A Jealous God Deut 24
A Jealous God
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)
You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God… (Deuteronomy 5:9)
… for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God— lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 6:15)
God alone is God. God is the creator of all things. The things created at best reflect, dimly, HIS glory. They are rather said to declare the glory of GOD (Psalm. 19:1).
God created us in His image - with intelligence, language, and love. He then loved us by revealing himself to us that man could know Him. Then He upped the deal by revealing himself unto Israel as never before (4:32-35). He asked in return that they would love Him and walk obediently in His covenant (10:12). Hence the first of the '10 words' : "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me" (Deut. 5:6-7). He then forbids His people from making an image and declaring it to be god (vs. 8). He again states the reason behind this is that He is the LORD your God and that He is a jealous God (vs. 9).
In rejecting the God of heaven and making something else out to be our god we have spurned and slandered God. We have not only displaced Him in our hearts but have insulted Him in all that He is. Whether that be classic idolatry or the idolatry of materialism and worldliness (cp. Col. 3:5).
In speaking of this word translated jealous, the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testaments says it "expresses a very strong emotion whereby some quality or possession of the object is desired by the subject. ... It may prove helpful to think of ‘zeal’ as the original sense from which derived the notions ‘zeal for another’s property’ = ‘envy’ and ‘zeal for one’s own property’ = ‘jealousy’” (Vol. 2, p. 802).
When we speak then of God being jealous we can understand that He has a zeal and desire for something. He is jealous of our love for Him for He has loved us and desires that we love Him with all of our hearts, soul, and mind (Deut. 6:5). Our God is jealous / zealous for OUR good. He wants to be our God. He wants to do good unto us. His commandments in fact are 'for our good' (Deut. 6:24; 10:13). Such jealousy is a godly jealousy that is based upon His goodness, holiness, righteousness, and eternal character.
They failed in this by doing the very thing God forbade. Deuteronomy 32:21 state: "They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols." Such rebellion and insolence and insult would have its consequences even as God had warned. Here in verse 21 God declares: "So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation." Such scorning of the love of God will be met with punishment.
What great love - "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him" (1 John 3:1).
"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).