• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 29, 2021

Daily Reading: Exodus 33-35

Exodus 34:14

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

Seven times in the Bible we are told that the Lord is a jealous God. He is not jealous in the sense that a person would be over that which another person owns. He is jealous in the sense of a man or woman being jealous over their spouse's affections. He is not jealous of He is jealous over. In fact, His name is Jealous. Today's verse is the only time in Scripture that He uses this name. But this singular usage by no means diminishes its significance.

God is jealous over you. Just like Paul was jealous over the folks in the church at Corinth the Lord is jealous over you. Paul wrote: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (II Corinthians 11:2) Yes, the Lord God in Heaven loves you and is always watching over you, safeguarding you and doing all He can, short of overriding your free will, to keep your worship from being directed toward any other god.

However, just like the absolute best of husbands and wives cannot stop their spouse if their spouse decides to leave their love, neither can the Lord. All they can do is their best in hopes that their spouse will also do their best in return. The same is true with the Lord. His loving people are not robots programmed by Him to operate according to a written script. They are free will agents. The love, devotion, and worship they give God, and God alone, is of their own volition. Yet, if they fail in their personal worship of Him, there is nothing He can do except that which a jealous spouse would do. He fights for them. But when it comes right down to it; while He is jealous over them, He does not ultimately control them, unless they allow Him to do so.

Let every believer learn the lessons from Israel's wilderness wanderings, of which they are many. The one that is highlighted in today's verse is that the Lord God is jealous over you. Please don't hurt Him in return.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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