His Name Is Jealous
His Name Is Jealous
Responsive Reading – Exodus 34.5-16
Text: Zechariah 8.1-17 – “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.”
Introduction: I want to set before you today one of the Lord’s Crowning Perfections. We must understand at the beginning, that when we consider the perfections of the Lord (or we might call them attributes), because God is great and mysterious, we can never know Him fully, for He is yet more grand and unfathomable than we could ever imagine. And yet, He wonderfully declares and demonstrates Himself to His people.
Considering one of the Lord’s Crowning Perfections, I would like to speak to you under this topic – His Name Is Jealous. In doing so, I want to begin by first examining God’s name, Jealous, and what majestic weight that name carries. Then I want us to contemplate 6 manifestations of God’s jealousy.
I. The Weight of God’s Name
Next time you witness to someone, tell them, “I want to talk to you about the Lord, the One and True God.” And when they ask, “What is His name?” You can tell them, “His name is Jealous!”
Exodus 34.14 – “For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
A. What is meant by God’s jealousy? We often think of jealousy in a bad or negative connotation, of uncontrollable emotions involving suspicion and distrust. This is not too far off of what men think of God in the first place when confronted with God’s true character. When God is preached as holy, just, righteous and the only God, men react by saying, “The God I worship is not like that. He is loving and good.” He appears enigmatic. They cannot explain Him and so deny Him. But it is because He is past their ability to find out or comprehend. And the only means by which one may know anything of God is that God reveals Himself to him. He has to literally and personally awaken that man to Himself by His Holy Spirit.
“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
But as we will find out jealousy in reference to God perfectly manifest His love and goodness.
B. Jealousy is one of God’s crowning perfections. Exodus 34 – The context begins with Moses asking first for God’s Presence with them and God’s glory to be shown to him. So, God descends in the cloud and stands with Moses there and “Proclaims the name of the Lord.” But notice how this transpires: Verse 6-7 God lists all these attributes of Himself (the Lord God, merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy, forgiving of sin) and then not clearing the guilty and visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children – meaning He is bringing judgment, but the Amazing thing is that He sums it all up with His name – Jealous. Why jealous? Because it is this crowning perfection that sums up in one emotion the full weight of God.
C. The word is used to express a strong emotion of possession. Jealous, in the Bible, is zeal to protect a possession or a relationship. In relation to God, it is His praiseworthy zeal to preserve and protect something that is precious to Him. So, God’s name is Jealous:
1st – First, because God is jealous of His own glory. “You shall worship no other god…” In Isaiah 42.8, He clearly declares, “I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.” In 1 Corinthians 1.27-29 He states He chose the foolish things of this world, weak things, things which are despised, even non-entities, for the sole purpose “that no flesh should glory in His presence.” He retains the preeminence over all things. Likewise, Christ is the firstborn from the dead, “that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.”
2nd – Second, God’s name is Jealous in that God is jealous of the Affections of His people. In this aspect, there is a correlation to the marriage relationship. God’s jealousy over His people is His extreme commitment of love to His people. He tells them poignantly, “You shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, for you shall worship no other god!” In verse 15, He continues, “lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods.” See the connection. He is grieved when our love is given to another. God makes the analogy of Israel whoring in Idolatry. He says, “you will be just like a woman going after another man in adultery.” This is how fervent and zealous His love is for His people – I will not permit any Spiritual Adultery. Your devotion must be whole-heartedly after Me and Me alone! There is no room for nothing else and no one else!
Song of Solomon 8.6 – God demands the same jealousy of us for Him!
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.”
3rd – Third, God’s name is Jealous in that He is jealous of His people. Verse 10-11, “For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you…Behold, I am driving out before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.” His love is so great that He drives out all the enemy. You may remember what He said in Zechariah 2.8 – “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Now, that is our examination of God’s name Jealous and it’s majestic weight. But just like everything is with God, He does not leave us with abstract contemplations. But powerfully demonstrates His name Jealous in the manifestations of His great fury. Deuteronomy 4.5 states His jealousy this way, “For the Lord your God is a Consuming Fire, a jealous God.” Nothing will stand in the way of God preserving what is precious to Him.
Now we want to contemplate 6 manifestations of God’s jealousy.
II. Manifestations of God’s Jealousy
When we are talking about manifestations of God’s Jealousy, we are talking about how they are manifested in particular about a passionate protection of His people. He says, “I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.”
However, I want you to understand that His zeal for Zion is not absent of His zeal for His own Glory. It always begins with God’s zeal for His glory. We saw that His name is Jealous and that we shall worship no other god! Remember the prophecy of Zechariah begins with a Call to Repentance – “‘Return to Me,’ says the Lord of hosts.” His jealousy over His people comes out of His jealousy over His own glory of who He is.
Each manifestation is found in the text by the expression, “Thus says the Lord of Hosts.”
1st – The Presence of God (verse 3) – The first manifestation of God’s Jealousy is His purposeful action to be present with His people. “I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.” How will God’s presence be known? There is Truth and Holiness. God’s presence always transforms the surroundings; truth and holiness are present. Men come forth-speaking lies.
1 – How engrained is lying? Lying is not just telling a lie. Think about the deceptions, deceit, hypocrisy, guile and dishonesty in every day life. Every day men lie and we expect that they are lying to us. We put our hands on bibles in court and vow to tell the truth. But, the one place there is no truth is our courtrooms. Consider also the manipulation of television just from its normal operation. Viewers assume they have seen it with their own eyes when they see it on TV; yet, there is not one minute of television that has not been edited.
2 – However, this city, with the presence of God, is a city of Truth. Zephaniah 3.13 says, “The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth…” God has dealt with lying in the citizens of Zion.
3 – Also, they will know the Truth when the Lord is present. John 16.13 – “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” They do not believe the lies of Satan. They have a resident Truth teacher. 1 John 2. 20-21 How do they know the truth? They have the Holy Spirit teaching them the Truth and keeping them from error.
4 – Zion is a place of Holiness, total separation unto God. Where God dwells there is truth and holiness. It is no coincidence that the Holy Spirit is also referred to as the Spirit of Truth. Where the Holy Spirit dwells there is holiness. In Zephaniah 3, God says, “I will restore the peoples a pure language (or a holy language).” And then says, “the remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness (no wrong).”
2nd – Complete and Conscious Security (Verse 4-5) – The manifestation of God’s Jealousy assures a complete and conscious security. Complete in that there will be peace and Conscious in that they will know it! The scene is old men and women sitting around and the streets are full of children playing. Two extremes – from old to young, the two most vulnerable in time of war are so safe and secure that they sit and play in the streets. Zephaniah 3.13 – “They shall feed their flocks and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid.” The Psalmist said it this way, “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.”
3rd – In Exodus 34.10, God says, “I will do an Awesome Thing with you” (Verse 6) – There is a reality outside of our perception of reality. Does God change because man cannot believe in Him or properly understand Him? This brings up two very important thoughts: 1st, All men have a very poor notion of who God is; yet God reveals who He really is. “You shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Who would believe you, if you told them, God’s name is Jealous? Yet, in that name, we see His glory, His love and His goodness. 2nd, The other thing is all of this seems as though it is too good to be true, in fact impossible, but with God, nothing will be impossible. But that is the reality of God. God is far beyond what we are able to contemplate. He is more powerful, good, able and faithful than we can conceive. Faith is simply embracing what He promises. It is beyond probabilities and circumstances.
4th – Spiritual Life (Verse 7-8) – God immediately expresses that He will save His people from the east and the west. Do you think that this remnant could possibly comprehend how God could gather in all of His people from the east and the west and cause them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem? Out of a dispersion, God can gather them all together. Who scattered them? He did. But now looking back, we understand in some measure the gathering of God’s people in His church. God does save them and they are His people and He is their God.
5th – Prosperous Life (Verse 9-13) –Verse 12, Look down to the last part of the verse, “I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these.” This is a very important matter. Will God really provide? Sometimes we answer this in a non-chalont manner, but this is a real concern else Christ would not have taken this issue up. Don’t worry about what you are going to eat and wear or live. God provides. Don’t worry about thieves stealing it, God will provide. What is the promise in the Sermon on the Mount? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.
6th – No Fear (Verse 14-17) – Do not fear, God is determined. 1st, to do good to His people and 2nd, that they will do good. Again this comes down to the reality of God and who He is that is far above what we could conceive of Him. Is it possible that God, whose name is Jealous, and who is Jealous of His own glory and of His people and their lives, could fail or be tripped up?
What a Crowning Perfection is God’s Jealousy! He is yet more grand and unfathomable than we could ever imagine.