Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Grateful for His Jealousy

"Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, But who can stand before jealousy?" (Proverbs 27:4 NASB)

"for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." (Exodus 34:14 NASB)

Though a fiercely sinful attribute in man, jealousy is an admirable quality of the God we are to take seriously. Someone has defined His jealousy as "praiseworthy zeal to preserve something supremely precious." What would be supremely precious that our God would preserve with infinite zeal?

*His Name The deeper our awareness of the holiness of His Name, the greater our amazement that He would call us (!) to represent Him. And when we, like Isaiah, "see" Him high, lifted up, and greatly exalted, with the angelic hosts declaring His thrice-holiness, we,too, should tremble to think that His Name is at stake in our lives.

*His Word "...You have magnified Your word above all Your name, " (Psalms 138:2c) NKJV If even finite and mortal man strives to make his word his bond, how much incomparably more does the infinite God of the universe jealously preserve His Word. Of the many arguments for the inerrancy of the original manuscripts of Scripture, this facet of God's character makes certain the maintaining of their flawless inspiration.

*His Temple In John 2, we read of the Lord Jesus' driving the money-changers from the temple (v. 15). Upon witnessing His righteous indignation, the disciples were reminded of Psalms 69:9, "...zeal for Your house has consumed me." By way of spiritual application, we who are the born-again ones are temples, too--- living residences of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19). As a part of preserving the purity of the temples of His presence, He has provided His Holy Spirit's ministry of filling (Eph. 5:18), the cleansing power of His Son's blood (I John 1:9), and complete spiritual armor (Eph. 6:13--18).

*His Bride Perhaps the epitome of this praiseworthy zeal to preserve something supremely precious is the bridegroom/bride relationship. Just as there is to be no third party to intrude upon the one-to-one intimacy of husband and wife, so the Lord Jesus is rightfully jealous for the church, for the ones for whom He laid down His life (Eph. 5:25). Should our eye wander, and our heart begin to drift, and leave our first love, be assured He will not accept such idolatry complacently (Heb. 12:6).

How should these thoughts affect our walk with the Lord? Praise in prayer for His jealousy comes first to mind. Pondering long over the love shown in His zeal will result in great gratitude. Among all the attributes others may adore, I, for one, will be grateful for His jealousy.