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Rhyfelwr
Jul 19th 2008, 04:57 PM
Please be patient with me, as I do not come from a very religious background and I have only in recent months began to read the Bible, so I am still quite ignorant when it comes to scripture.

But somethings I have read in the Old Testament have made me wonder. I have always seen God as being absolutedly perfect, and I still believe he is, even if I can't imagine what that would be like. However, why does God say several times in the Old Testament that he is a jealous God?

Also, I remember God planning to do something to punish the children of Israel. But (if I remember correctly), Moses persuaded God not to. Would God have been doing this to test Moses as when he told Abraham to kill his son?

SweetSomber
Jul 19th 2008, 07:50 PM
God is perfect, and yes, He is a jealous God. The Israelites who worshiped other "gods" are compared to a married woman who sleeps with other guys - if your wife slept with other guys, it would perfectly right of you to be jealous! :)

God does test people, like Abraham and Issac, but He also allows Himself to be talked out of things. Abraham BARTERED with God about Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:22-32, God turns his wrath away from the Ninevites in Jonah 4, and in the New Testament, we are to be like Christ and to be "easy to be entreated." James 3:17. It's not like He actually changes His mind, because He decided ahead of time to let people talk Him out of various punishments and have mercy. God's awesome that way!

Rhyfelwr
Jul 19th 2008, 09:52 PM
Ah, well I feel now the second point about God's decisions makes sense to me.

But do you think God actually felt jealous? Or was he simply trying to put the Israelites back on track by explaining things in a way they would understand?

Thaddaeus
Jul 20th 2008, 02:25 AM
Ah, well I feel now the second point about God's decisions makes sense to me.

But do you think God actually felt jealous? Or was he simply trying to put the Israelites back on track by explaining things in a way they would understand?


There is a different between jealous and envy. jealous deals with stuff we already own, envy deals with us desiring what others own. God wants to keep the people that were His people, he didn't want to share them with others gods ( false gods ) God desires our worship and our service and also our trust in Him. he doesn't want us to turn to other gods for anything, He wants to be our everything. If the Bible says that God was a jealous God then yes He was a Jealous God. Just as we expect God to be true and faithful to us He desires us to be true and faithful to Him.

Ps 115:11 (http://bibleforums.org/ps+115:11)Ye that fear the LORD, TRUST IN THE LORD: he is their help and their shield.

Revinius
Jul 20th 2008, 12:16 PM
Yup, He is jealous. But jealousy in the right context is not sin. God created us, and if we reject Him, he naturally (like a father) wants to intervene. His jealosy for us is what sent His son to die in our place... He loves and wants relationship with us (thats why we were made) and knows what is ultimately best for us (like a father).


Also, I remember God planning to do something to punish the children of Israel. But (if I remember correctly), Moses persuaded God not to. Would God have been doing this to test Moses as when he told Abraham to kill his son?

Not so much a test, but to reveal His faith. You see, faith is pretty much how Gods people are identified - such things as circumcision and obeying holy days (sabbath etc) are only an outward showing of the faith one has for God. Faith in Jesus is what gets people saved, nothing we can do in works.

TEITZY
Jul 20th 2008, 01:23 PM
Ex 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

In context, jealousy as it applies to God refers to His desire that we worship Him and Him alone. God demands & deserves our devotion since He created us & sustains us by supplying all we need for life (physical & spiritual).

Isa 42:8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.

To worship idols (anything we love more than God) is to rob God of the glory only He deserves. Everything God does is done for the "praise of His glory" or to make Himself known (eg. His love, mercy, grace, justice, power etc.). To give an idol credit or praise for what God has done is an afront to God (see Ex 32:4-35). God's jealousy is really the basis of the greatest commandment:

Mark 12:30: And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

Cheers
Leigh

Saved7
Jul 20th 2008, 08:03 PM
Please be patient with me, as I do not come from a very religious background and I have only in recent months began to read the Bible, so I am still quite ignorant when it comes to scripture.

But somethings I have read in the Old Testament have made me wonder. I have always seen God as being absolutedly perfect, and I still believe he is, even if I can't imagine what that would be like. However, why does God say several times in the Old Testament that he is a jealous God?

Also, I remember God planning to do something to punish the children of Israel. But (if I remember correctly), Moses persuaded God not to. Would God have been doing this to test Moses as when he told Abraham to kill his son?


Yes, God is a jealous God, but with the kind of jealousy a parent has for their children.
As a mother I know this jealousy well, I've put much time and love into raising my daughter, and when I see people who are bad for her to be around, who could lead her into a life that would destroy her, I become very protective and demand that she stop hanging around those people. When I see her grandparents manipulating her mind and heart and trying to lead her in a bad direction, away from me, I become very angry and refuse to allow them to see her.
The same thing applies to God's jealousy, we are His...He paid a heavy price for us, and loves us so much that all He wants is a good life and heavenly eternity with Him. So when He see's us going astray, He becomes jealous for us, in order to protect our souls and keep us in Him.:)

Rhyfelwr
Jul 20th 2008, 08:20 PM
Thanks for that post Saved7, that makes more sense to me than the kind of envious jealousy I was perhaps thinking more along the lines of.

Saved7
Jul 22nd 2008, 01:13 AM
Well, I understand where you are coming from. When I first became a christian, I had a ton of questions and only a few people to ask. And I really didn't care for their answers, so needless to say, I spent probably the first 5 or 6 years still asking God this question. One day He gave me the understanding that I sought.:pp

When it comes to the burning questions that you have and no one can really seem to answer it in a way that makes sense to you, just keep asking God and be patient in waiting for the answer. This is how God has taught me much, I have had many questions over the years that no one was really able to answer to my satisfaction....but because I never let go of those questions (truely sought God's face), the Lord was faithful to answer.:saint: Sure sometimes, it may take years before He shows me, but it's better than walking around with a false doctrine (which you will know because it won't sit well in your spirit), or even a very surfacey type of answer that doesn't really fully answer the question.

Just keep seeking Him, and He will teach you in all truth and glorify Christ.:saint: John 16:13-14

Tanya~
Jul 22nd 2008, 07:03 PM
Thanks for that post Saved7, that makes more sense to me than the kind of envious jealousy I was perhaps thinking more along the lines of.

Right, the jealousy of God is not envy for what belongs to others or what others have or can do. The jealousy of God is for what rightfully belongs to Him and to Him exclusively.