Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 14 December 21:
Note: Here is a short video overview of Nahum: https://youtu.be/Y30DanA5EhU
Nahum 1:2 — “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God.”
Many act as if this statement only applies to the “Old Testament God.” However, James says, “Do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’”? (James 4:5) God does not change. It is important to understand that God’s jealousy is not the same as human jealousy which is condemned in Galatians 5:20 and other verses. In human jealousy, people desire to selfishly keep and control what isn’t rightfully theirs at the expense of another. Conversely, God perfectly and lovingly protects what is rightfully His for the benefit of all. God knows He is our Life, and He intends for nothing to get between us and Him.
Most human jealously is self-centered and sinful, but not all jealousy. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” Note that Paul’s motive was the same as God’s, to let nothing get between God and others; Paul’s jealousy was protective love, guarding others’ relationship with God against the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Are you jealous for God’s glory and for the salvation and sanctification of everyone around you?
- Psalm 78:58 — For they provoked him to anger with their high places; they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
In His righteous jealousy, God hates our idols, those things we allow to distract us from Him or take priority in our lives. God will tear down our idols, often in painful ways, for our good and His glory – “When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him.” (Psalm 39:11)
- Hebrews 12:5-10 — And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
God is jealous for your holiness and wants you to be jealous for others’ holiness too.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 14 December 21: Let your jealousy for God’s glory consume any selfish, unrighteous jealousy you may feel.