One recurring objection that non-Christians keep bringing up is the issue of God’s jealousy. The Bible clearly teaches that jealousy is a sin. Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” (1 Corinthians 3:3). In fact, the tenth of The Ten Commandments is “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your
neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or
anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17). So, The Bible is clear that coveting or being jealous of someone is a sin.
However, The Bible also tells us that God is jealous. When God was giving The Ten Commandments to Moses, He said to him “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,” (Exodus 20:2-5).
Yet we are also told that God is sinless. For example, Deuteronomy 32:4 says “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” We’re told that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16) and that love “does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
This appears to lead us to conclude that either The Bible contradicts itself and is therefore not inerrant, or else that God is a sinner. What are we to make of this? Does The Bible contradict itself? Is God a sinner?
the Israelites would worship idols. Worship is something that is
rightfully His. God is the greatest conceivable being, and as such, only
He is rightfully deserving of worship.
with people as like that of a husband and wife. The Christian church is called
the bride of Christ (see passages like Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation
19:7-9). Given this, it’s understandable why God was so angry with the
Israelites whenever they would go to worship statues. Imagine if you came home
and found your wife making love to another man. Or imagine this; that not only
is she making love to another man, but this man isn’t even real! She’s making
love to a mannequin instead! And instead of spending time with you, she spends
all her time with this mannequin and never pays you any attention at all!
That’s analogous to God’s situation with the Israelites’ idolatry. God’s jealousy makes as much sense as a man’s jealousy when his wife is having an affair.
are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for
you created all things, and by your will they were created and have
their being.” (Revelation 4:11). Not only is God worthy of worship
because He is the greatest conceivable being, but this verse in
Revelation seems to suggest that another reason why God is a worthy
object of worship is because it is only because of Him that everything
and everyone exists. The reason you’re alive is because God chose to
create you. He created you, and He created you for the purpose of a
relationship with Him (Colossians 1:16), which The Bible says is an
“everlasting joy beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:16), in a place
that is better to spend one day than one thousand anywhere else (Psalm
84:10). This should lead you to a sense of gratitude. This should lead
you to fall on your knees and praise Him!