For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)
When we think of jealousy, it tends to be in a negative way; typically jealousy is something that betrays human frailty and often leads to destructive behavior. It was jealousy that prompted Cain to lure his brother into a field and kill him. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew root word from which the name Cain is derived is related to the Hebrew word that is translated here as “Jealous.” So why would the Creator refer to Himself in such a way?
When you consider that, at the foot of Mount Sinai, Israel essentially said, “I do” to God’s invitation to come into covenant with Him, then we must consider Israel as being betrothed to God. In other words, God looked upon His people as His promised bride and, as such, they were to conduct themselves appropriately. If they turned to other gods to worship them, it would be akin to a man’s wife running off with another. The Almighty was telling Israel that He was a jealous husband and would not abide them having eyes for another.
As for us, we shouldn’t have eyes for another — our hearts should be given exclusively to our prospective Bridegroom, the Messiah. When we turn our hearts to other things that would lure us away from Him, we provoke His jealousy — which is not a good thing. Our hearts should be pure and devoted to Him and His purpose. As Paul reminded us, He is returning for a chaste Bride having no spot or wrinkle. Let us, then, keep our gaze fixed on the Author and Finisher of our faith so that we will not be led astray by the seductions of this world.
Blessings and Shalom,