I’m a sucker for “How He Loves.” I’m an “unforeseen kiss” person, if you were wondering. I know the song has been played and heard a million times. I get it’s really repetitive. But I just really dig it. One of my favorite lines in the song is the very first line: “He is jealous for me.”
How weird is that line, right? We have a tendency to think of jealousy as a malicious, unforgiving kind of thing. When my mentor asked us what jealousy was once, my friend replied, “When someone steals yo girl.” You feel? It’s funny, but he’s not wrong. We get it. My mentor broadened the definition a little more, saying that jealousy is “You have something I want and I hate you for it.”
So what the heck is this about God being jealous? Heresy, obviously, right? Just kidding, it’s actually in Scripture. Deuteronomy 4:24 calls God a “consuming fire, a jealous God.” The word is “El-kana.” Actually, it’s used throughout Scripture.
But it means something different when Scriptures say that God is jealous. He’s not jealous because we have something He wants. God is the creator of the universe. He’s not jealous of our things. No, God is jealous of something different. God is jealous of anything that gets between our relationship with Him, anything that separates us from Him. God loves us and wants what is best for us. He wants us to grow close to Him and to strive after Him. But we have this funny way of not doing that.
I was talking to several friends before this semester started, and we all agreed that we needed to hold each other accountable for our Bible studies, and we needed to cut back from Netflix. “We don’t spend enough time in God’s Word” was the collective agreement. We already knew there was a problem, but we were putting our time and energy into things other than God. So, sometimes it’s Netflix. Sometimes it’s something or someone else. Maybe he’s some guy that the girl has a crush on who is the wrong kind of guy. Maybe it’s the girl that the guy likes that isn’t pursuing God. Maybe it’s devoting all the effort to partying. Maybe it’s just knowing that we need a stronger relationship with God and just ignoring the problem because we don’t know where to start. It’s just kind of overwhelming, so we put our time in other things. God isn’t jealous of what we have. He is jealous us for us. He wants us to want Him. He knows us best and created us for His glory; He knows what we need and can give it to us and strengthen us; nothing should come between us. Nothing should be a distraction.