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Chaplain's Corner: God is Jealous

By Jerroll Martens, Chaplain (shown right)

Note: This will be Pastor Martens’ last column as chaplain. After 10 years of faithful service to the residents and employees of Presbyterian Manor, he will retire August 31, 2019. We thank him for his kindness, his humor and the wise ways that he has met so many needs and pointed us to the truth.

Is God really jealous? Exodus 20.5 is the second of the Ten Commandments and it states that God is “a jealous God…” Yes, jealous has a good side and an evil side.

Jealous, as we often practice it, is wrong. It is in the of list sins in Galatians 5:20 and mentioned in many parts of the Bible. It usually means we are resentful of what another person has that we do not have. It could be money, popularity, special abilities, special opportunities, or even one’s looks. We often see this in children, but it can be just as real with adults.

Jealousy can be healthy. As Americans we cherish freedom. It belongs to us and we do not want it taken away. A parent is jealous of their child, wanting that child to be treated fairly and protected. A married person is jealous for the relationship they have with a spouse.

In the case of God’s jealousy, He does not want what belongs to Him already to be given to another. In the second commandment, He reminded the people that He was their God, and they were not to worship another god. God is not jealous because of something He does not have. Rather He is jealous that what is rightfully His not be given to another. Yes, our worship, honor and all glory belongs to God. He is our creator and sustainer. He has given us His beloved son who has paid for our sin with his precious blood. Surely, our greatest love and honor belong to Him. May we not give it to some thing or someone else.

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