Are you jealous? Well, you should be. No, you may not be jealous of what your neighbor has. God's law, which is righteous, forbids us to covet anything the neighbor has. And the first table of the law forbids us to be jealous of God's glory. Our calling is to want Him to have all the glory.
The word "zeal" in Psalm 119:139 in this sentence does mean to be jealous: "My zeal hath consumed me, because my enemies have forgotten Thy words." That his jealousy consumed him means that the sins of the enemies destroyed his joy. And that explains why in the next verse he writes, "Thy word is very pure; therefore Thy servant loveth it."
Now jealousy is exacting, exclusive devotion, intolerant rivalry. In that sense God says in His law that He is a jealous God; and we had better not forget that. He is exclusively devoted to His own glory and has a perfect right to be so devoted, for He is God, and there is no God besides Him. The psalmist's zeal or jealousy is his exclusive devotion to God's glorification. Therefore, seeing his enemies forgetting God's law takes from him all his joy. For he loves God. That he loves God is plain from the fact that he loves His word. You cannot love God and not love His law or word.
Whether we believe that God is righteous and that His law is upright will manifest itself in how much we are bothered, and our joy is taken away, when we see God's law broken. If we are greatly disturbed we will sing these words:
Because Thy foes forget Thy law
My soul is greatly stirred;
Thy servant loves the purity
Of Thy most holy word.
Now if the psalmist was touched that way in his day, what ought to be the case with us today? Sin has developed tremendously. And soon the Man of Sin will appear. II Thessalonians 2:3.
Search your soul today. Do all the sins both of the first and second table of God's law bother you? Stand before the mirror of God's law to see whether you love Him and sin troubles your soul.
Read: Romans 7
Psalter versification: #338:2
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #336
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Jeremiah 49:23-39 ; Jeremiah 50:1-46
Psalm 97 ; Psalm 98:1-9
Quote for Reflection:
… Severe censors discover their own virulence, which they suddenly vomit forth against their brethren whatever curses they can imagine, after having in sweet strains offered praises to God. Were any one to object and say, that the image of God in human nature has been blotted out by the sin of Adam; we must, indeed, confess that it has been miserably deformed, but in such a way that some of its lineaments still appear. Righteousness and rectitude, and the freedom of choosing what is good, have been lost; but many excellent endowments, by which we excel the brutes, still remain. He, then, who truly worships and honors God, will be afraid to speak slanderously of man. - John Calvin