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Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14
Don’t worship any other god. I am Yahweh Kanah—the jealous Lord. That is my name. I hate for my people to worship other gods. Exodus 34:14 (ERV)
As Christians, we worship and serve the One True God. As we come to the end of the Christmas season, we celebrate and remember the birth of the Christ Child, Jesus. He is our Heavenly Father’s One and Only Son. The name we often associate with this birth is Immanuel, God with us. Our God became a human being, incarnate in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, some 2000 years ago. While here, He lived a sinless life. We also know our God by many other names…Savior, Advocate, Provider, Creator, Comforter, the Great Physician, the God of Healing, the God of Compassion, the God of Love, the God of the Resurrection, and also the God of Judgment. These are just a few of the names that our God, the One True God, has been called throughout the Bible and also by believers down through the ages.
My name is Jealous. This name caught my attention recently in my study of Moses and the Israelites as they journeyed from their recent enslavement in Egypt to the Promised Land (the Holy Land, modern day Israel). This was the land that God promised, covenanted, and gave to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). These men are the great patriarchs of God’s chosen people, the Israelites. As Christians, these men are our spiritual forefathers. When Moses visited with God on Mount Sinai, he received the Ten Commandments. It is in the Second Commandment that He tells us that we are to have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). In Exodus 34, God expands on this commandment as He rewrites the Tablets of the Law (remember, the first tablets were smashed by Moses when he came down off Mount Sinai to find the Israelites worshiping the golden calf). It is here that God explains that He is a jealous God. He desires and commands that He is to be number One in His chosen people’s lives (the Israelites and you and I as Christians).
Today, as each of us struggle to make sense of our marriages that are falling apart, our Advocate, Jesus Christ, wants us to know Who He is. In Moses’ time, the Israelites were told that Yahweh (Jehovah) is the One True God. He tells His chosen people through revelations to His Prophet Moses that He is One, the great I Am. The Israelites (and Christians today…you and I) need to understand that we are to worship and follow Him, the One True God, the Creator of Heaven and of Earth. From the scriptures above, we learn that our God is a jealous God whose name is Jealous. We are to have no other gods before Him. No idols, no other gods (wealth, position, things, power, etc.), nothing that would supplant His unique place in our lives. We are to worship and follow the one True God, period!
As I look back upon my own marriage that fell apart, I realize that Jesus Christ, the One True God, was not central and first in my marriage. I imagine that describes the marriages of many of you. Our God is a jealous God. He wants, yes, He demands that we put Him first in our lives and in our relationships, especially in our marriages. When we place Jesus Christ at the center of our marriage, the problems that arise between a man and a woman in their marriage become workable and solvable. Problems and differences will occur even in good marriages, but with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone on which that marriage is built, these marriages survive, thrive, and become stronger and more loving. Our goal in marriage reconciliation is to rebuild our marriages with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone, the bed-rock foundation of our relationship. When crises arise, and they will, we lean on Jesus Christ. Take a look at the following scripture which comes to mind as written in Matthew’s Gospel.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus’ message to a fallen world and to you and I as we struggle in our failing marriages is this: “Love God, Love People.” These are not just suggestions, they are commandments from God. And who is your neighbor? Your neighbor is your spouse! When we truly love our spouse with an unconditional love, a love that says we would lay down our lives for our spouse, such a love relationship survives and pushes through marriage difficulties. In such marriages, God is honored and He is worshiped. God says His name is Jealous. I (God) am to be number One in your life and in your marriage. You will have no other gods before Me. None!
I hope by now that you understanding the need for putting Jesus Christ, Father God and the Holy Spirit at the center of your reconciled marriage. The choice is yours. For He says… My name is Jealous.
Standing firm on the vows of my marriage covenant pledged before God and my wife, until she and I are parted by death.
Ben in Texas
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.