Judy Lentz JEALOUSY
Exodus 20:5-6 “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations, of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
As I was preparing a Bible Study to share with some Christian sisters, the lesson was on jealousy, one of the ugly sinful emotions in our world. Jealousy is the green-eyed monster, so says Shakespeare in Othello -- being envious of someone or something that one person has but another person doesn’t have.
It is a sin because it breeds envy, greed, covetousness, selfishness, or hostility because our heart isn’t satisfied with what we have. We want what someone else has -- the ‘better’ job, more pay, bigger house, bigger diamond, more of the material things in life, etc. I am sure you can name many other ‘things’ that we worship/covet. These are examples of sinful jealousy.
So how do we interpret the words of Exodus 20:5-6 – “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God”? Is the jealousy described here different than the jealousy that Shakespeare was talking about? The word ‘jealous’ in Exodus 5 is translated the same as the word ‘zealous’. God is zealous for His people – the love He has for us is zealous. He zealously desires us to be exclusive to Him in our devotion, study, worship, prayer.
Striving to change our sinful jealousy into the righteous jealousy of faithfulness to our Lord should be our focus.
Prayer: Dear Lord - May the jealousy that is our sin because we want something that is not ours be changed into God’s jealousy -- zeal for our Lord and love for Him as deep as the love he has for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.