by Ava Pennington

Ava Pennington

In the process of writing Reflections on the Names of God, I enjoyed exploring so many familiar names and attributes of our awesome God. But as I continued to dig deeper into His names and attributes, I came across several that were difficult to understand. For example, Exodus 34:14 tells us one of God’s names is Jealous because He is a jealous God. Saying God is jealous sounds strange, doesn’t it?

Jealousy is a powerful emotion. It can devastate relationships and destroy lives. So why would the eternal, sovereign, almighty God name Himself jealous?

When God says He is a jealous God, He is not saying He is jealous of us or of something we have. He is also not saying He is fearful of losing His position in our lives, the way a person might be possessive in a human relationship. Instead, He is saying He is jealous for us. We are so precious to God that He wants His highest and best for us, which can only be found when He is first in our lives. He knows that when we love anyone or anything else more than Him, we harm ourselves and damage our relationship with Him. God is jealous for our sake!

Exploring God’s names and attributes—including the not-so-familiar ones—helps me appreciate who God says He is and cultivates greater intimacy with Him. And that’s why I wrote Reflections on the Names of God: 180 Devotions to Know God More Fully.

How Can God Be Jealous?

In the process of writing Reflections on the Names of God, I enjoyed exploring so many familiar names and attributes of our awesome God. But as I continued to dig deeper into His names and attributes, I came across several that were difficult to understand. For example, Exodus 34:14 tells us one of God’s names is Jealous because He is a jealous God. Saying God is jealous sounds strange, doesn’t it?

Jealousy is a powerful emotion. It can devastate relationships and destroy lives. So why would the eternal, sovereign, almighty God name Himself jealous?

When God says He is a jealous God, He is not saying He is jealous of us or of something we have. He is also not saying He is fearful of losing His position in our lives, the way a person might be possessive in a human relationship. Instead, He is saying He is jealous for us. We are so precious to God that He wants His highest and best for us, which can only be found when He is first in our lives. He knows that when we love anyone or anything else more than Him, we harm ourselves and damage our relationship with Him. God is jealous for our sake!

Exploring God’s names and attributes—including the not-so-familiar ones—helps me appreciate who God says He is and cultivates greater intimacy with Him. And that’s why I wrote Reflections on the Names of God: 180 Devotions to Know God More Fully.

Reflections on the Names of God

Ava Pennington is an author, speaker, freelance editor, and certified writing and speaking coach. She also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. Ava is the author of Reflections on the Names of God: 180 Devotions to Know God More Fully (Revell Books), a gift book edition of her one-year devotional. Three devotions for each of 60 names and attributes explore who God is, how this changes us, and how this changes our relationships. Visit www.AvaPennington.com to learn more.

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