Bible Verses about Jealousy and Envy – What the Bible says about Jealousy and Envy, Godly Jealousy, & Why God is Jealous – A Jealousy Bible Study

Jealousy Bible Study – Section 2 of 2 – Bible Verses about Godly Jealousy
What does the Bible say about Godly Jealousy? (The good kind of jealousy)

Please scroll down to read Scriptures, after the discussion below

To answer this question, it is helpful to first quickly look at the meaning of Jealousy vs. Envy.
(Source of Jealousy definition and Envy definition: Merriam Webster dictionary)
Envy Definition: “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”
Jealous Definition: 1. “intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness;” 2. “hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage;” or 3. “vigilant in guarding a possession.”

The meaning of Envy is probably very clear – You want something someone else has, and you resent them for having that thing which you badly desire but do not have. Jealousy on the other hand, has two different meanings, depending on the context. Jealousy is often used interchangeably with Envy (as seen in section 1 above, as well as in definition 2b in this section). However, the other kind of jealousy, as seen in the above definitions, is different. As Psychology Today puts it, “Jealousy occurs when something we already possess (usually a special relationship) is threatened by a third person.”

Another way of looking at it is this – Envy is a painful, angry or otherwise unhappy longing for something which does not belong to you, and resenting others for having it. Jealousy on the other hand, is vigilantly guarding what already belongs to you but may be threatened in some way (but remember, even if your jealousy is justified, it is absolutely never an excuse to sin! Ask God for wisdom in dealing with this). For example, one could say: “Sam is jealous of his good reputation.” Sam is vigilantly guarding his good reputation and does not want it tarnished.

So we can see that it actually makes perfect sense for our God to be a jealous God. Please note once again that this kind of jealousy is totally different from the “bad jealousy” discussed in Section 1. God is certainly not envious, insecure, bitter or resentful. He is jealous in a protective way, in that He wants us to serve and worship Him alone, and not worship other gods. And it is totally within His right to desire this, since our service, worship and adoration rightfully belong to Him alone (Luke 4:8 – See more scriptures on this below). Amen!

To illustrate further, imagine if you are married and your spouse is cheating on you by being in a romantic relationship with another, or considering cheating on you by flirting with another or displaying “eros” love to another. How would you feel? If you truly love your spouse, would you encourage this kind of behavior? Would you be ok with this? Probably not. You would be right to be jealous for your spouse, because that specific kind of love he/she is giving another actually belongs to you. Envy on the other hand, is longing for something which does not belong to you! Now if your spouse loves another with a different kind of love – e.g. Philia or friendship love; agape or Christian love; storge or brotherly love – You will surely be very happy that your spouse is displaying great Christian virtues of love toward others.

So it is when it comes to God being jealous. God commands us to love one another, and He is absolutely delighted when we do. Dear Friends, loving others will bless us in more ways than we can imagine. However, the very specific kind of love, affection, worship and adoration that we have toward God should be reserved for God alone. Our God is intolerant of unfaithfulness, and is indeed vigilant in guarding us as His prized possessions! So God is jealous for us. Warning us against replacing God with anything else in our lives is not only for His benefit, however. It is for our benefit as well, because putting anything above God in our lives (a.k.a. idolatry) will only lead to destruction (again, God forbid!). Conversely, putting God first will bring blessings, favor, and peace! Choosing God is Choosing joy, because Obedience and Blessing go hand in hand.

Bible Verses about Godly Jealousy
Song of Solomon 8:6, ESV Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.
Exodus 20:3-5a, NLT You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.
2 Corinthians 11:2a, NIV I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy…
Luke 4:8, ESV And Jesus answered him, It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.”
Psalm 112:1, NIV Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.

Thanks for joining us in exploring What the Bible says about Jealousy, Envy, and Why God is jealous for us. Please join us next week as we explore How to Overcome Jealousy as a Christian.

Thanks for reading, Dear Friends – Have a wonderfully blessed, stress-free, productive, and joyful day!
Much Love & Blessings,
Bomi Jolly ~

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