How would you feel if you were dating someone you had been unwaveringly devoted to for a long time, only to have them cheat on you? Though it’s an age-old story, the response is nearly always the same – anger, hurt, and jealousy. It was one side of this scenario that the Israelites found themselves on when they were unfaithful to Yahweh, the God who saw them, knew them and called them by name. Though He had always taken care of them and miraculously delivered them from the hands of their oppressors on many occasions, they chose to bow down to Baal and Asherah poles. Jealous of their affection, the Lord allowed the Midianites to move into their land, and before long, they were in hiding. So strong and vicious were the invading warriors that the Jews spent seven years hunkered down in the hills of their own country trying to avoid them. Ever-faithful, the Lord devised a plan of rescue, but because He was envious of the love and affection of His chosen ones, they were forced to endure a time of testing.
My friend, though God sees you through the lens of His Son Jesus and will not punish you, He is jealous of your affection. He loves you passionately and delights in being your heart’s greatest desire. The One who parted the waters, killed a giant with a pebble, and raised Lazarus from the dead wants to be first in your life so you, too, can be a conduit of His miracle-working power. The Lord your Maker pursues you, embraces you, and adores you. As you put Him first in all things and live with an undivided heart, there’s no telling what He can accomplish through your surrendered life!