“I the LORD your God am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:5)

Talk of the divine jealousy can project an idolatrous representation of God as a magisterial figure with a considerable sense of his own dignity, one whose self-love is easily wounded; or it can suggest that God is jealous like a willful child, seeking to possess and control the whole world.

But God’s jealousy is not such.

The jealousy of God is precisely the energy of the will with which God directs himself in all his works and ways towards us. The jealousy of the triune God is his purposiveness. It is his refusal to negotiate away the creature’s good by allowing the creature itself to set the terms on which it will live. Certainly, God’s jealousy is his fierce opposition to all that thwarts his will.

As the jealous God, God overcomes, and none may stand in his path.

~ John Webster, Holiness


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