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What's in a Name Part Five

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted February 12, 2015

RELIGION – Jealous is usually a negative word. It evokes images of the crazy ex-boyfriend who punched every other boy you tried to talk to. For me personally, I think of seeing a friend who has been blessed with some good fortune, but instead of celebrating their joy, I inwardly am upset that it did not happen to me.

But today we are taking a usually negative word and pairing it with our God. The name of God for this week is “El Kana.” It means “Jealous God.” The Bible tells us about this name in Exodus 34:14 “You shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Notice the very first commandment is referenced there as well. So what does it mean that our God is jealous? Let me give a scenario for you to think about.

Imagine a Godly single mother trying to raise a pair of boys while living in a rough gang infested neighborhood. She works two jobs to provide for them and is gone before they get themselves up for school and not home until after dinner. She knows that the local gangs want to recruit young boys like her sons to sell their drugs, but she is committed to keeping her boys in church and on the straight and narrow path. She has very strict rules about what her sons can and cannot do. She refuses to let them hang out with certain kids, she demands homework be done daily, and punishes them for infractions. She loves her sons and makes sure her boys know it and she tells them how proud she is of them all the time. She is a jealous mother. She wants what is best for them and will do all she can to keep them away from the other influences that will drag them away from her and drag her sons into crime and potential death.

God is jealous for us in the same manner. We are so precious to Him that He wants the highest and best for us, which can only be found when He is first in our lives. He knows that when we love anyone or anything else more than Him, we harm ourselves and damage our relationship with Him. His jealousy for us is a mark or His love for us.

What if God was not jealous and did not care about having the number one spot of our love and devotion? Think about that like this: imagine if my wife and I are out on a date and she is all dressed up and looking good. Then right after dinner I go to the restroom and when I come back there is this sleazy dude with a gold chain around his neck and his arm around my wife. She looks visibly uncomfortable with the dude’s physical presence and over application of cheap cologne and she is further appalled by the words coming out of his mouth. She looks to me as her savior, but I just casually introduce myself to the dude and sit down right beside them. How would she feel? Upset and abandoned that I did not care enough to be jealous for her. At that moment in time, my love for my wife may mean I punch Guido in the nose!

God’s jealousy for us is the manifestation of His knowledge that when He is first in our life our lives will function as He created them to do so. It is also evidence of His powerful love for us. A love so strong He was willing to allow His son Jesus to die in our place and for our sins that we can be his children!

So when you think about God’s holy jealousy for you, be flattered and honored that of the billions of people in the world, God set His uncompromising love and devotion on you! He wants what is best for you and maybe at times will even discipline you for your good. He also has shown through the Cross that there is no price that He would not pay to have you with him!

Putting on notice anyone who wants to make a pass at my wife!

Pastor Phillip

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