God has many different attributes that make up His character. One that we don’t hear or talk about very much is His jealousy. Because we don’t fully know Him as He truly is, we think in terms of human jealousy, which seems to conflict with the other attributes of His nature. Human jealousy is rooted in insecurity, greed, and covetousness, none of which characterize our Lord. The jealousy God feels toward us is much different.
In Exodus 34:14, God says to Moses, “Do not worship any other god,for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” He does not only declare His nature as jealous, but even goes so far as to say Jealous is His name! According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, the word, “qanna,” translated as jealous, could also be interpreted to mean “zealous” or filled with righteous zeal. “In man’s relation to God, the act of zeal is more positively viewed as the act of the advancement of God and His glory over against substitutes.” In other words, God is a lover who will tolerate no other lovers (aka idols) in our lives. He means to have us as His very own possession.
This is good and bad news, in a sense. Good, in that He will not leave us alone. He promises to care for our needs and to never forsake us. He has made a way for us to know Him and live with Him forever – that’s good news! The bad news is, if we are determined to live in sin, we will find ourselves in direct opposition to Him. He opposes the proud (those bent and insistent on doing it their way) but gives grace to the humble (those who submit to His leadership). He will do all that is necessary to burn up all that hinders love in us. In actuality, this is good news, too, for it means He will deliver us from every bondage that hinders our relationship with Him, as long as we are willing.
We will see the ultimate consummation of His jealous zeal when He returns for a bride made ready for Him. This depiction is given for us in Revelation 19. At that time, He will return to the earth to judge His enemies, those who war against Him, and those that have persecuted His bride. He will make every wrong thing right as the Righteous Judge and King of all the earth, and justice will fully prevail. His eyes of blazing fire speak of His righteous anger toward those who have worshiped the beast, as well as His passion to deliver His bride once and for all. He will stop at nothing to see to it that His plans and purposes are fulfilled upon the earth – that His kingdom WILL come and His will WILL be done even as it is in heaven! I don’t know about you, but I am glad our God is a jealous, zealous God.