Today’s Devotion: Exodus 34
I looked up the meaning of the word Jealous. Sometimes we know what something means, but when chapter 14 says, “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God,” I had to question its meaning. According to Dictionary.com the word jealous means inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims; solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something.
Does that make you feel better? It does me. For some reason the word jealous conjures up negative feelings. I struggle with this concept, because there is a fine line between jealously and covetousness and the Lord tells us not to covet. Granted, God may make the Law, but He’s not subject to them and a Holy God doesn’t need to covet after anything – He’s God!
So what would make our God, the creator of the entire universe, jealous of me and you? In this context, God is saying that He does not want to compete with any other gods. He wants to be our one and only God, our true source of happiness & fulfillment, and He doesn’t want to share us. Sounds like a jealous boyfriend, possessive and selfish.
Think about that for a second. We, (you and me) have a God who is unwilling to let us give our time and attention to anything or anyone except Him. You could say that feels suffocating or you can say that that feels safe. I vote for safe.
My takeaway from Exodus chapter 34 is to be devoted to God. Let nothing stand between your relationship with Him. He desires our full attention, time, love, and focus. There is such a strong pull to please the world, fit in, excel, achieve, compete, succeed and impress. God says, “No! All you need is me!”
As we begin our week, let us pray that our hearts remain pure in our desire to be all consumed by a loving, jealous God.