“Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments…” (Deut. 5:9,10).
Much has been said in the debate about whether God is a God of love or a God Who is sadistic and cruel. People outside of the Body of Christ (and some within) struggle to understand “how we can serve a God Who judges?” The answer can be found within this passage of Scripture.
Verse 9 speaks of God being a jealous God and punishing those who are disobedient to His commands and “hate” Him. The word ‘jealous’ used here is often misunderstood to have a negative connotation. However, when viewed in light of God’s nature and His expectations from those who are in an exclusive, covenantal relationship with Him, the true meaning is brought forth. In this sense, God’s jealousy describes His powerful commitment to and His love for His people. It is the Biblical example which sets the foundation for the imagery of an exclusive marital relationship. Therefore, it is offensive to God for His people to place anything before Him and in His rightful place. This is what causes us to incur the anger of God.
(…to be continued…)