Today, I was challenged by a sermon given by Josh Knopp, and I wanted to share its premise with you.

Imagine a husband and wife together in their home. They have made a marriage commitment to each other, a covenant relationship. The husband is sitting on the couch in the living room, while in the other room, the wife is flirting with another man. In fact, she consistently flirts with other men. This should be something we all despise the sound of. If you're like me, you want that husband to get up off the couch and defend that relationship with his wife jealously. I want him to fight for her affections and remind her of what her commitment really meant. I hope we all want that.

But... is that what we really want?

"Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." -Exodus 34:14

God is God. The creator of the universe. The King above every other king. He is worthy of all praise, all glory. He is perfect, holy, just, and good. And He is jealous.

God's jealousy is not the suspicious or fearful vengeance that we generally think of when we hear that word. Rather God is jealous in that He will not tolerate the glory that He alone deserves to be given to lesser things. Even so, the idea that God is jealous can still sound somewhat petty until you consider more why He is jealous.

God is jealous of our love and devotion because He knows there is no other thing, person, cause, or being more worthy of glory than Himself. Thus, He wants us to give our all to glorify Him alone for two reasons: first, because He alone deserves it, and secondly, because that is what is truly the best for us.

His jealousy is really a beautiful gift. Because He is so passionate for His glory, He will again and again take away the things in our lives that pull our focus and the glory away from Him. Though we are unfaithful, unfaithful, and unfaithful again, His mercy and jealousy pull us back into the one and only relationship that will last for eternity and will fulfill those desires we continually seek after.

It's not easy when God takes those idols away. Whether it is losing a consuming job, gaining a perspective on your family, being deprived of a "dream," totaling a car, or any other thing, we don't normally appreciate it in the moment. We wish God would just let us put our focus where we wish, and simply let Him be a part of our lives. But is that not the picture of the apathetic husband sitting on the couch in the other room?

If we truly want a Lover who passionately pursues us and asks everything of us, we need to be ready. He is a faithful groom Who will never give up on us. Sometimes His love won't feel like blessings in the moment, but we can trust in Who He is and what He has promised. He loves us.

"He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great your affections are for me.

Oh, how He loves us so,
Oh, how He loves us,
How He loves us so...

He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us,
Oh, how He loves."


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