Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Hear, oh Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; v:5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
Jeremiah 32: 38-41 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God; v:39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and for the good of their children after them; v:40 and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from following them, to do them good; and I will put my fear in their hearts, that they will not depart from me. v:41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
A couple of years ago Carrie Underwood made a song about a jealous female who finds her boyfriend cheating on her in one of the local saloons. Her response? Well she devotes all her ambition to keying the no good scoundrel’s vehicle in the hope that “next time he thinks” about cheating, he will remember the destructive damages of this jealous female. Jealousy is a powerful emotion and as Carrie adequately illustrates, a very destructive one at times. Why is that? What is at the heart of jealousy? Looking in Webster’s definition of jealousy I found the following phrase; “suspicion of the loss of another’s exclusive attention.” As I read that I was reminded of Exodus 20:5 where God commands His people to worship Him alone as He is a ‘Jealous God’. Human jealousy and God’s jealousy are very different. First of all, it is an actual name that the Lord assigned to Himself. (See Exodus 34:14) God is jealous without being irrational. God knows for sure when our hearts have wandered from our first love and is not based on suspicion. And finally, God has reason to be jealous over us in ways we do not have the right to be jealous over one another! You see, the word ‘Jealous’ in the Hebrew has the meaning of being purchased, redeemed, fought for, delivered, and cared for in such a special way that to violate such love is to enlist anger by offending someone who has done for us what no one else ever could! God said these things to the children of Israel after he brought them out of Egypt with a powerful deliverance. He was telling them that His jealousy comes with a special love like that of a hen brooding over her chicks. Our jealousies often are the result of our insecurities and are based on our past experiences. God’s jealousy is founded on love and concern and deliverance from slavery. Human jealousy evokes retribution in the wake of destruction. God’s jealousy is designed to remind us that we have only One Lover who has loved so completely, so thoroughly, and so far beyond our comprehension that to violate that love is to violate the benefit of our own well being. This is what is at the heart of our relationship with God and is at the very core of what we aim for in the arena of intimacy with our wives, husbands, and our children. Intimacy is a single devotion that employs the whole of the human experience. Convenience and intimacy are oxy morons because there is nothing about intimacy that is neither easy nor convenient. Training one’s self to have a single focus on the love in our lives takes the engagement of our whole heart, our whole mind, and our entire body. Whether we focus our attention on God or a spouse, we are in essence returning our devotion by saying to the object of our love that “I find in you something I have found no where else!” The really great part is that God promised through Jeremiah the prophet that He would love us back with all His heart and soul. I cannot help but think about my Savior hanging on those blood soaked timbers in order to fulfill that promise to me! I cannot but imagine the many times I have turned my back on such love and someone worthy of calling Himself a “Jealous God” and how that was truly to my own detriment! He has done in me and for me something I could never find in anyone or anything else! I can only pray that my heart would be as fixed on Him and my family as His love has been set on me. Thank you Lord for being a Jealous God! Intimacy is work, but of all the things we put our efforts toward, I cannot imagine anything more worth while! Loving God and loving my wife are the simple reflections of my heart receiving so much more then I could ever give! Who cares about convenience when you put it like that?