March 29, 2009

"For the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God."—Exodus 34:14.

This is (more than likely) one of the passages that those who claim Christ as their Savior and yet enjoy laying in the bosom of many other "spiritual" lovers, will gloss over or ignore completely.

Do you wish this passage, and so many others like it, were not contained in the Word of God? Do you wish that the God of the Bible was different then He reveals Himself to be--because you do not really understand Him? He does not seem to fit the God that you want to worship and adore. O' you say you love Christ; yet you crawl into a spiritual bed with whomever kindles the sparks of your own imagination and rebellious heart.

Most of us know the pain involved with loving someone and being betrayed. God gives us these experiences so that we can better understand these passages and thus better understand His love for us and how that love can be tied to His jealousy for us. Although our capacity to love and our feelings of jealousy, as they are associated with love, are always tainted by sin, there is a righteous jealousy.

Keep in mind that jealousy and envy are not the same thing. God is not envious of anyone or anything--but, He is jealous for us. Just as you would not want your spouse to share the same deep and intimate love that the two of you share--God will not share us with someone or something else. To be willing to do so, is not Love--it is indifference.

Think about this: Would you prefer a God who said, "It doesn't bother me a bit if you bow down and worship other gods. I don't care if your heart is divided. I don't care if you are loyal to me. All that matters to me is that you are happy". Perhaps, if some are honest with themselves, that is exactly the God they would prefer.

Now apply that same thing to your temporal relationships. Would it be love to say to your wife, "I don't care if you want to love others the way that you love me. I don't care if you share yourself completely with other men. I just want you to be happy."

In the same way that God's love for us is described as a jealous love, we are jealous for each other in a marriage union, and that is not a sinful jealousy. It is part of the unique "oneness" of our love for one another.

The world says, "There are many ways to God; Jesus is just one of those ways". Jesus says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom I now speak, is very jealous of your love, O believer. Did he not choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did he not buy you with his own blood? He cannot endure that you should think you are your own, or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love that he could not stop in heaven without you; he would sooner die than that you should perish; he stripped himself to nakedness that he might clothe you with beauty; he bowed his face to shame and spitting that he might lift you up to honor and glory, and he cannot endure that you should love the world, and the things of the world.

Be careful Christians, you that are married to Christ; remember, you are married to a jealous husband.

He is very jealous of your trust. He will not permit you to trust in an arm of flesh. He will not endure that you should hew out broken cisterns, when the overflowing fountain is always free to you. When we come up from the wilderness leaning upon our Beloved, then is our Beloved glad, but when we go down to the wilderness leaning on some other arm; when we trust in our own wisdom or the wisdom of a friend—worst of all, when we trust in any works of our own, he is angry, and will smite us with heavy blows that he may bring us to himself.

He is also very jealous of our company. It were well if a Christian could see nothing but Christ. When the wife of a Persian noble had been invited to the coronation of Darius, the question was asked of her by her husband—"Did you not think the king a most beautiful man?" and her answer was—"I cared not to look at the king; my eyes are for my husband only, for my heart is his." The Christian should say the same.

There is nothing beneath the spacious arch of heaven comparable to Christ: there should be no one with whom we converse so much as with Jesus. To abide in him only, this is true love; but to commune with the world, to find solace in our comforts, to be loving this evil world, this is vexing to our jealous Lord. Do you not believe that nine out of ten of the troubles and pains of believers are the result of their love to some other person than Christ?

Nail me to thy cross, thou bleeding Savior! Put thy thorn-crown upon my head to be a hedge to keep my thoughts within its bound! O for a fire to burn up all my wandering loves. O for a seal to stamp the name of my Beloved indelibly upon my heart! O love divine expel from me all carnal worldly loves, and fill me with thyself!

C.H. Spurgeon

1 comment:

twofinches said...

Yes, this is a timely post. On my blog I posted about people wanting the part of God they underline in their Bibles...but they ignore the whole. I really liked the husband/wife analogy. Well done!