The Christian God is a jealous God? Really? That sounds so stupid and power hungry.
I’ve heard that from so many people: Oprah, friends, other religions, etc. When I think about my God being a jealous God I feel like the same way. Well, that was until today when I finally understood what it means…
I was reading the book of Hosea this morning and was amazed that God would command his prophet to marry a prostitute! I was dumbfounded. He told Hosea to marry Gomer to make a point: that the people of Israel (God’s people) were prostituting themselves to other gods. Gomer would leave to have sex with other men during the marriage with Hosea symbolizing Israel. But here was the turning point for me:
Hosea 2:13-16 –
I will punish her for all those times when she burned incense to her images of Baal, when she put on her earrings and jewels and went out to look for her lovers but forgot all about me,”says the Lord. “But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’
Here is why our God is a jealous God. Because He has feelings. He is not a God who just lets us live our lives. He constantly takes care of us, watches out for us, and when we run away He gently and lovingly brings us back instead of forcing us to love Him like robots. God has chosen to reveal himself as a God deeply in love with his creation. The prophet Hosea shows us how God is not a higher being that just dispenses judgement on His people. He is also a God with feelings. He can be grieved, angered, frustrated or even delighted by our behavior. The Quest Study Bible puts it this way:
He illustrates this side of his nature by describing a spouse who has been betrayed and who swings from emotion to emotion. Nevertheless, throughout the Bible, the threat of punishment is consistently followed by the tender promises of intimacy.
I’m glad our God is a jealous God otherwise He wouldn’t really care about me…just what I am doing wrong. Does this make you love God more?