God is Still a Jealous God

Jealous_HeartToday’s post is a revealing story of the heart. With the upcoming Sunday being Easter and all about the resurrection of Christ, it is perfect timing to check our hearts. Numbers 16 is about Korah and his 250 followers who rebelled against God. There was jealousy and conspiracy from Korah and his 250 followers (incense burners) against Moses and Aaron because they were discontent with what God had given them. They had a special ministry to minster to the people of Israel given by God as their service to Him. Yet, they were jealous of Aaron and the priesthood. Moses had to remind them that they were rebelling against God, not him and Aaron.

Numbers 16:8-11 – “8Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! 9Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near Him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?10Korah, He has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? 11The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against. For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”

Deep Thought
Deep Thought

We do have to choose carefully who and what we follow. We will be held accountable for our choices. When Moses asked Dothan and Abiram to come to him during the confrontation, they refused. They were still stuck on being removed from Egypt, the land flowing with milk and honey. They were not content with God’s timing for entering the Promised Land and as seen, their hearts were revealed in the rebellion of Korah. They looked back and desired what they used to have (check Lot’s wife, the pillar of salt). They showed contempt for what God had for them and their future.

Numbers 16:12-14 – “12Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied. “We refuse to come before you! 13Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? 14What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men? We will not come.”

Take note, we may be willing to follow something or someone but your heart will be revealed in the matter. Check your motivation for the things you do. Are you following truth? Or, are you following someone or something to justify your own ulterior motives. Remember, God knows the heart and He has not stopped revealing the truth so we can truly know ourselves.

In that, Moses was a human being, though called and anointed by God for his service to Him. Moses was angry with the Kohathites but unlike times before, he did not intercede for them before God this time. Korah and his followers were then told to present themselves before God the following morning with the appropriate preparation. In coming before the Lord, God’s anger toward the people was major and He was prepared to kill them all. This time, Moses and Aaron interceded again for the people. This confrontation was the Lord confirming Korah’s (and his followers) contempt for Him by doing something new; the ground opening up and swallowing the entire clans of Korah, Dothan and Abiram because He had mercy on the other Israelites who were not a part of this rebellion. The initial 250 followers, the incense burners, were burned up in the fire that followed the ground opening up because they had sinned with Korah in rebellion against the Lord. Because they were holy to the Lord as incense burners, their remains were used as a reminder to the other Israelites.

Jealous God_Chan quoteCheck this. Can you believe after such a day, the Israelites were still complaining the following morning? Yet again, Moses and Aaron interceded before God’s anger was released in full force but not before another 14,700 Israelites were killed by a plague. Listen, this was the Old Testament and since then, God has shown His love for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, reconciling us to Himself. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t still want your love and devotion to Him. We are still accountable to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will reveal your hearts to you. What does your heart to say to God? Do you make Him jealous?

Envy…The Danger Zone

Envy…a very dangerous place to be

Envy_3Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by another’s better fortune. This definition includes jealousy, bitterness, animosity or covetousness. Of course, I have to go here and give you several of the Scriptures that speak to this because it is one of the Ten Commandments. “Thou shall not covet.” Envy is a condition of the heart and I do believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, had to put it in writing for us. Because it is a condition of the heart, it is a danger zone. It is part of the things that defile you. And, according to the Bible, it is a sin.

Romans 1:29 – “Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.”

Galatians 5:19-21 – “(19)When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, (21) envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort life will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The operative word here is living. It is necessary that we confront the uncomfortable areas of our sinful nature. God is love and His love for us is what changes us from these harmful ways. Now, of course, the following Scripture contrasts the way we should be living as believers.

Envy_4Galatians 5:22-23 – “ (22)But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23)gentleness and self control. There is no law against these things.”

There are quite a few Scriptures that address envy. It is a good thing to be familiar with them and when it’s time to evaluate where your heart is, you know the standard by which to do so. From a Biblical perspective, it is taken very seriously. We should also. It is an evil and destructive force that when it becomes uncontrollable will not only destroy your very life but the lives of others. It is very important to recognize the undercurrent of jealously. It doesn’t just rear its ugly head at first. Most times it can be a very subtle adversary and before you know it, it’s out of control.

Envy_1Envy leads to a multitude of other sins such as hatred. Titus speaks to this. Titus 3:3 – “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our livers were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.” We are called to drop these things; to separate ourselves from whatever separates us from Christ. We are called to examine ourselves and most of us know when we have crossed boundaries in our personal hearts. If we are walking the Word, of course, there is a check in our spirits. Once we have that check, we need to decide what we are going to do. Be obedient to Christ or continue in our own way? The choice is ours. God gave us free will and in that, desires that we give our hearts to Him.

Envy_2

It is not easy to accept when we experience such things. However, when we look to the Cross and know that Jesus died for just this reason, we will be overcomers in these situations. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. God has something special for each of us and jealousy, envy as well as other such emotions need to be checked at the door, the door to our hearts.