Saturday, January 1, 2011

He is JEALOUS for me

words from one of my favorite songs....
"He is jealous for me
loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
bending beneath
the weight of His wind and mercy"
Recently the word "jealous" has been coming up a lot when I think about my relationship with God. Most of the time we think of the word jealous as a bad thing that is to be avoided. So why does the Bible call God jealous????
I looked up "jealous" in my concordance and learned that the Hebrew word for jealous in those particular scriptures is a different word than the word for jealous when scriptures mention human jealousy. In hebrew... God is "qanna" for us. Qanna means jealous but it is an adjective that is used EXCLUSIVELY of God. It focuses on HIS DESIRE FOR EXCLUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS.
The word qanna is only used a few times in the scriptures, this morning I mediated on the very first time it was used.
Exodus 20:4-5
"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God....."

yes.. this is in the 10 commandments. Coincidental? I think not.

As I read over the 10 commandments this morning I noticed that for 8 of the commandments.... they are simply commandments with no explanation given as to why. But this particular commandment about not making idols... is where God chooses to first explain why he's giving this command! He is a jealous God... he desires an exclusive relationship with us.... and that is WHY he asks us not to make idols of other things and worship them.

The more I thought about this, the more I was convicted of how short I fall of keeping His commandments and how much I truly NEED my Savior Jesus Christ!

As a mother.... I often have "commandments" that I have needed to give over the years to my kids. Many times I can just simply say "do this" or "don't do that" and I can expect it to be done without any explanation. I've even fallen into the dreaded, "because I said so" routine once or twice. ;)
But sometimes... even without my kids having to ask me "why?".. I offer a command and immediately explain why. The reason I do this is to stress the importance I place on that particular command!!!
For instance.... when my kids were little... I didn't just say "Don't touch the stove".... I said, "don't touch the stove because it's hot and it might burn you".

Now, back to the 10 commandments. Only 2 of them have an explanation of why they are given.

* don't make an idol and bow down to worship it
* Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy.

These are the 2 most commonly broken commandments. They seem silly to us. I know I don't consciously "make idols to worship"... but there are plenty of things in my life that prevent God from having an exclusive relationship with me. :( (TV, facebook, extra hours of sleep in the morning, movies, books, music... the list could go on and on.)

I'm not sure that God is saying to me this morning that I should never do any of those things.... but I am fully convicted that I have minimized this commandment and never really noticed how important it was to Him.

If He is jealous for me... He wants to be my everything.. not just my first priority. He wants my all... not just my quiet time, He wants my whole heart, not just the corner I've set aside next to all the other things in life that give me  pleasure. He wants me to KNOW that his DESIRE IS FOR ME EXCLUSIVELY.

I want my response to be obedience to His desires this year.