Grace and Truth
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Chapter 7 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Grace and Truth)
HIS NAME IS JEALOUS
The Italian leaders once asked Leonardo DaVinci to submit drawings for a public building. They also asked a young man named Michelangelo to do likewise. The authorities were pleased at the paintings submitted by Leonardo DaVinci. They were overwhelmed by the beauty of those presented by Michelangelo. It is said that Leonardo daVinci became so jealous that it almost wrecked his life. Though jealousy is not acceptable or admirable in the life of a good Christian, it is, however, an attribute of God. Exodus 34:14, "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
Several times in the Scriptures we find that God is jealous. See Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; and Joshua 24:19. God was constantly reminding His people of His jealousy. He reminded them thusly as they began their journeys to Canaan, when they built God's house, as they prepared to enter the land of milk and honey, and when they possessed the land. Nahum 1:2 reminds us that God is jealous. Zechariah 1:14 tells us that He is jealous for Jerusalem. Zechariah 8:2 reminds us that He is jealous for Zion. He is jealous when we give others His titles. Matthew 23:8-10. He is jealous as He sees idols, as He sees us counting beads, going to confessionals, kissing toes, climbing sacred stairs, bowing at worship centers, having formal services and putting other things and people in His place. He is jealous of other gods. Since He is the only God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, He cannot endure any creature to wear His crown, sit on His throne, hold His sceptre or wear His royal robe.
Put yourself in His place. Suppose you made the heavens and the earth and then the creatures you made were more interested in worshipping dead wood or a frog or a beetle or the vermin of a muddy river than they were in worshipping you. God once saw such and with holy contempt said, "They have mouths but speak not. They have eyes but see not. They have ears but hear not. Noses have they but smell not. They have hands but handle not. They have feet but walk not, neither speak they through their throat."
Do you wonder at His jealousy? Look at Dagon falling before the ark of the covenant. Look at the plagues of Egypt when God paralyzed the objects of their worship. Look at Baal being broken. See Jerusalem burning and people going to battle because of idolatry. See the walls of cities falling because God's people turned to other gods. Look at Ashtaroth being consumed by fire. See the temple being leveled and Mount Zion trodden under foot by the Gentiles because of idolatry. Search the ruins of Babylon and pagan Rome. Behold the heaps of Nineveh and stare at the broken temples of Greece. God is full of indignation when He sees relics, images and shrines. He is angry when He sees people bowing before images, praying before a crucifix or adoring a rotten bone. Much of the world is a graveyard of temples, shrines and yesterday's religions because God will not share His throne with another.
Yet one does not have to go to far away pagan lands to find idols. The crib is made a shrine. A wife can reign as goddess. A husband can wear God's crown. Young people can bow at the altar of pleasure. The businessman can idolize his money. The athlete can worship his sports. Pagan universities can bow before the humanistic god of the mind. A preacher can bow before his denomination.
What is that thing or that person in your life which makes God jealous? Is it clothes? A girlfriend? Education? Family? Church? Denomination? God wants all of you, and He is jealous if He does not have all of you. God will not be "King for a day." He will not be the hors d'oeuvres; He wants to be the entree. He will not be the introduction: He must be the entire book. He will not be a vestibule; He wants to be the building. He will not be an ornament; He wants to be the wardrobe. God will not be a moon-lighting king on a part-time throne. His palace cannot be a duplex.
God wants us. Why He does only He knows. He loves us. He is jealous for us. Let us give Him our all.
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