you adulterous people! do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the scripture says, “he yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us?” [james 4:4-5]
do you see God as relational enough to be jealous?
when we think jealousy, our minds likely go first to romantic relationships. girlfriends jealous over their boyfriends, husbands jealously controlling over their wives—that “makes sense” to us, as romantic relationships are inherently intimate and demand loyalty. we see it less often perhaps, but jealousy sometimes makes its way into friendships as well. but nobody is truly jealous over someone they barely know or care about.
for most of us, most of the time, i propose that we don’t think of God as potentially jealous because we look at him more like an absent father, pious judge, or other-worldly king. God is our Father, judge, and King, but he knows us no less intimately than our closest friends or spouse. and he desires that we know him intimately as well!
the Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
God knows you intimately! when your mind is loud with the noise of worry and worldly temptations and sorrows, he is a God who desires to quiet you by his love! do you want to know God like that? he came and suffered and died—to be with you!
~ stephen hall