Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014 “A Universe of Beaches”

“You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” (Exodus 34:14)

Good Morning My Friends!

OK, I’m not ashamed to admit it. I am really glad it’s football season again. I enjoy the game, especially college football. On any given Saturday, the biggest underdog can upset a heavily-favored team, much to the lasting thrill of their usually beleaguered, but nonetheless faithful, fan base. Every team seeks bragging rights. Every team has one goal in mind…to win and ultimately be declared the #1 team in the nation. This year that title will be earned on the field of play as a new playoff system has been established to that end. There’s room at the top for only one team, and just one team alone will hoist the champion’s trophy. Other teams may feel they are equally as deserving of the honor, but that distinction is reserved for the single prevailing team at the end of the season, and they will jealously defend that title and that honor against all those claiming otherwise. There’s only room at the top for one.

Normally, the trait of jealousy is thought of with some degree of negativity, even bordering on the sin of covetousness. In the example I just sighted, lesser teams may be jealous of the title won by their opponent, wishing it were theirs instead. On the other hand, the winning team will jealously and rightfully declare that they are the most deserving of that distinction through their prevailing performance on the football field.  For the lesser teams, jealousy is a futile, negative trait. For the winning team, jealousy for that which they have accomplished is a positive trait.

In Exodus 34:14, God says his very name is “Jealous”…a God who is jealous about his relationship with (us).” In fact, this is a restatement of the very first commandment, You shall have no other gods before me.”, and then expanding on this, God says, “for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.”  Does God say this out of arrogance? Of course not! Just as there is room for only one champion at the end of the football season, (and I realize I am drawing a comparison between something rather mundane with that which is sacred), there is only room for one God, for there is only One deserving of worship, honor, glory, praise, obedience, and adoration.

When as Christians, we come to understand God’s love for us, we also come to grasp the reason for God’s jealousy regarding our worship of no other. Not only is God most deserving, (which is certainly reason enough for our adoration), He is also most loving and desires the very best for us…that which is found in a right relationship with us. How much does He love us? I like this description of love in the book “The Princess Bride”, by William Goldman…  “If your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.”

  Yes, God’s very name is “Jealous”, for he is jealous concerning his relationship with us. He is the One who loves us like no other. Though our love for him be as a grain of sand, his for us is a “universe of beaches”. He was, is, and ever shall be number one! Let’s pray!

O God, whose very name is Jealous; I desire no other above You in my heart. I yearn for no other lesser “god” in my life. You alone are worthy. You alone are deserving of all I have to give, for You alone are God. I praise Your Name forevermore. Amen!

 

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