A Jealous God
Updated: Jul 16, 2018
She’s walking with her best friend when she suddenly sees a familiar face in a coffee shop along the way. It’s her husband.
She smiles as she remembers the romantic dinner he had planned for them the night before. They didn't have a lot of time for that kind of romance lately, so she appreciated the effort she knows he put in to making the night a success. She notices him smiling at the person sitting across the table from him and she turns to see who it is. It’s his ex-girlfriend.
Cue dramatic music.
Cue slow motion of her fading smile.
Cue her humiliation.
Anna later confronted him about it, and he said it was no big deal. They were just talking about life back in the day.
She asked him to stop seeing her, but he insisted that she was overreacting and that there was no reason for her to be jealous.
Weeks later and a couple of coffee ‘bump ins’ with Veronica and John starts to wonder what life would’ve been like if they had not broken up. They both had dreams to build an empire in the legal world. They had planned to be a force to be reckoned with. They were both career driven at the time. They shared a common hunger for life.
Its not that he didn’t love Anna. He loved her dearly, but she didn’t share all the ambitions he was recently reminded of. She was comfortable with being a pre-school teacher and taking care of their twin daughters. She enjoyed the family vacations they took but didn’t appreciate the cultures and finer things that life had to offer.
I’m going to stop this story here.
The truth is, there are certain memories that Anna cannot relate to from his past because the man he is now, is nothing like the man that was dating Veronica. There are aspirations he may have had in the past that she may not understand because they don’t involve her and her children. The John she married, and the John Veronica knows are two completely different people.
At some point I can imagine Anna saying, “I am your wife John. You have a responsibility not only towards me, but towards our daughters. You can’t keep looking at the past you willingly gave up and think that it will not hurt me. It’s either me or her, but I will not settle for second best.”
If Anna were God she probably would’ve said something along the lines of, “You shall have no other gods before me. For I the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:3)
Sometimes we act more like John than we care to admit.
We stalk that ex boyfriend’s Instagram account knowing very well that we’re going to spend so much mind power afterwards, comparing ourselves to his new girlfriend. We hold grudges. We compare our life in Christ, to our peers' lives in the world.
We look back often than we look forward.
This is where the beauty of jealousy comes in.
God’s jealousy is not a prison, but rather a safety net.
It is designed to save us, sometimes even from ourselves. He knows how easily the world can entice us. He knows that we have tasted its pleasure once , and He doesn’t want us to fall into the temptation of things past. So, He tells us not to go where He knows we can so easily be ensnared.
God cannot compete with the world. He cannot reconstruct the experiences we had while in darkness because He is Light. He cannot recreate the pleasures of previous lusts because He is Love.
He cannot relate to your former experiences in death, because through Christ we have been made alive.
What God is saying in Exodus 20:3 is this: You will be tempted to look back, so don’t go visit that friend who always entices to sin. Don’t follow him on Instagram. Forgive those that have hurt you. Love those that frustrate you.
I can almost hear him saying. “Choose me beloved. Choose Life”