In the Easy Peasy curriculum, I tell the young children that envy means jealousy. That’s how we use these words, interchangeably like that.
However, God is jealous; but He is not envious. What’s the difference? Jealousy is when you want back what should be yours, or what you think should be yours. Envy is wanting what belongs to someone else.
God is jealous when His children are joining themselves to someone/something other than Himself. How does that happen to His children?
It’s what happened with the golden calf. They didn’t say, “Forget that God, here’s a new one.”
No, they said, “Here is your god.”
They called the golden calf “Lord.” They called it Yahweh.
That’s how you end up with parables about people who are surprised that God isn’t letting them into heaven, surprised at Jesus saying He doesn’t even know them.
They are surprised. They had been worshiping “god.” They had been saying they were worshiping the Lord.
They were deceived. They had made up their own image of who/what God was. That was what they were worshiping, not the one true, holy and just God. Instead of wanting to be conformed to the image of Christ, they want a god conformed to their image.
They want a god who accepts what they accept and rejects what they reject and forgives whatever they do without asking for repentance from them.
Their god is in their own image, which is just worshiping self, not God. That’s the antichrist spirit again, wanting to be God.
Of course, they don’t think of it that way. They are saying they are worshiping the Lord. They call their image God. But they are deceived.
But God is a jealous God. He wants them back, those He created to be His own. His consuming fire will burn to try to remove the lies and blinders.
His burning jealousy is just one more aspect of His love for us. Yes, fire is a fearsome thing, but it’s also a warm and cozy thing.
Which type of fire do you want to stand before?