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(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
God is jealous for his holy name; and rightly so, because there is none like him. He is the creator and sustainer of all life. God’s jealousy is not envy for that which belongs to another; this is sin. God’s jealousy is a zeal for that which is rightfully his; this is NOT sin. God’s holy name (a description of his character) was proclaimed to Moses when he asked to see God’s glory.
Exodus 34:5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
The jealousy of God for his holy name is enshrined in the first three commandments.
Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to 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; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Leviticus 22:32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,
Deuteronomy 5:9 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,
Deuteronomy 6:15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Israel, his chosen people, went astray from him and profaned his name.
Deuteronomy 32:16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
Deuteronomy 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities...
1 Kings 14:22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.
Psalms 78:58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
As a consequence, Israel was removed from the land and scattered amongst the nations. God, however, has not forgotten them. For his holy name’s sake he is jealous for the people he has chosen.
Ezekiel 36:20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. 21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. 22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
They have gone back into the land in unbelief and are to suffer another siege and desolation as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and Zechariah 12 to 14.
At this point Christ will return to save Israel and restore them to the land.
Ezekiel 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
Ezekiel 39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
Joel 2:18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
Nahum 1:2 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
Zechariah 1:14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
The kingdom of God will be established. Christ will judge and rule with righteousness and God’s name will be known throughout the earth.
Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Zechariah 8:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
Those who believe the gospel and are baptised into Christ must be careful not to bring God’s name into disrepute with their words or deeds.
1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Paul speaks of his Godly jealousy:
2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Jealous and zealous are the same word in the Hebrew.
It is possible to be zealous for God and yet be astray from him due to a lack of understanding. The Jews who opposed the apostles’ teaching were in this situation.
Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
We are to worship God in sincerity and truth and avoid bringing his name into disrepute. We must therefore be careful that we understand the apostles’ gospel and doctrines as recorded in the scriptures.
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I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,