The Jealousy of God: God is Jealous for his Glory.

The Jealousy of God: God is Jealous for his Glory.

Read Exodus 20:1-17

“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, ama jealous God”

When we think of the word jealousy, we often think of the term in a negative sense of a controlling and overly possessive control of another. But there is also a positive perspective of jealousy. Positively, jealousy is “being vigilant in maintaining and guarding something” ( In this sense, the Oxford dictionary describes it as “being fiercely protective of one’s rights or possessions.” It is in this sense that the Bible speaks of his jealousy, that God is fiercely protective of his reputation and honor.

In Isaiah 48:11 God says, “for my own sake, for my own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And my glory I will not give to another.” At first glance this seems troubling to us, that God would jealously protect his honor. This stems from our own sense of pride. We are wrongly jealous of our honor and glory for the simple reason that in the end we are corrupt and sinful where every thought and action is tainted by our sinful nature. Our jealous for our own glory is grounded in greed and covetousness. We want the glory that we do not deserve since only God is holy and perfect and worthy of honor (Rev. 4:11).

Because God alone is fully righteous and worthy of all honor and his character is morally right and pure, then his reputation and honor is precious. For us to think otherwise would imply that God is sinful and imperfect. This is why he is intensely jealous and protective of his glory and honor. To share his glory with another is to make the other equal with God and thus a rival to God.

This brings us back to the seriousness of sin, for at the heart of all sin is a rejection of God. Because God is undefiled by sin and is holy, God cannot tolerate any sin no matter how small or insignificant. When God confronts that which is sinful, it is a contradiction to his holiness. Thus, he reacts in wrath for it is an affront to him and his desire that only what is right and good be revealed. In a world that celebrates sin and normalizes immorality, it stands as a complete repudiation of who God is. To accept and tolerate sin is to reject and devalue God and arouse his jealous anger.

To truly love God is to be jealous for his character, glory, and reputation in every circumstance we face in life. To be jealous for God’s glory is to live to please him and correctly reveal his character and goodness to the world. When we face trials, it often reveals our focus. Is it upon ourselves, our reputation, our success, our glory or is it upon God and revealing him to the world in which we live? We are to obey his commands (vs 11), and avoid any association with other religions (vs 12-13) and remain loyal only to him and his character. To be jealous for God is to strive to please him in everything and reveal his goodness in all our actions. To be jealous for God is to hate sin (not the sinner) in all its forms and to live to reveal him in all that we do. Anything less is an invitation for his wrath. Today, look at your actions and ask yourself, “Am I manifesting Christ goodness and purity in all that I do and think?”

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