Qanna (kan-naw): Jealous God
So stay alert. Don’t for a minute forget the covenant which God, your God, made with you. And don’t take up with any carved images, no forms of any kind—God, your God, issued clear commands on that. God, your God, is not to be trifled with —
He is a consuming fire, a jealous God.Deuteronomy 4:23-24
Jealous is defined as:
- feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
- feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship.
- fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions.
I believe that when most of us hear the word “jealous” we cringe. When I think of jealousy I think of the first two definitions. In my imagination I see someone who morphs into the green-eyed monster, a hulk like figure, bursting with anger at the thought of another person’s success. I think of someone who is not happy when something good happens to someone else or someone who is not trusting in an intimate relationship.
So I ask myself…
How can God be jealous?
“Our God is a jealous God, desiring our praise to be for Him alone. El Qanna is about the marriage relationship between Yahweh and us. His jealousy is not out of selfishness, but a passionate love saying, “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”. It is because of His burning love for us that His jealousy is so great.
This is our El Qanna: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Give Him your whole heart today, and all of the glory! Amen.”
As I read these words I couldn’t help but remember the story found in the book of Hosea. Hosea was a prophet, instructed by God to marry a promiscuous woman named Gomer. Hosea loved her with an unending love and pursued her even when she chose to leave him. This hurtful love story, filled with betrayal and infidelity, is a reflection of our relationship with God.
He is relentless in His pursuit of us. His love for us burns as a consuming fire. Even when we chose to put our relationship with Him on the back-burner, even when we chose to love other things or people more than Him, even when we chose to trust in ourselves or our own abilities instead of Him.
God is jealous for you and for me. He is fiercely protective over His relationship with us. He is protective to the point of death on the cross.
My thoughts have changed. My heart is changing. When I hear God is jealous for me, I will see love hanging on the cross. I will see a love that is relentless in His pursuit of me.
I will not let the world’s definition of jealousy alter my view of God.
Thank you Jesus for your jealous love for me. Thank you for loving me to the cross. Thank you Jesus!
Note: If you want to learn more about the story of Hosea check out our book review on Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.