jealous

i was thinking on a song yesterday morning. I was at the Y and was listening to a variety of stuff on my iPod while I did the elliptical. And I have a ton of music…almost everything but screamo. And I was listening to a compilation by Dave Crowder. And the song “How He Loves” came on and I was overcome with emotion. I don’t want certain songs to trigger my emotions but I want the truth they contain to trigger them.

I hope it was the truth of the song that brought the emotions on. The chorus of the song simply emphasizes the love of God. And I’ve been thinking on a lot of verses and the truth of Scripture since I heard it. We know that God so loved the word…John 3:16. We know that His children have received every spiritual gift…Ephesians 1:3. We know that Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it…Ephesians 5:25. We know that God gave His Spirit…Ephesians 1:11. We know that the Spirit has given gifts…1 Corinthians 12:11. And the list goes on and on of how God shows His love for His kids. Grace. Mercy. Patience. Forgiveness. Discipline.

But the song starts with the line ‘He is jealous for me…’. When I came home I started asking the question around our household about that line. Is it true? Does Scripture back it up? I was trying to decipher what it actually meant. I know that Scripture says that His name is Jealous. (Exodus 34:14). I came to the conclusion that the line was true but I shot over to Desiring God this morning hoping for Piper to clarify the thoughts in my mind. Listen to what he writes:

‘Our God is a jealous God. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath” (Zechariah 8:2). He is jealous for our affections. He is jealous for our love, our worship, and our heart. This is why the greatest commandment says we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He wants all of us. When our hearts are turned to other things, looking to them to take the place of God, using them as substitute loves, God responds in a righteous and holy jealousy. Scripture actually calls God jealous by name in Scripture, “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).’

I find at Christmastime there is so much competition for our attention. Let me name a few of them. Food. Gifts. Entertainment.

Food. There is so much good food around this time of year. From Toblerone to Turkey. We’re having a steak dinner at my brother’s place today for Christmas. I bought Bonita some chocolate covered Oreos for Christmas. (I used to get those bad boys in Canada but for some reason they stopped making them available here and we have to make the road trip south of the border to now get them). There is so much good food around.

Gifts. I remember when we’d open presents at Bonita’s family’s place and everyone else would be opening a gift and I would be watching, waiting for it to be my turn. Used to drive me crazy waiting. I like stuff. I think I’ve outgrown that now…I think.

Entertainment. With iPods and iPads and big TV’s so readily available you can entertain yourself to death. The temptation can be to watch show after show after movie and so on.

But Jesus is the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:46). He is jealous for His kids. Food and gifts and entertainment are fine in moderation but He is so good and so dazzling and so awesome that in reality trinkets and toys and turkey pale by comparison. Those things are His gifts but the Giver is so much better than the gifts He gives. He is jealous for me. May the truth of this song overwhelm you…and cause you to worship.

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