We were created for love, made by God for a love affair of the heart—intimately connected in oneness. Jesus even prayed it in John 17:20-21 (AMP):
"I do not pray for these alone [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for [all] those who [will ever] believe and trust in Me through their message, that they all may be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe [without any doubt] that You sent Me."
And where there is a love affair, there can be jealousy. God—Jealous? Oh yes.
"You shall not make for yourself any graven idol, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water below the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God" (Ex. 20:4-5a, MEV).
"for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Ex. 34:14).
"How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire?" (Ps. 79:5).
"Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy?" (1 Cor. 10:22a, NIV).
"You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and His way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find" (James 4:5, MSG).
Merriam-Webster defines jealousy as an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has, expressing hostility toward a rival. If you have love, you will potentially have jealousy. Not all jealousy is sin. There is a jealousy that comes from the very deep nature of love and the object of that love. John Mark McMillan wrote well of God's jealousy and love by with the words to the extremely popular worship song "How He Loves":
"He is jealous for me / Love's like a hurricane, and I am a tree/ Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy/ When all of a sudden / I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory/ And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me."
There is a love that is not to be understood or even explained, and yet is very much wanting and waiting to be experienced. If men and women were to encounter and experience this lover of their souls, king of their hearts, Father of their development, we would see quite a different landscape of humanity. That is His plan, God's invitation and our opportunity.
The Father isn't the only one who is jealous. There is another, but rather than jealousy motivated by love, our adversary's jealousy is fueled by hatred and envy. Lucifer fell from one role in the kingdom of God to another by exercising his free will. Jealous of the affection of God set on Adam and Eve, the Trinity's image bearers, Lucifer and a third of the angels made their choice from within, no "outside" influence, and a rebellion ensued against the Father and the position and post He designed for them in the kingdom of God. The mutiny failed, and the Father cast Lucifer out of heaven, a third of the angel armies falling with him. So altered is Lucifer that his name and identity are changed. Now Satan, he sets his jealous and vengeful sights on the image bearers of God and "wound[s] the Father by kidnapping His son and daughter." And as Milton wrote in Paradise Lost:
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Waved over by that flaming brand, the gate
With dreadful faces thronged and fiery arms:
Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide;
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.
Jealousy is a powerful thing; it can move love to rescue, it can move hate to steal, kill and destroy. It is the holy want of God for intimacy and the powerful and vulnerable letting go to choose Him in return.
Satan says, "If I can't have what I want, I will destroy the one whose fault it is." Where there is love, there will always be jealousy, and we must be on the alert as to whether we are being wooed by God for intimacy or lured by our enemy to arranging for love for ourselves—one sets us free; the other comes with chains.
For more on how the Lord longs to be the lover of your soul, listen to the full episode of Exploring More on the Charisma Podcast Network here.
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