“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Deut. 4:25, NKJV
There is a distinct difference between sinful jealousy and godly jealousy.
Sinful jealousy is comprised of the desire to possess something that doesn’t belong to you. It is the inclination of ownership to a thing (or person) that you don’t actually have– someone else does. “I want this so much.” is often heard or thought. It has a lot to do with personal desire. We can be jealous of another person, or what the other possesses. A girl, a guy, a boat, a car, a house. The list goes on. Jealousy works well with other sins, like pride, lust, covetousness, or stealing (theft). The sins overlap. Lust for someone is often a jealous attitude that reveals discontent with one’s own. It isn’t happy, and in effect tells God that He has withheld something good. (It really shows itself when someone is promoted or recognized instead of me.)
However the jealousy of God has is completely different.
“But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God.”
“God exhibits holy jealousy because our love and adoration rightfully belong to Him; He is jealous with a holy jealousy when we love and worship false gods in idolatry. His kind of jealousy is not sinful because we belong to Him and He created our hearts to belong to Him as well.”
God is jealous about you. He passionately in love with you. There is such attraction that He sent Jesus Christ to die as your substitute on the cross. We were ransomed, and then given new lives through this blood of Jesus. Is it any wonder that God gets ‘miffed’ when we choose the dark and the false over Him?
“Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
The prophets would often speak about the marriage covenant between a husband and a wife. Clearly they intended for Israel to see themselves as ‘connected’ to the Lord in a deep and intimate relationship. He wanted them to be faithful to this covenant. He became jealous when Israel repeatedly broke that agreement. He is jealous of all rivals and idols that replace Him.
“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;”
God’s jealousy is nothing like man’s. The Bible teaches us of the inherent goodness of God. This means that He cannot do anything contrary to His nature. Human jealousy is found everywhere, and at its best is morally neutral; and at its worst is evil and sin. God’s own jealousy is always an element of His love.