Tempted By The Fruits of Another
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;“ Exodus 20:5
I have many stories I can share about being jealous of another, but I will share one that I remember quite well. I was in the 9th grade and dating Rebekah for the second time in our offbeat love story. She had broken up with me the year before because of my unkindness, but she gave me a second chance which I thought I would not squander. It was the week prior to Valentine's Day and she attended a Valentine's banquet at her church that Saturday. When she came back to school on Monday, something did not seem right. She was not her usual self and I asked her what was wrong, but I was not quite prepared for the answer she gave.
She wrote me a note between classes telling me she had met someone at the banquet, and she was confused about our relationship. I suppose that a handsome guy will always confuse a teenage heart. She stated she was torn between staying with me or exploring the possibilities of a new love. Needless to say, I was heartbroken and angry, and I felt as though she had ripped my heart out of my chest and was holding it in her hand while she decided what to do with it.
I knew what her answer should be, and I could not understand how she could consider someone else. She finally chose me later in the week (lucky me), and we lived to date another day. A month went by and we were scheduled to go to a youth activity at a skating rink where this young man would be. I was a bit nervous of where her heart would go, but she promised she was my girl. We arrived at the rink, and I got a full look of her Valentine crush. I was hoping for an ugly guy, but I was in for a big surprise.
He was tall and handsome, and he had dimples for days. I was short, a little chubby, and clearly outmatched. I instantly became jealous and tried to find things about myself that were better than him, but that was a fruitless expedition. I never admitted this out loud, but I wondered why Rebekah would even choose me when Prince Charming waited in the portal. I remained jealous of that guy for many years, and even into our marriage when we saw him from a distance at an ASU spring football game. It is amazing to me now that I was still jealous over this guy when Rebekah had already committed to me.
God’s jealousy is not like ours. His jealousy is not one that is brought on because of His inferiority of another, because that is never the case. He requires all of us, every part. We cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in Christianity. We would not tolerate our spouse bringing another marriage partner into our home, so how would a holy God allow us to place other things before Him? Matthew 6:33a states,“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;” We are to seek Him first in all things, and anything we put before Him is considered idolatry and is sin. God will not tolerate us pursuing other gods.
Where are you today friend? Have you placed other gods before the One true God? On what do you spend most of your time? On what or with whom are your thoughts fixated? Have you fallen head over heels for the world? Have you forgotten your first love? May we always be true to our God, and may we never forget the love He has for us.
Stay in the fight!