And then he said, and the lord thy god is a jealous god. And I was, you know, caught up in the rapture of that moment until he said “jealous.” And something struck me. And I was like, I think about 27 or 28. I was thinking God is all, God is omnipresent, God is – and God’s also jealous? God is jealous of me?
And something about that didn’t feel right in my spirit because I believe that God is love and that god is in all things.
Oprah turned from her childhood faith to a new age faith in God because she could not believe that a God of love could be a jealous God.
On the surface, the Bible would seem to contradict itself.
1 Corinthians 13:4 (NASB)
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
Exodus 20:5 (ESV)
5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
So if God is love and love is not jealous, how can God be a jealous God? This tripped up Oprah and it's easy to understand how.
When I am jealous, I am jealous because I am not getting what I want. I may think I love the person or thing I am jealous of but the reality is that I'm hurt because I don't have what I want or don't feel I'm receiving the feelings I have in return. As the bible says in 1 Corinthians, this is not love.
When God is jealous he is jealous of our actions. He is jealous of our choice to choose other gods instead of Him. This jealousy is not from self-pity or insecurity but out of love for us and wanting the best for us.
Those that want to believe that God is all love and therefore cannot be a jealous God, want to believe this because they don't want a God that will judge and hate their actions, whatever those actions might be. "I can live whatever lifestyle I want because God loves me and wants me to be happy."
God does want us to be happy but God understands that only he can bring you true happiness. This is why all the other commandments are based on the greatest commandment:
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (ESV)
4 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
I am joyful that my God is a jealous God that wants me to love Him with all my heart, soul and might. I am joyful because I know God is jealous when I turn from Him because He loves me with all His heart, soul and might. He loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me even though I pursued "other things" above Him.