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Our jealous God

The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. — Exodus 34:14

In 2014 a University of California researcher used a stuffed dog to show that animals are capable of jealousy. Professor Christine Harris asked dog owners to show affection for a stuffed animal in the presence of their pet. She found that three-fourths of the dogs responded with apparent envy. Some tried to get attention with touch or a gentle nudge. Others tried to push between their owner and the toy. A few went so far as to snap at their stuffed rival.

In a dog, jealousy seems heartwarming. In people, it can lead to less admirable results. Yet, as Moses and Paul remind us, there is also another jealousy — one that beautifully reflects the heart of God.

God made us and rescued us to know and enjoy Him forever.

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he said he was “jealous for you with a godly jealousy” (2 Cor. 11:2). He didn’t want them to be “led astray from [their] sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (v. 3). Such jealousy reflects the heart of God, who told Moses in the Ten Commandments, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Ex. 20:5).

God’s jealousy is not like our self-centered love. His heart expresses His protective zeal for those who are His by creation and salvation. He made us and rescued us to know and enjoy Him forever. How could we ask for anything more than a God who is so zealous — and jealous — for our happiness?

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Father, help me shun anything that distracts me from You, so that I may always find enjoyment in who You are and in Your plan for me.

READ: 2 Corinthians 11:1-4

God loves every one of us as if there were but one of us to love. Augustine

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 32-33 and Hebrews 1

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