God Is Jealous!

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

Jealousy is like a raging fire. It is one of the strongest emotions you have ever felt, especially if a spouse betrayed you to love another person. The terrible feeling of violation is overwhelming. It burns in your heart with great grief and/or anger. Adultery can easily provoke murderous thoughts. Solomon wrote:

Jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance (Pr 6:34).

Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals therefore are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame” (Song 8:6).

God understands marital and sexual jealousy, so He included a test for jealousy in the Law of Moses (Num 5:11-31). Husbands had the right to have their wives tested anytime they got a little jealous and worried that their wives had been unfaithful. If their fears were true, the woman’s body rotted sexually.

Submit to this condemning and crucial fact – the true and living God is a jealous God. Even His name is Jealous! He is very possessive of those that are His; He cannot stand the thought of them turning to love anyone or anything else but Him. Why would you even think about provoking His jealousy? Remember, He sees everything you think, say, or do; and He has the power to punish far worse than Moses’ priests.

He demands all your love with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deut 6:4; Mark 12:30). He hates all and any competitors, including your dearest relatives, whom you should hate in comparison (Luke 14:25-27). He is personally, powerfully, and selfishly possessive of your whole being and life to be dedicated fully and only to Him. If you do not love Him, He will chasten and judge severely (Ps 73:27).

Is this fair and reasonable? Definitely! He deserves all your affection and attention. After all, He alone is God, infinitely beautiful and perfect every way. No one else has done anything for you compared to Him. He created you; He has preserved you; He has prospered you; every good thing you enjoy is from Him; any truth you know is from Him; any hope of eternal life is due to Him. You owe Him everything.

What is His jealousy like? First, it is perfectly holy without any taint of human folly. He then compares it over and over to marital and sexual betrayal. Your friendship with anything in this world or worship of any false god is like you betraying Him for sex with another lover, so it is described bluntly as spiritual adultery, fornication, or whoredom. Ezekiel 16 is a whole chapter describing it in graphic detail.

What does He get jealous about? He gets jealous if you worship any other god at all – and even if you use their customs for Him. This is why He judged Israel over and over throughout the Old Testament – they were in bed making love with other gods (Lev 20:5-6). Because He hates this world, for it is His enemy, He considers you His adulterous enemy if you befriend this sinful world and its things (Jas 4:4).

If you have been unfaithful to Him by any religion other than Bible Christianity, or by using customs of pagan religion toward Him, or by being enamored with the things of the world, He will forgive you and take you back again as His own (Jer 3:1-2,12-15). Confess your unfaithfulness clearly and restate your commitment to Him. Get rid of any connection to false religion or the world. He will love you again.

See Also

For much more about spiritual adultery in the Bible: Spiritual Adultery.