It’s one of my favorite worship songs – but the first few times I heard it – and admittedly until very recently – the first line always struck me as strange:
“He is jealous for me….”
I knew that the Bible says that God is a jealous God – but I never really got that. I mean, isn’t jealousy a bad thing? We’re always taught to avoid being jealous of others. In Galatians 5:26 it says “Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” So why would God have such a “bad” emotion?
I was praying for Jahar this past week, and this song came on my playlist. As I heard that line again in a new light – everything came into focus, and it all made sense. Our God is jealous for Jahar – and that’s not a bad thing……it’s incredibly beautiful and powerful.
Sometimes in life – we tend to be jealous of what other people have that we don’t have…….jealous of so-and-so’s house…..jealous of so-and-so’s intelligence, good grades, or career……jealous of so-and-so’s marriage or the fact that they have children. God teaches us that coveting what our neighbors have is sin.
Other times, I think jealousy is an innate reaction we have over the people who mean the most to us in our lives. I have a husband. If he went out and had another girlfriend or wife behind my back – what do you think one of my first emotions would be? Jealousy. I would be jealous that he was giving her the love, attention, and affection that rightfully belongs to me. If my best friend stopped talking to me and all of the sudden I noticed that she had a new best friend that she was sharing everything with – what would my instinctive feeling be? Jealousy. Would it be wrong to feel that way in those situations? I don’t think so. I think it’s a natural reaction to the hurt caused when someone we love…..someone we would sacrifice everything for…..someone who belongs to us…..chooses to turn to someone else instead of us.
It’s no different for God. We are His children……..created to worship Him and give Him pleasure. When we give our worship and adoration to another god…..whether that be a literal other god or anything we idolize such as money, our career, etc…..what is His innate reaction? Jealousy. He wants us all for Himself! “You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.” – Exodus 20:5.
Jahar is God’s precious child…..created by Him to worship Him and bring glory to His name – but he has chosen to worship a false god instead. Our God is jealous…..and He is doing everything in His power to win Jahar back, including calling His children to desperate, passionate, daily prayer. Now that’s a kind of jealousy I can get behind.