I heard that Oprah Winfrey’s problem with God, as the Bible defines him, began with her interpretation of what Deuteronomy 6:15 means. It says, “For the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and he will wipe you off the face of the earth.” Oprah thought “God is jealous of me?” She thought God being jealous of her was a petty attribute to have for God so she stopped believing in God.
Jealous usually brings up a negative meaning. If jealous, as it is used here, means what we tend to think most of the time I would say she’s right in her assessment. Here’s what I think. God wants the best for us, and if he is what’s best for us maybe he isn’t jealous “Of” us but rather he’s jealous “For” us. Maybe he only wants what is best for us so when he sees us, like the Children of Israel in days gone by, putting our faith, trust, love and energy into an idol he is saddened because we are settling for a lesser love. He is jealous for us to have and serve him because he knows he is what we really need.
In 2 Corinthians Paul uses the same type of language. He says, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” Paul also knew that Christ is what is best for them and longed for them to see it too. He wanted them to stay unblemished by worldly distractions and other loves. Paul didn’t want them to be led into a life that was less than what Christ died to give them.
My hope is that you will come to see that God is jealous for you to have all that he has for you. He isn’t jealous of your other loves he simply doesn’t want to see us settle for less than the best; which is found only in his son Jesus Christ. As for Oprah I would like to see her come to realize Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by him.
Written by Louie