for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, [exodus 34:14]
why is God jealous? what does it mean that he is jealous?
to answer this, we have to understand the unassailable logic of God’s glory. for God to be a just God, he must treasure the most important thing in the universe:
for my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
my glory I will not give to another. [isaiah 48:11]
God is not petty–he is simply upholding the logic of the universe–he must be greatly praised and feared. when he is not, his wrath burns against unrighteousness–because it must! otherwise he would not be just! he would not be God! if he failed to value the most important thing in the universe, then it would cease to have value.
for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. [romans 1:18]
the truth is that God is supreme over everything. when we take matters into our own hands, when we take control and pursue after other things, we deny God, we dishonor him by running after idols, committing adultery against the one who loves us. God cannot allow it, he must be jealous, because he values his own glory above everything else in the universe.
his jealousy is not like our jealousy which burns wrongly for our own glory and always terminates in sin. his jealousy burns rightly for his own glory, and is for our good–it is a jealousy that cries “come back! come back to your first love!” when we treasure his glory above all else, we are saved from his infinite wrath for those who do not treasure him.
move toward him, rest in his presence and thank him for his jealousy–that he would pursue you, woo you, turn you to the object of infinite glory, himself. God wants us to have the highest joy, the joy that he has in his Holy Name!