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Love is Jealous, Love is Kind

Numbers 5:29-31
“This is the law in case of jealousy, when a wife, though under her husband’s authority, goes astray and defiles herself, or when the spirit of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife. Then he shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall carry out for her all this law. The man shall be freefrom iniquity, but the woman shall bear her iniquity.”

We can’t even begin to formulate a coherent argument for why a perfect God would accept a spirit of jealousy in a husband as a good thing until we ponder what God explicitly meant in Exodus 20, at the very outset of the Ten Commandments, when He said, “I the LORD your God am a jealous God.”

Friend, if we walk away from Numbers 5 today without a deep delight in that whisper from Heaven over our betrothed heart, “I am jealous for you,” if we misunderstand that the context for jealousy is sacred matrimony, which serves time and time again as a biblical analogy for our special bond with the LORD, then not only will we continue to wade through the shallow end of our own earthly relationships but we’ll never go deeper in our matrimony to the Almighty either.

Consider the thought that God’s love for you isn’t methodical but something He feels? Likewise, His faithfulness isn’t just an effect of His moral perfection but something He chooses? When the LORD commands, “You shall have no other gods before me … for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,” He isn’t being hotheaded. He isn’t like the spouse who slashes car tires or breaks windows or burns letters. Yes, we can sin out of jealousy; but jealousy itself is not sin. Rather, it’s the expression of the deepest bond of intimacy. How so? Because only the jealous lover can say to his beloved, “You are my only one.”

In writing all that, I’m suddenly convicted by the thought that my God has poured out an unbridled declaration of faithfulness to me from the beginning of time in the words, “I am jealous for you,” and I don’t believe I’ve ever repeated that expression of love back to Him. So that’s the resolution for today: to declare my love to God in those words, and then to demonstrate it.