Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jealous Lover

Jealous Lover
Nov 8, 2010
James 4:5 ". . . he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us . . ."

The full Scripture for James 4:5 reads, "Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?" The interpretation of James 4:5 is said to be one of the most difficult verses in the Bible to make clear. It is difficult for two reasons: 1. No one can confirm which other Scripture to which James is making a reference. 2. No one knows for certain what the reference to "spirit" means (it could possibly mean Holy Spirit). In light of not claiming to have the most definitive answer, I will interpret this Scripture in light of the entire Bible. It will paint a picture for you to consider God in a possible different color, Dark Green.

James is a very distinct writer, and he kept a very consistent theme throughout his words. Since James never mentions the Holy Spirit in his letter but only refers to what is inside a man, "spirit" probably does not actually mean Holy Spirit. "Spirit" in this verse represents the human spirit, or more accurately, what God put in us when He created us--a spirit of free will. That is what differentiates us from the angels; we have a free will. We can choose to love God or not. We can choose to serve God or not. This is what God wants, what God longs for, for us to choose Him. God put in us a free will, so when we do worship Him, it is voluntary, of our own accord. We are not forced to do it but we worship Him because we want to, because we choose to. Our worship, then, to God is far sweeter than when a perfect angel worships Him. God wants this; God desires this.

In fact, God wants this so badly, our free will worship, that Scripture uses words like envious, longing, jealousy, and even....adulterous. That's right, God wants our love and affection so badly that He is likened to a jealous lover. And when we choose not to love Him, or worship Him, we are committing adultery. WOW. What a picture so opposite of Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." God isn't mad at you, He is jealous for your affection. God doesn't want to destroy you, He wants to woo you. But the Bible states very clearly that you must decide. You must make a choice. If your actions don't choose God, you are in adultery and His jealousy turns Him into something similar to resembling a green eyed monster. Read the Scripture preceding James 4:5. It says directly that our actions are adulterous if we like anything about this world. And it further says that we become enemies of God if we love anything other than Him.

While God created everything, if we love something more than Him, it is wrong. It is adultery. If we love our career more than Him, we are in adultery. If we love our children more than we love Him, we are in adultery. If we are even friends with this world, we are in adultery. At least that's how God sees it. If it sounds harsh, I'm sorry, but that is the depth of how God feels. God is in love with you and every time you choose something else over Him He gets jealous. He longs for you so deeply and so passionately that when you don't choose Him, His deep feelings are wounded so badly, as when a spouse strays with another sexual partner. It is that intense for God. Almost the entire book of Hosea is dedicated to this analogy.

You know this feeling, too, of jealousy. You've been jealous a time or two and remember how intensely it can burn inside of you. So, while sometimes my actions are not perfect, I would rather offend this world greatly than make my True Lover jealous.

Since James didn't specifically say which Scripture he was referencing, I've included some options for your consideration. Read them for yourself and learn of God's jealously for your affection.

1. What have you chosen lately over God?
2. Does the world consider you its friend or is your Christianity slightly offensive to it?
3. How can you be in this world, but not of it, thereby keeping your lover from becoming jealous?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Ex 20:5, Ex 34:14, Deut 4:24, Deut 6:15, Deut 30:15-19, Josh 24:15, 1 Kings 14:22, Zeph 3:8, Zech 8:2, Lk 6:46, Jn 15:19, Jn 17:16, 1 Cor 10:22, 1 Tim 6:12-14, Rev 22:12-17

No comments: