Who Is God? He is jealous.

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14)

Why is God’s name Jealous?

Because he wants the hearts of all people to love and worship him.

Why not use a different word?

Because God’s desire for us is strong, intense. No single word can accurately describe God–in fact, not even all of our words can fully describe him!

Isn’t jealously wrong?

Divine jealousy is different than human jealousy. We want that which doesn’t rightfully belong to us. As the sovereign creator, all things belong to God.

If everything belongs to God, why is he jealous?

In the jealousy of God, we find mystery: questions that have true answers which don’t “fit” together–from our limited point of view. God is in total control, but in his love for humanity, he gave us free will. We can choose to return God’s love and worship him. God is jealous for those who do not love him.

 

 

 

 

How To Build Fear and Trust as a Leader

Exodus 14:31 paints a wonderful picture of what leadership in God’s kingdom ought to look like:

“And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.”

God calls us to obedience, and it’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s soul staggeringly difficult! However, when we are faithful, the results are awe inspiring.

The ancient Israelites saw God at work. The redemption from Egypt was so powerful, so visible, that it didn’t require any spiritual sensitivity to notice. Afterward, the people feared God and trusted Moses.

This is a good test for our leadership, and by extension, all of our relationships. As we relate to others, we ought to make it a goal to earn their trust, not demand or expect it. Additionally, we also need to point people to God, to help them respect and fear him more.

Faithfulness in God’s family doesn’t highjack his glory for ourselves.

The key for getting this right is found in adopting the posture of a servant. Moses did amazing things–stuff you or I will never do–but everyone knew who Moses belonged to, he was God’s servant.

When we commit to humility, it doesn’t matter what God does through us, everyone around us will know that God is the real power behind our efforts.

It is difficult to be faithful and do great things for God.
It is more difficult to be faithful and do great things all for the glory of God.

Choosing contentment

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

What’s the opposite of being content? What effect does the lack of contentment have on a person’s soul? According to scripture, it is a great loss.

I have seen both the rich and the poor have problems being content. Contentment is obviously not a matter of spending power, nor how much we own.

True contentment comes only when we become more like God, when we deny ourselves and pursue the unique design he has created for us. This is the pursuit of godliness.

Denying ourselves doesn’t equate to never wanting, because God wants. In fact, his want is so powerful, one of his names is Jealous. What kind of jealously can possibly be good? For God, he’s wanting that which rightfully belongs to him–our hearts–and he doesn’t want our hearts to be divided.

When we want the things that God has given and provided. When we shape our delight to find first joy in God, our other desires become appropriately subordinated. When we seek first the kingdom of God, worrying about lesser concerns won’t consume our attention.

When we want the things we can never have, we become discontent.
When we want the things we can’t yet have, we become discontent.
When we want the things God has provided, we are living in the “great gain” of godliness with contentment.

Contentment is more than satisfaction. Satisfaction says, “I’ll be happy with what I have.” Contentment says, “I’m happy because this is God’s provision in my life.”

BIBLE STUDY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
When do you struggle most with contentment? How has a lack of contentment driven you?
Do you ever feel guilty for the stuff that you do have? Where do you think this guilt comes from? What needs to change?
Make a list of ten things for which you are thankful to God for.