“Isn’t being jealous a bad thing? [Then why does the Bible say God is jealous for us?]

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 4:24

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

Did you know that you have a God who feels so passionately about His relationship with you that He is literally described as being a “consuming fire”? Have you ever felt that type of love for God or another person before?

I remember when I first began dating my wife. That is how my heart felt for her constantly. It was a consuming love. I wanted to be with her all the time. And when we were together I wanted to be closer. That was an amazing and “fiery” season of our relationship.

That consuming love drove me to pursue marrying her so that I could exclusively secure my loving relationship with her through the vows of marriage and the bonds of a lifelong commitment.

I thoroughly enjoyed that season of consuming love, but some of the emotional and often volatile feelings of that type of love have grown into a love that has a greater depth and intimacy now. I wouldn’t trade where we are at now in our relationship for anything, and Morgan would say the same.

The amazing thing that I have been reminded of recently is that God has both of these types of love for us, but infinitely more. His love for you and I is constantly like a “consuming fire”. And yet, God also has an infinitely deep form of committed love, often referred to in the Bible as “unfailing love” (Psalm 107:31). In other places like Psalm 136:1, we are told that, “His love endures forever.” Wow, talk about secure commitment!

Many people would say that jealousy and envy are very similar, but not synonymous. And I would agree. I’ve heard it said that jealousy relates to the intense desire to keep something that belongs to you, but envy is more like coveting something that is not yours in the first place.

God is jealous for you and I because He created our heart and soul. He gave us life and ultimately has what is best for us. Yet we live on this planet with mortal enemies (like the devil, our flesh, and this world) who constantly try to seduce and steal our affection that rightfully belongs to God.

This is passionately expressed in James 4:4-6 of the Message Bible, “You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”

Anyway, let’s take some time to mediate on God’s consuming and unfailing love for us (Psalm 48:9) and see if it doesn’t fan into flame our love for Him even more!

Have a great week and remember, like the David Crowder song says about you and I, “He is jealous for me…”

In His love,