Today’s Bible reading took us through Exodus 34. Notice especially verses 12-16. These are words of the LORD given to Moses for Israel’s instruction:
“Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.”
Take a moment to reflect on that revelation. Of the many glimpses we have been given of our Creator’s perfect character, one facet that cannot be denied is his jealousy. Jehovah is a jealous God (Exo 20:5; Deut 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Josh 24:19; Nah 1:2). The Creator wants his creation to understand that righteous jealousy is so integral to his nature that he describes himself as “the LORD, whose name is Jealous.”
There is much to explore on this fascinating topic, but could I draw one connection today that involves you? In James 4:5, the question is asked:
Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?
Here is a profound truth worth meditating upon throughout the day. The righteous jealousy of God is much more than an abstract Old Testament footnote. The LORD, whose name is Jealous, yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in you.
You have been created in his image. This morning’s sunrise declared his glory to you. This afternoon’s clouds proclaim his handiwork to you. Tonight’s stars will reveal his eternal power and divine nature to you. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, he spoke by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to you by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things. The Holy Spirit himself bears witness to the eternal plan of the Father by which you can be redeemed and recognized as a child of God, and if a child, then an heir–an heir of God and a fellow heir with Christ.
Your Creator yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in you. And one day, your spirit will return to him.
To borrow one more statement from today’s Bible reading:
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
May we not be so anxious and troubled today about the things of this world that we lose sight of the one thing that can (and should) truly redefine it all–our Creator yearns jealously over the spirits that he has made to dwell in us.
May we be submissive, loving, and eager in our response to his jealous yearning today.