Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word jealous as “hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage: envious.” Jealousy is considered a negative attribute (aka, a jealous boyfriend or coworker), and Scripture calls it a sin.
Yet God describes himself as being a “jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). And Paul told his church in Corinth, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy” (2 Corinthians 11:2). Can jealousy also be good?
Note that Paul uses the word for, not of. God is not jealous of us; he is jealous for us. He is hostile toward any rival who wants to destroy our relationship with him. He loves us and wants our love in return so much that he will go to the utmost lengths to keep us in a relationship with him. In fact, he already did. He sent his Son to the depths of hell on our behalf to make certain that no one (including Satan) could ever snatch us from his hand (John 10:29).
The David Crowder Band poetically describes the amazing goodness of God’s jealousy with the lyrics of their song “How He Loves.” Check it out on YouTube!
Lord, how I thank you . . . for being jealous for me. Amen.