When we hear the word jealous we usually think of a negative like being envious of someone’s achievements, success, property, relationships, position, etc. Wanting what they have. Or not wanting them to have whatever they have. We were taught that jealousy is evil and it can be. But in studying the word of God we see that there are always two sides; righteous and unrighteous. We also know that when something describes God it can never be unrighteous. Just for a minute can we look at another definition of jealous, only because it describes a Holy Creator.
In Exodus 34:14 God told Moses“For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord WHOSE NAME is Jealous, is a jealous God. Jealous is His name, and His name describes Him or who He is. This definition that describes God is different. And anything that describes a Holy God remains righteous because He can never change. This is how we know that there are two forms of jealousy; righteous jealousy, and unrighteous jealousy.
The dictionary’s definition of righteous jealousy is 1. To be fiercely protective. 2. To be vigilant of one’s right or possession. The original Greek definition says 1.To be jealous of any rival. Consider the first two commandments as you look at this definition. You shall have no other gods before Me, and you shall not carve, bow down, nor worship anything calling it god, If you do then I consider that hate for Me. Anything that competes with God the Creator in your life is His rivalry. 2. Vehemently (means showing strong feelings; forcefully passionately, or intensely) contending (means competing) for a thing. And that thing would be us. 3. Zealous for a thing. God is extremely jealous of us. He didn’t hide how He felt because it wasn’t sinful; He told us Himself.
Righteous jealousy is always you being in your rights. And it is God’s right to be jealous of anyone or anything that keeps us, His creation, from a relationship with Him and from serving and worshiping Him. He has the right to be jealous of anyone who takes His place in guiding and instructing us on any and everything in our lives. It is His right to fight against whoever and whatever they are. And it is His right to fight against you if you have other gods that you serve as He considers that as having hate for Him, and that means we are being unfaithful to Him. In Exodus 20:4-6 God says He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Him.
Every one of us belongs to God. He breathes His breath into Adam’s (the first human) lifeless dirt body, and Adam became a living being Gen 2:7. It began with His one breath in one man and that breath continues to give life to every single person born on this earth. God has a right to fight. He has a right to be jealous. For it is His breath that keeps sustaining each of us every day of our lives and we must be grateful. He can choose to fight in any way and form when He is jealous, and He will remain righteous, holy, and just, and no debate will ever be able to change that truth. We belong to God, and we can choose to give Him that honor so that He will not have to experience righteous jealousy.