Yesterday’s sermon was by a guest speaker. I wish I could tell you his name — he was pleasant but thought-provoking.
He spoke on the jealous nature of God.
My first thought:
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree…
(you can find lyrics and videos of this song if you do an internet search)
Then I really settled down to listening and taking notes. I had a quibble at first; the speaker gave several illustrations of jealousy which sounded more like envy or covetousness to me, you know, wanting what someone else has. Arrgh, I’d give you an example or two but I didn’t write them down since they didn’t make sense to me in the context of jealousy.
I haven’t taken the time to look it up or do a word study yet, but my impression of jealousy is that it’s something you feel regarding a possession of your own, like a dog with a meaty bone.
(God can afford to be jealous. He owns everything. People? I’m not so sure about how appropriate jealousy is for people.)
Once we got past that quibble (on my part, with notes to myself to look up “jealousy” and “covetousness”), the sermon was sound. Scriptures mentioned dealt with the LORD’s possessiveness of His special people, beginning with the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy, followed by passages in Hosea and Ezekiel about His dealings with His all-too-often wayward people.
I’ve been mentally chewing this food for thought since then. To summarize: Our God is a jealous God, and He insists on being first in our affections, our focus, our motivations, our thoughts and actions. (See Deut. 6:5, Matthew 22:36-40, and Luke 10:27 for more.) While “love of money” may be “the root of all evil,” love of anything more than God is idolatry.
Examining priorities: How do I spend my time? How does my life reflect my priorities? Sobering stuff. Time to get off the computer and back on track.