For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. – Exodus 34:14 KJV
I don’t mean to be irreverent with my title, but I want you to be able to have something to remember this by. I want you to think of being at some sort of conference or convention and everybody has a blue name tag on their left lapel with, “Hello, my name is…” written on it. Remember, when you’d take a sharpie and you fill out your name on those tags? Well, today I want to preach, with the help of the Lord, “Hello, my name is Jealous.”
The Bible says that our God’s name is Jealous. He is a jealous God.
In fact, he is so jealous that one of his proper names is Jealous. Now, I know that as believers and as Apostolics that that we prefer some of the other names of God:
• Jehovah Jireh
• Alpha and Omega. We prefer the beginning and the ending.
• Everlasting King
• The only wise God
We love certainly these and other names of God. But Exodus chapter 34:14 gives our God the proper name of jealous with a capital J. I know that makes some of you cringe a little bit this morning. I realize that just to put those words together is a little cringy to declare openly and publicly that God is a jealous God. It just makes us feel a little bit uncomfortable. But I assure you that I’m in the Bible this morning.
This word, jealous, has very negative connotations. It’s an ugly word.
It’s not a typical compliment to make of somebody else. It’s not something that is nice, typically, to say of somebody else that they are jealous. We don’t use this phrase when it comes to lifting up someone, edifying them, or patting them on the back. We don’t say, “Man, brother (or sister), you are such a jealous person.”
That’s not standard protocol. That’s not typical.
Over the years, I have been asked to write many letters of recommendation for character references, college applications, and a lot of other situations throughout my time in ministry. People come in and ask if I can write a letter so that they could get entrance into a college, a vocational program, a job that they desire.
They ask me, “Pastor, could you write a letter to this person or organization and let them how wonderful I am.” I have written maybe hundreds of letters over the years and I have waxed eloquent (or tried to) as I try to embellish their experiences and character.
I never lie, of course, but it’s fact that, with the right words, you can turn somebody’s experience in cleaning hotel rooms into them becoming a sanitation engineer.
So, if you want me to lie so you can get a certain job or get into a specific college program, don’t come to me, please.
But, you know, in all of the recommendation letters I have written over the years, I have never recommended someone for their jealousy.
I have never written, “This is an exceptional girl and I think her vast and varied experience in this field make her the perfect candidate for your position. She is such a jealous person…”
I’ve never written, “This guy is so bright, brilliant, and astute. And, as a bonus, he is such a jealous person. It’s wonderful.”
I’ve never written that because we don’t see jealousy as a positive trait or attribute. In fact, if it was not for the perfect clarity and consistency of the Scripture, we would be very hesitant and reluctant to ascribe jealousy to a God who is holy, righteous, and perfect.
But we don’t have to say it about him because He says it repeatedly about Himself:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above. Or that is in the earth beneath. Or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God. – Exodus 20:3-5
For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire. Even a jealous God. Deuteronomy 5, 9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them. For I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God. – Deuteronomy 4:24
For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you. – Deuteronomy 6:15
And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord, for he is an holy God. He is a jealous God. Nahum just makes it clear. God is jealous. – Joshua 24:19
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I was zealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. – Zechariah 8:2
When we talk about God being a jealous God, we are not talking about some petty human carnal attribute. When we talk about God being a jealous God, it is not the jealousy that we’re so accustomed to in a negative sense. It’s not the jealousy that we fight sometimes amongst ourselves and in our own minds.
It’s not the green-eyed monster that comes out when we see brother So-and-So drive up in a new Porsche and we wish we had one.
I’m not talking about that kind of jealousy, but I want to be clear that he is still a jealous God.
God makes it very clear in His Word that He does not tolerate other suitors really well. God is not interested in playing second fiddle to anybody else. God is not interested in being a part-time God in your life. God is not interested in being a side gig that you do on the side of everything else.
God is not interested in sharing your affection with another God. He is not interested in divided loyalty. He wants everything for himself. God says, “I gave my life for you and I want you, in return, to give your life to me. But I don’t want just a portion, just a percentage, or just a fraction.”
God’s not looking for a piece of the pie. He’s not looking for a few moments of your time, but God is a jealous God. He says, “I want all of you. Your heart. Your mind. Your soul. Your love. Your worship. Your praise. Your attention. I want your affections. I want all of you.”
God is not interested in you serving him just on Sundays and Wednesdays. God is not interested in being your weekend fling. God is not interested in having you on a part-time basis. But God says, “I want all of you, all of the time.”
No matter what level of spirituality we have achieved, no matter how Christ-like we are, in order to live victoriously and please God, we are called upon to submit our wills and our lives totally and hold nothing back from Him.
If we’re going to live victoriously, if we’re going to live the life that God intended, planned, and purposed for us to live, we have to yield ourselves to His Lordship.
We have to submit ourselves to His divine will. We have to offer ourselves, the Bible describes, as “a living sacrifice.” As somebody willing to climb up onto an altar and say, “God, I belong to you. I’m yours.” You’re not just throwing a hand up there. You’re not just throwing a leg up there. You’re not just throwing up a part of your heart up there.
But you’re laying on the altar and saying, “I will offer myself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in your sight, and it’s my reasonable service. It’s nothing extraordinary, but I want you to be the Lord of my life. That means I give you everything I am, and I give you everything I can be, because you’re a jealous God, and you want my all today.”
You have to yield yourself to his Lordship. You have to yield and submit your will and subordinate it to his will. That means, in clear English, you have to be able to say, “Not my will but Your will be done. Not my desires, but Your desires. Not my purpose, but Your purpose.”
Oh, this sounds easy, but it’s a little harder when it comes to the practical application in our lives.
Even those who have been serving God for decades to truly be able to say, God, it is not about what I desire. It’s not about what I want. But what do you desire? What pleases you? What honors you? I give myself to you because you’re a jealous God. God, I want you to reign in my heart. I want you to rule in my spirit.
Calling Him Savior is easy. Calling him Lord is an entirely different matter. To call Him Lord is to, again, submit and subordinate all of our desires, all of our will into His Hand and into His plan.
Only in the full and complete surrender of my life. Only in the full, complete surrender of my future, my possessions, my talents, my treasure, my thinking, my worship, and my affections. Only when I give everything to Him that I truly will be able to live for Him the way I need to and the way He wants me to.
God wants my all! He’s a jealous God. It’s the God in heaven who says, “I loved you enough to save you and redeem you and give you my all. But now what I expect and what I want from you is that you would love me enough to give your whole life to me.”
Individually, we are sons and daughters of the most high God. but collectively we are the bride of Christ. We are His bride. He is the groom or, the husbandman, in Biblical parlance and language. Like any bridegroom, Jesus Christ expects to have all of our love. He expects to have all of our devotion, not just a part and not just a portion.
Can you imagine a bride and groom who partially committed to one another in their wedding vows?
Can you imagine a bride standing at the altar as she says, “I am going mostly to love you all of my life. I’m willing to be your partner in life at least on a part time basis. Most days I’m going to be true to you.”
What about a groom who tells his lovely bride, “I’ll honor you and be true to you as long as I shall live for 75 to 80 percent of the time.
Can you imagine this?
I’m sure you’d agree that this is not a marriage but some sort of arrangement. There’s something wrong with this picture.
God is our bridegroom. We are the bride of Christ. And like that groom, God is not not going to be happy with partial affection.
God is not going to be happy even with most of our love. He is not going to be happy with us saying or living, “I’ll be faithful to you on the weekends, Lord.” No, no, no.
But rather, God’s expectation is that as we, as His bride, will lay everything else aside and say to Him only that we will be true.
God expects that because God is a jealous God. He wants and desires our complete and total devotion.
God is not going to approve those who sit on the fence and try to please him and please other gods at the same time.
God’s not interested in somebody coming on Sunday morning and saying, “Well, I’m going to worship you and praise you in this altar on Sunday morning, but tonight or Monday morning or Friday night, I’m going to go worship at the altar of carnality.”
“I’ll be here on Sunday night, Lord, and I’m going to give you everything I have on Sunday night. But Friday night, I have other idols and other gods and other desires that I want to fulfill.”
God is not interested in that. Rather, He commands us to give Him our all.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. – Deuteronomy 6:5
God is looking at us this morning and saying, “I want your all. I don’t want part of your devotion. I want all of your devotion. I don’t want a portion of your commitment. I want all of your commitment. I don’t want part of your love. I want all of your love.”
When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
Here, Jesus has crossed the Sea of Galilee and has a large crowd of people who have followed after them. I know the way that I probably look when I’m hungry. Some of you know how you look when you’re hungry. Maybe not just hungry, but hangry. I hope nobody’s hangry this morning.
But he looks at a boatload of people and sees that they’re hungry and there is no In-N-Out anywhere. There’s no Costco within driving distance. Uber Eats has not been developed yet. There’s just a bunch of hungry people here and they’re there to hear him.
They’re here to be healed by Him. The Bible says, “There’s about 5,000 men, besides women and children. So, possibly, and for the sake of this message, there’s about 20,000 hungry people. Americans have between 1-7 kids so we’ll give them two kids per couple.”
There’s about 20,000 people that are gathered. 20, 000 people and only one mama packed a lunch.
That’s some bad odds. That’s not good planning.
Maybe Jesus was a long-winded preacher. I don’t know what the problem was. But only one mama packed a lunch, apparently.
There’s five barley loaves and two skinny sardines. That’s not enough for any of us and that’s all that they have.
In John 6, the Bible describes Andrew asking Jesus, “What are these among so many?”
I can imaging Andrew asking, “One, two –. Any other fish, kid? You have any fish sticks? Is there any, anything else in that bag? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5. 5 Hawaiian sweet rolls and 2 skinny sardines. What are they among so many?”
Let’s just be real. It wouldn’t have mattered if mama had packed 50 loaves and a whale.
It’s 20, 000 people. It’s 20, 000 people. That boy’s lunch was never going be enough to feed everyone.
But the amount of what that little boy had was not what was going to determine the miracle that Jesus had in mind to take place.
It was never about the amount of food that could be packed into a little brown paper bag.
It was never about how many loaves of bread that were in that Superman tin lunch box that the little boy carried that day.
It was never about the number or size of the fish that were in his lunch that day.
But what was going to determine the miracle was whether that boy was willing to take everything he had and give it all to Jesus.
It was never about what it was or how much there was. Rather, it was only an ever about his willingness to give it all to Jesus.
Would he give it all and place it in the hands of Jesus?
You know, the Lord could have very easily looked at that meager lunch and said, “I don’t want this kid to start crying. It’s kind of bad for my ministry for me to ask him, in front of 20, 000 people, to give me all of his lunch. Maybe, kid, you can just give me one piece of bread and half of a sardine.”
It would not have taken Jesus any more power to feed 20,000 people with one piece of bread and half a sardine. The Lord would not have had to really stretch Himself thin to start the miracle with a little bit less than everything the kid had.
Listen, when you’re feeding 20,000 people in the desert miraculously, four extra pieces of bread and another fish is not going to be much help at all.
But the Lord was saying this, “If you want to see My power, if you want to see what I can do, if you want Me to demonstrate what I’m able to do in this situation, then you’re going to have to give Me everything that you have and you’re going to have to put it all in My hands. Only when you do this can I do what only I can do.”
If you’re wanting to see God move in your life, if you’re wanting to see God work in your life…
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Truth Tabernacle or a seasoned saint that’s been here for 40 years, I want to tell us simply this:
If we want to see the hand of God working and moving in our life, we have to take everything we have and, in faith, give it completely and totally to God.
If there are miracles that we need to see happen in our world…
If our life is in desperate need of the supernatural…
Then we have to take everything we have, whatever it might be, and you must give it over to God, trusting Him completely.
God is a jealous God and he does not want us to hold back anything from him. But he says, “Give it all to Me and then I’ll show you what I can do.”
There’s no limit to what God can do in our world. There’s no limit to what God can do in our finances. There’s no limit to what God can do in our families. There’s no limit to what God can do in our lives when we just turn over everything to him.
There’s only two fish. There’s only five barley loaves. Jesus didn’t say, “Oh no, man, but what’s wrong with you mamas? What’s wrong with you guys? Why don’t you plan better?” He didn’t look at it and say, “it’s insufficient. It’s not enough.”
But he also didn’t say, “Just give me a part of it.” Rather, He said, “Bring it to me and give it all to me. Put it all in my hands. You need a miracle? You’ve got to give me everything you’ve got. You want to see the supernatural at work in your life? Hand it all over to me.”
Let me tell you, the only requirement for blessing and the unleashing of God’s miraculous power in your life is when you and I, in faith, we take all that we have and, even though it seems insubstantial and meager and insufficient and not nearly enough to meet whatever need that we have in our lives, when we say, “God, everything I have, I’m placing it squarely, firmly, willingly, and by faith, in Your hands. I want to see what you can do.”
As long as we’re holding on to what we have and aren’t surrendering it to God, He can’t do anything with it. As long as our hearts and our arms are wrapped around it and we are declaring, “It’s mine, only mine, and I’m going to do what I want to do with this.”
When we do this, God is really on the sideline, and He is hindered. Doubt is God’s kryptonite, if you will.
It is only doubt that makes God say, “I can’t do anything in this case.”
A God who can do it all is stymied, hindered, and brought to a screeching halt, even in His own will, when we have doubt and unbelief in our hearts.
The Bible declares in the gospels that, when Jesus would go to certain towns, He could not do many works there (Matthew 13:58). Why? It wasn’t because He was weak or because He ran out of gas or juice. Rather, it was because of their unbelief.
On the other hand, when we have faith, we willingly say, “Okay, God, I’m going to hand it all to You. I’m going to put everything in your hand. You’re a jealous God. You want it all. You don’t want just a part. You don’t want just a portion. You don’t want just a piece. It’s not a part-time deal for you. You want my all, God.”
God is asking us to put it all in His hands. He says, “I’ve got plans for you that you have not even thought of or considered.”
He says, “I’ve got answers for your life that you have never even considered or dreamed of. There are things that I can do for you that have never even crossed your mind.”
But, to see this level of blessing and favor of God in your life, you have to let go and literally let God.
The question is never about the quantity. Rather, the question is always, “Will we surrender it all to Him? Will we give it all into his hands?”
God is not worried about our supply. God is only waiting on our surrender.
God is not worried about how much we’re going to bring to him.
God is only waiting for us to surrender everything that we do have and say, “I give it all to you.”
God is wanting all of our trust. God is wanting all of our confidence.
He’s a jealous God.
God is wanting all of our faith.
God is wanting all of our devotion.
Some of us have been holding on to our doubts. Some of us have been holding on to our fears. Some of us have been holding on to our uncertainties. Some of us have been holding on to our pain.
For some of us, it’s our worry, our anxiety, our resentment, our past.
But God is asking us, “Would you give me everything you have?”
I know, when you look at that fear, trouble, depression, suicidal idea, it doesn’t look like a lot.
But our jealous God still wants all of us. He still wants all of you and He wants you to offer it all to Him.
God knows you’ve just come with a pitiful sack lunch. He knows you’re counting five little pieces of bread and two skinny sardines. But He also knows that He has basketfuls of blessings that He wants to give you.
You might be saying…
• “I don’t have anything to offer God.”
• “My goodness, this is meager. This is barely going to be enough to get me by.”
• “…Just until tomorrow…”
You’re looking into that sack of lunch and recognizing you don’t have great things to offer God.
But God’s not needing or interested in all of the great things you have to give Him.
What God is interested in that you give Him everything you have because he’s a jealous God.
He says, “I want all your devotion. I want all your love. I want all your worship. I want all your praise. If you’ll give it all to Me, if you’ll, by faith, put it all in My hands, if you’ll trust me enough to place it all in My Hands, I’ve got so much supply and so many miracles to give you. I’ve got so many blessings to provide for you. I can feed 20,000 people and you’ll have leftovers for days, but you must put it in My hands.”
You need change. You need transformation. But you’re looking and you’re saying, “All I have is this little bit of depression, a little bit of addiction, a little anxiety. I don’t have much to offer you, God.”
But God is saying, “I tell you what, cast your cares upon me, for I care for you. Come and put your burden down at my feet. Come and offer yourself to me. I’ll do something great in your life. I’ll do something wonderful in your world.”