Week after week as we focus on Who our God is, this name, “Jealous,” often draws negative response. I once heard a well-known personality say they couldn’t worship a jealous God. I wish I could find the quote and give it to you exactly, but it startled me enough when they said it, I remembered.
We are told not to be jealous and yet God is jealous. When God spoke and wrote out the Ten Commandments to Moses in Exodus 20, He said, “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,” Exodus 20:3-5
Then, later in Exodus 34:14 He says, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” So, let’s take a look at this and see what we can learn.
The word jealous is Strong’s #7067 and it comes from Strong’s primitive root #7065.
This is what Jealous in Hebrew looks like:
And here is the Strong’s definition: קָנָא qânâʼ, kaw-naw’; a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) zealous, i.e. (in a bad sense) jealous or envious:—(be) envy(-ious), be (move to, provoke to) jealous(-y), × very, (be) zeal(-ous).
Looking at the letters from right to left we find something surprising. The word Jealous starts with the letter Qof. Whenever you see Qof in a word, holiness will be included in what the word means. Let’s see.
Qof 100 = Election of God’s chosen ones, set apart as holy. Means: Holiness, Consecrated, Divide, sun on horizon, Back of the Head, Make a Complete Circle, End of a Cycle, Final, Behind, Dome
Nun 50 = Restoration, Holy Spirit, Jubilee. Means: Life or Action
Aleph 1= God – Echad – Unity, Unique (no other like it) Means: Ox head—Strength or Leader, Most Important, First – The Strength and Power of the leader
When we put all of this together, here is what we find:
To say God is Jealous is to acknowledge that He is holy (unlike any other god. He is unique, one of a kind.) and has set apart those He chose to be His children to be holy (Qof). His main goal is to draw us to Himself and to the life (Nun) He destined for us to have. In order for those plans to manifest, He uses all of His strength and power as a Leader (Aleph) to set us free from every unholy thing.
Over and over we see this pattern played out in scripture. Israel is God’s covenant people but they often strayed and entered into worshipping other gods-idolatry. When they did, God sent people against His own children to make their lives miserable enough that they would cry out for help and return to Him. Just take a look at Judges 2. It is not a long chapter, but the pattern is here more than once. What God did may appear heartless, but His motive was pure love.
If your child was diabetic and he or she began running with friends who feasted on sweets, would you not do everything including some harsh discipline to sever those relationships and bring him or her back to health? Or say it was drugs or occult relationships? I’ve known parents who have sent in law enforcement or other intervention agents to break their children free.
In Deuteronomy 32:16 – 21, we find this: They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear.
18 Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, And have forgotten the God who fathered you. 19 “And when the Lord saw it, He spurned them, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters. 20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith.
21 They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;
I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.
First of all, remember, Yeshua, our Savior, is also God Almighty, Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:11) and He is the One speaking here. Yeshua saw what His children were doing and He knew if He didn’t intervene they could not reap the benefits of His covenant love or have the abundant life He would later go to the cross to give them. In this instance, He actually made them jealous of another group of people.
They cried out, “Why are You being good to them, when we are Your covenant people? God forgive and bless us.”
In 2 Corinthians 11:2, under the New Covenant, His message remains the same. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
Is Yeshua our first love? Does He have first place when it comes to our time, our energy, our money? Or would we rather spend our time on Facebook, ESPN, video games,or texting on our phones? Have our friends, our pleasures taken first place? Would we rather spend time with them than with Him? Are we putting His word before our desires? Or are we engaging in spiritual idolatry where any other person, activity or thing takes prescedence in our choices?
And in Hebrews 12:6-11, Paul goes on to explain the purpose of this kind of treatment.
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
God loves us so much that He refuses to allow any other god to rule in our lives. He watches over and protects us, even from our own weaknesses and poor choices. Lets’ spend time with Holy Spirit this week and ask Him to expose any idolatry in our lives. Then may we repent–turn away from whatever it may be and turn to Him with our full devotion.
How blessed we are to have the God whose name is Jealous as our God. Let’s make Him the center of your lives. He is worthy of our focus, our worship, and our love. ♥