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CityLight Pastor Commentary:
“For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Ex 20:5). How can God say He’s jealous if He tells us – His children – not to be jealous people? 1 Cor 13:4 says that ‘love does not envy,’ and 1 John 4:8 says, ‘God is love.’ So if we substitute ‘God’ for ‘love’ in 1 Cor 13:4, we get a result that contradicts Exodus 20:5. What gives? How can God say He’s ‘jealous’ in Ex 20:5 and get away with it, if our ultimate goal as His children is to avoid jealousy?
Here is the key: God’s jealousy is different from our jealousy. We love imperfectly, but God loves perfectly. 1 John 4:18 says ‘perfect love casts out all fear.’ While we are jealous from a place of fear, God is jealous from a place of love! Our fear-induced jealousy is unholy, while His love-induced jealousy is holy beyond compare.
“Father, THANK YOU that You are jealous for me! You love me so much that You gave Your Only Son as a sacrifice for me. What love! What holy jealousy! Thank You Lord!”
© Michael D. White, 2014. All rights reserved.