Jesus Is Redemptively Jealous

Most “jealousy” is simply avarice turned outward, an anger born of greed and nursed in contempt:

“You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”

But true righteous jealousy—redemptive jealousy—is as fierce as a bolt of lighting:

“For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.”

And just as a good husband will tolerate no rivals for his wife’s affections, so God resists our idols. We are by nature spiritual adulterers who cheat on our Heavenly Husband:

“I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.”

He is unequivocal in calling us to purity and faithfulness:

“You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”

But our idols are not easily defeated:

“It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.”

Like Joseph, God is righteous and would be justified in writing us a decree and sending us away. But instead He has chosen to do what no earthly husband could ever do—He changes our hearts!

“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her.”

He rends our souls by tearing us away from our illicit and idolatrous lovers, but then clothes us in unparalleled splendor and binds us up in His love:

“All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king.”

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”

Thank you, Lord, that you love us and will never allow our hearts to be held captive by another! Fill me with the same jealousy that you have for Your holy name that I might love you forever:

“You shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Jesus Will Have No Other Gods Before Him

The first and greatest of the ten commandments is,

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

None shall be esteemed ahead of Him, and none shall endure in His presence.

“There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.”

He is rightly called a jealous God, for He says,

“My glory I will not give to another.”

And indeed, in every contest of divine power He has proven the victor. He executed judgement on the gods of Egypt by sending wasting plagues that decimated the land and proved them powerless.

He caused Dagon, the god of the Philistines, to bow before Him in subservience—even to its own destruction!

On Mount Carmel the speechless Baal was shown a fraud, while the true God answered from heaven with consuming, holy fire.

And when Sennacherib of Assyria boasted that the Lord of Hosts was like the other gods of the land and unable to deliver, the angel of the Lord went forth slew 185,000, and there was no deliverance for them.

In everything God has the supremacy, and He will not allow a rival to seduce the hearts of His people. Though we often make golden calves for ourselves and look to them for security, comfort, or meaning, He will not allow them to endure. He will graciously take them from us, burn them with fire, grind them to dust, and then cast them on the stream that takes away our sins forever.

Perish the gods who did not make heaven and earth, but

“You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.”

“Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people!”