When a second child is born into a family the first one may give evidence of jealousy. When the little one sees Mommy or Daddy holding a new brother or sister, jealousy stirs in their heart. The first child does not want any “rivals” for their parent’s affection.
Even the family dog can become jealous of an infant “intruder” who receives some of the affection and attention that was formerly theirs alone.
Jealousy is occasionally a destructive force in the family system. The older brother or sister may revert to sucking their thumb—or other activities that they left behind—as they began to grow older. They crave all of their parent’s attention and are upset when they feel threatened by the new arrival. They may misbehave and have temper tantrums to regain the lost attention.
So, sometimes jealousy is inappropriate. However, when a spouse suspects that they have a rival for their loved one’s affections, jealousy rises to defend the relationship long enjoyed. In such an instance jealousy is proper and needed. We might even suggest that if a husband is not jealous of a man threatening his marriage the husband is not acting in the appropriate manner.
It is the same with our Creator. God made us for His company first. All other relationships in life must be secondary to our relationship with the Lord. Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us that we are to love God with all our heart, might and strength.
Jesus put the matter in very strong terms when He said that if we wish to be His disciple we must “hate” our family and ourselves. Now Jesus was not condemning family love as such. Instead, He expressed the idea that service to God must be greater than our service to anyone else in the world.
When we realize that we owe our very existence to God and that He cares for us at all times and in all situations, then we can better understand why He calls for first place in our hearts.
Exodus 34:14 tells us that the very name of God is Jealous. Just as a wife or husband desires first place in their spouse’s attention, so God our Creator expects first place in our hearts and actions as well. Have you done things to rouse the jealousy of your Saviour? Have you put your family, your job, your money or other possessions ahead of the Lord?
If you have, and if you truly belong to Jesus, you will soon discover Him acting as a jealous Lover of your soul. His jealousy will not allow Him to stand aside while you give your heart to anyone or anything else above Him.
Turn back to Him now and confess once more His rightful first place in your affections and life. He will welcome you and bless you with the knowledge of His loving presence.