But what I learned in the midst of counseling was that God’s love runs deeper than I could ever comprehend. As I began to pull back the layers of my heart, I realized that even though I had God’s whole heart, He didn’t fully have mine.
If God’s love for me is anything like His love for the Israelites, it is fierce. In the book of Hosea, we see a God with jealous love for His people, the Israelites. In desperation, God sent His prophet Hosea to communicate His distress and anger with them. After all God had saved them from, their hearts were still divided. Instead of fully surrendering to God, they chose to betray Him by worshiping other gods. Interestingly, God compares the relationship that He has with the Israelites to an adulterous wife who is unfaithful to her loving husband. However, in spite of the future judgment coming upon Israel, God did not give up on His people. Hosea 11:8-9 affirms God’s desire to protect His people: “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities.”
Friend, God is also jealous for you! The Oxford Languages dictionary defines jealousy “to be fiercely protective or vigilant over one’s rights or possessions.” God is protective over you because you are His. While we may not be worshiping Baal like the Isrealites, we do have a tendency to idolize things of this world over the one who created them. I distinctly remember, in the midst of my depression, I found myself seeking an escape through mass media, human relationships, and material possessions. In reality, I only needed my loving Savior and so do you.
While the word jealousy has a negative connotation in our interpersonal lives, God’s jealousy is quite different. God is jealous because His love for you runs so much deeper than you could ever imagine. I encourage you, if your heart is divided in any way, turn back to Him. May His jealous love overwhelm you, as He freely offers up His mercy and grace.
Works Cited: “Jealous.” Concise Oxford English Dictionary, edited by Angus Stevenson and Maurice Waite, 12th ed., Oxford UP, 2011, p. 761.
“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14 (NIV)
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