A Jealous God

Feb 8, 2013
Akron, Ohio
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 11:08 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Give God the Glory.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Corinthians 10 (NIV).

Taken from “Participants with Demons”: Under the Cloud

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

The Israelites were miraculously delivered by God from physical slavery in Egypt, and they were on their way to the Promised Land. They were under a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. These were symbols of God’s divine power, protection and guidance. God appointed Moses to be their leader. He was their mediator between them and God. And, they were to follow his leadership. God provided for them and blessed them in many ways, both physically and spiritually. Christ Jesus, God the Son, existed always. He is our creator. He was with God the Father from the beginning. So, Christ was with them, and he provided for them physical and spiritual nourishment for their bodies and souls.

The same God, who physically delivered the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, has provided spiritual deliverance from slavery to sin for us via Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for our sins. Through faith in Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior, we have the hope and promise of eternal life with God in glory (our Promised Land). We are on our way to heaven. Jesus Christ is now our mediator between us and the Father, and we are to follow his leadership (See Lu. 9:23-25; Jn. 10). We have been given the Holy Spirit within us as a seal of that promise of eternal life with God. The Holy Spirit serves to convict of sin, counsel, lead, guide, teach us all things, intercede for us in prayer, empower and equip us to do God’s will in service to him; protect us spiritually, comfort and encourage us, nurture us, and to live out Christ’s life through us as we cooperate fully with his work.

Examples for Us

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

We read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And, we read in Hebrews 4:12-13: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

In other words, the whole of scripture is for our benefit. It is not just a collection of historical events, stories, liturgy, poetry, prophecy and Biblical instruction in godly living. There is something that can be learned in principle from even the Old Testament books, because the people then were people just like us, who experienced many of the same things we still experience today. Our culture may be different, and our relationship with God under the New Covenant is somewhat different from that of the Old Covenant relationship God had with his people, yet God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! His word, too, is alive, and God still speaks to our hearts, so he can speak to us even through these stories of the Israelites’ trek to the Promised Land, because there are many parallels between their relationship with God and our relationship with Christ today.

Even though God provided for them all that they needed physically and spiritually, still many of them turned against him and his appointed leadership, they went their own way, and they refused to repent time and time again, so God was not pleased with most of them. And, even though God’s grace has provided us with all we need to live godly and holy lives in this present world, many of us have sinned against him or are presently involved in willful acts of sinful rebellion against God. And, God is not pleased. He is still a jealous God! We were promised to one husband – Jesus Christ. So, we should no longer run after “other lovers,” i.e. after the “gods” of this world. We should not participate in immorality and wickedness in any shape or form – either in physical or mental participation, or in giving approval to such things through allowing ourselves to be entertained by the sins of others.

No Temptation

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Jesus Christ set us free from slavery to sin, so we should not live in sin any longer. His grace is not a license to continue in sin! His grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and wickedness. It slays the sinner; it does not entertain him or placate his sin. When we come to true faith in Jesus Christ, we die to our old lives of living for self and sin; we are crucified with Christ so that “I” no longer live, but Christ now lives in me and through me. We are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin and toward God, like being changed from a caterpillar into a butterfly. We put off that old body of flesh, and we put on our new selves, “created to be like Christ in true righteousness and holiness” (See Eph. 4:17-24). So, God has provided the way out for us so that we don’t have to give in to the temptations to sin that come into our lives. He settled the issue of sin at Calvary. He is greater than any temptation we might face, and he has given us all we need to resist the devil and to flee temptation, so don’t believe the lie that says you can’t help it.

The Lord’s Jealousy

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

We are to flee (bolt from; run away from) idolatry in its various forms. An idol can be a hero, an obsession; something admired and loved to excess, or something that is worshiped as a god. Worship involves loyalty, commitment, faithfulness, fidelity, a vow (pledge), dedication, steadfastness, devotion, love, reverence, respect, honor and/or adoration. So, what do we worship? What gets our heart, time, energies, devotion, commitment, and faithfulness, etc.? What are we passionate about? What stirs us emotionally? What is uppermost on our minds when we arise in the morning and when we go to bed at night? What do we feel we could not live without? There are many things that could be our idols, such as vehicles, houses, possessions, “toys,” games, entertainment, careers, people, etc. Basically, whatever gets our hearts, passion, desires, thoughts, time, etc. has the potential of becoming an idol, especially if it is “worshiped” over and above God/Jesus Christ.

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we participate in his death – in his body and blood – through death to our old lives of sin. And, we participate in his resurrection through being transformed in heart and mind and putting on our new selves in Christ Jesus. We, as believers in Christ, are now the body of Christ. And, we are now in daily fellowship with him. We, thus, partake in Christ day-to-day through our times of prayer, worship, and our times of sitting at his feet, listening to him speak, and then following him in obedience and surrender to his will, as well as just through having his Spirit living within us. So, when we follow after the idols of men instead of following our Lord Jesus, in submission to his will, it is like breaking faith. We can’t be in fellowship with the world of sin and with the Lord Jesus at the same time. We can’t fill our minds with the trash of this world and then expect to enter into times of sweet fellowship with our Lord. The two don’t mix.

God is calling his church to come out from the world of sin, to no longer partake in its delicacies, and to put on the full armor of God with which to fight off the devil’s schemes against us. He has called us to be a holy people, committed to him. He is a jealous God! He does not want to share us with other lovers. So, if you are eating and drinking at the table of demons through idolatry, sexual immorality, greed, gossip and the like, I pray that you will turn from your sins, and that you will make the Lord your only God today.

Give God the Glory / An Original Work

Based off Psalm 19 / March 10, 2014

All of creation now proclaims:
“Give God the glory; honor His name!”
Each day the stars in heav’n above
Show forth His wisdom; tell of His love.

They do not speak. They have no voice.
Yet, they declare we have a choice:
“Worship the God of heav’n above;
Believe in Jesus; trust in His love.”

God’s word is perfect, just and good,
Refreshing souls who trust in the Lord;
Makes wise the simple; radiant -
Lighting our lives with God’s righteousness.

Joy to the heart His words now speak;
Pure and enduring, now we seek.
They are more precious than our gold;
Sweeter than honey; never grow old.

Keeping the word brings great reward.
By the word Jesus speaks and He warns,
Convicting hearts of all their sin;
Forgiving all who call upon Him.

Praying You keep me, Lord, from sins.
May they not rule my life again.
Then will I walk in all Your ways,
Following Jesus all of my days.