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Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Our Jealous God - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 4 November Wednesday
In 2014 a University of California researcher used a stuffed dog to show that animals are capable of jealousy. Professor Christine Harris asked dog owners to show affection for a stuffed animal in the presence of their pet. She found that three-fourths of the dogs responded with apparent envy. Some tried to get attention with touch or a gentle nudge. Others tried to push between their owner and the toy. A few went so far as to snap at their stuffed rival.
In a dog, jealousy seems heartwarming. In people, it can lead to less admirable results. Yet, as Moses and Paul remind us, there is also another jealousy—one that beautifully reflects the heart of God.
When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he said he was “jealous for you with a godly jealousy” (2 Cor. 11:2). He didn’t want them to be “led astray from [their] sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (v. 3). Such jealousy reflects the heart of God, who told Moses in the Ten Commandments, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Ex. 20:5).
God’s jealousy is not like our self-centered love. His heart expresses His protective zeal for those who are His by creation and salvation. He made us and rescued us to know and enjoy Him forever. How could we ask for anything more than a God who is so zealous—and jealous—for our happiness?
Father, help me shun anything that distracts me from You, so that I may always find enjoyment in who You are and in Your plan for me.
God loves every one of us as if there were but one of us to love. Augustine
Paul’s relationship with the church at Corinth was a turbulent one. Paul founded the Corinthian church and spent 18 months there (Acts 18:1-18). Then he returned for another 3 months at a later time (20:3). In spite of this significant investment of time and energy, the Corinthian believers appear to have struggled with Paul’s authority and position as an apostle, as well as his correction of them. His letters to the church at Corinth are filled with evidence of his disappointment over their testy relationship. Still, Paul’s love for them is evidenced by his desire that they not be led astray by false teachers. Bill Crowder