What Does It Mean That God Is Jealous?

Q: The Bible says God is a “jealous God.” Wouldn’t this mean God is imperfect?

A: If a man loves his wife and knows that she is having an affair, and he’s not grieved, that would be abnormal. And this is how God means He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5).

A normal, even godly, response is to be distressed by a wandering spouse. Now the defect of jealousy is when a person is being faithful, and their spouse is constantly mistrusting them. That’s actually a kind of phobia that springs from irrational insecurity.

People are often jealous and distrustful without cause. And I’ve seen this destroy marriages and otherwise positive relationships. That is a fault—a defect in human nature. So there are two sides of the jealousy coin. On one side there’s an appropriate, normal jealousy from love and singleness of devotion. The other side is an abnormal jealousy from suspicion and fear.

In a sense, the Lord has married the church; we even take His name. And we take His name in vain when we call ourselves Christians and worship other gods. He has a right to be jealous if we decide to give our devotion to other gods after we have professed to accept Him as our husband. He wants our loyalty because we have promised it to Him through repentance and baptism.

But the other form of jealousy … where a man follows his wife around and secretly checks her mail … that’s a sickness born of mistrust.

Comments

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions or our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.


Back To Top