God’s name is Jealous.
That’s not the name that comes to mind when I sing praises to His name. I know He’s a jealous God; I’ve read the scriptures. But His name is Who He is. So jealousy is not just something He feels when I wander, but goes away when I’m faithful. He’s always jealous.
Dictionary.com defines jealousy as feelings of resentment or suspicion, but it also defines it as being “solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something.” God doesn’t have to be suspicious of me, since He knows everything I think, feel and do. And He certainly doesn’t resent me; He loves me. But I think the last definition explains His jealous character.
He’s jealous of His relationship with me. He guards it with His love, His Word, His Spirit. He always wants me to be faithful and He hates anything that turns my heart away from Him.
The Corinthian Christians lived in a pagan society where everyone worshipped some sort of false gods. Idol worship was part of everyday life. They had to figure out how to keep their hearts pure while still living among their neighbors who didn't love Him. Once they met the true God, they knew the idols were just statues, and had no significance. But they didn’t want to seem to approve of them either. Paul pointed out the evil demons behind the idols.
I’ve never had to decide whether to eat food offered to idols. But I know there are demons active in my culture too. They are behind all the things that take my heart away from God.
It’s God vs. demons.
I can’t fellowship with both. I can’t drink from the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. I need to be discriminating about what I read, what I watch, what I talk about, where I go, what I think. Sure I can do anything – I’ve been set free by Jesus. But He didn’t set me free to do things that aren’t beneficial or good for me.
He set me free to fellowship with Him. I’m glad His name is Jealous. That means He’s guarding our relationship vigilantly and keeping me free from the influence of demons.