’s pray a prayer of self-examination. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to search your heart and cleanse you from any feelings caused by sinful motives, or that would lead you into sin.