One of the reasons that God gives for not worshiping Him with graven images is that He is a jealous God. God's jealousy is displayed in the deaths of Nadab and Abihu who offered strange (or different from what God had commanded) fire before the Lord. God expresses this in Isaiah 42:8, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
When I was a child, I didn't think this was right. We were taught not to be jealous of others, and that jealousy was a form of selfishness. How, then, can God be called a “jealous God?” Wouldn't that make Him sinful and selfish?
But, if you understand properly who God is, it's perfectly legitimate that He be jealous, and in His jealousy, God is not selfish. In fact, God demands exclusive worship and commands how we worship Him, exactly because He is such a gracious and giving God. He has made us and all things, and gives to us so much to enjoy. He has given us His own dear Son as a Savior. Since He has made us, and given us all these things, doesn't He have the right to ask of us our worship? He's a benevolent God, and we owe to him an eternal debt of gratitude.
It would be like a parent giving five dollars to a child, and then telling the child, “You may not spend it all on sweets. Only two dollars may be spent on sweets.” Doesn't the parent, as the giver, have this right over the child's spending? So God has the rights over our worship.
Not only is God jealous for His own name, but God is jealous of His people's love. No moral man would share his wife with another. No, he is jealous of her love. God describes His relationship to His people as a marriage relationship. The church is His bride. Because of this; because God has purchased His bride to be His own, He is jealous over her.
God's jealousy also means that He protects His people. In His jealousy over them, He guards them against their enemies and keeps them safe. Because God is jealous of us, we can be sure that He will keep us safe from spiritual dangers and will preserve us to the end.
We ought to be jealous for God. If we are, we will want Him to be worshiped just as He has commanded.
Rev. Rodney Kleyn (Wife: Elizabeth)
Ordained: Sept. 2002
Pastorates: Trinity, Hudsonville, MI - 2002; Covenant of Grace, Spokane, WA - 2009Website: www.reformedspokane.org/
Address7317 N.Deschutes Dr.
State or ProvinceWA