Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 17 | Jealous
How He Loves
By John Mark McMillian
He is jealous for me,

Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,

Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden,

I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,

         And I realize just how beautiful You are,

        And how great Your affections are for me.
Early in their journey to the Promised Land, God stops Moses and the Israelites so he can provide instructions on living and worship.  He calls Moses up on a mountain and inscribes ten covenant rules on two tablets of stone.  While Moses is on the mountain, the people become impatient for his return and call on Moses’ brother, Aaron, to make an artificial god out of gold.
When God sees his people worshipping the golden idol and calling it “god,” he tells Moses, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are.  Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them.”  (Exodus 32.9-10)
That seems a little harsh.
Where does that kind of fury come from?  Why would God’s anger be so enraged that he would want to destroy his people?
God’s anger is great because his love his great.
He is the jealous Lover who goes into a rage when he finds out his beloved is having an affair.
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)
Whenever we direct our worship towards anything other than God, we become the disenchanted lover entangled in an affair outside of the relationship we were made for.
And God’s fierce anger is aroused.  His anger is fierce because his love is fierce.  And somebody has to pay.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  (Romans 5.6-8)
Father, today I realize how often I completely miss the degree to which my sins offend and anger you.  I fail to understand that your love for me is so passionate that any act of disobedience raises an equal passion of rage.   In my small mind I far too easily rationalize my offenses and don’t fully realize the penalty for sin is death.  God, thank you for your great love and not destroying me when I disobey.  Jesus, thank you for paying the price I could not pay.  Holy Spirit, empower me to begin to know, understand and embrace this passionate love.  Amen.
-Kevin Baker

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