A recent news story reported that a Saudi groom divorced his wife after less than a day of marriage. The story goes something like this… The happy couple leaves their ceremony and checks in at their hotel for the night. The bride began responding to text messages on her cell phone. This went on for an extended period of time and frustrated her new husband. The groom requested that she delay responded for a time and focus on him. She became angry. He then asked if her friends were more important he was to which she replied that indeed they were. The argument escalated and the groom left the hotel. He informed her as he left that he wanted a divorce.
By no means is the man justified for divorcing his wife. But his frustrations are easily understood. The reality is the groom was jealous. He was jealous over the attention his wife’s friends were receiving while he was being ignored. And most would agree that his jealous was justified.
God is described numerous times as a jealous God.
- “…I the Lord your God am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:5).
- “for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).
- “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24).
- “… 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…” (Deuteronomy 6:15).
- “…for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God…” (Joshua 24:19).
- “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God…” (Nahum 1:2).
Sometimes it is difficult to understand God’s jealousy. After all, jealousy typically carries a negative connotation. Paul includes jealousy as one of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19–20. So how can God be a jealous if jealousy is a work of the flesh?
This jealousy is not the same as the sin in Galatians 5. It is first introduced as a part of the Ten Commandments. In the second command the Israelites were forbidden from possessing and/or serving carved images. The reason given is that God is jealous. This reveals the jealousy of God. He wants the undivided attention of those who serve Him.
God should be our highest priority (Matthew 6:33). We should seek Him above all other things. That’s what He deserves. It is also what He expects.
Is God your highest priority? Or do you make Him share time with other things in your life such as career, education, family, self, etc.? He is a jealous God… Be sure you give Him your best.