“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
God wants our love for Himself. He tolerates no rivals when it comes to our devotion. Israel was guilty of worshipping other gods in the Old Testament, and they “moved him to jealousy with their graven images” (Psalm 78:58). These people were not a people until God called them to Himself. God gave Israel an identity, a purpose, a place of dwelling, and a peculiar relationship with Himself. They belonged to Him like no other people, and He was jealous of their affection.
Jesus loves us and purchased us with His own blood. He is perfectly just in requiring our complete devotion. Paul used similar language with the church at Corinth, where the church is presented as a betrothed bride for Jesus. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (II Corinthians 11:2). This image of a bride waiting for the wedding day should help us better understand the faithfulness that God expects from His children. God is jealous.
Nothing should stand between our souls and the Savior. There are forces without and within that compete for our affection. The world and the things of the world are alluring to the flesh. James called those who made themselves a friend of the world, adulterers and adulteresses. God is jealous over His children. To love the world is considered spiritual adultery. God describes the importance of our faithfulness to Him in this term to help us understand how serious He is about our love. He is jealous over us. This should cause us to appreciate His fervent devotion to us and recognize the importance of keeping our love for Him strong and unchallenged. Many things can distract our love for Him. Hobbies, the pursuit of pleasure or riches, friendships, and even family can compete for the affection that He desires and deserves.
God is jealous of our trust and dependence on Him. He does not want us to trust in the arm of the flesh or human wisdom. He is jealous of our fellowship and companionship, wanting to be our closest friend. God is completely committed to us, and we will never have reason to question His loyalty or love. He is, therefore, righteously jealous in expecting us to be totally committed to Him.