Jealous God

Artist mixing paints on palette, jealous god creates too

This article is part of a series looking at the Oxymoronic names of God and how understanding them helps us live as Christians in a fallen world. Please click here to read the introductory article and to find links to other articles in the series.

Imagine you’re an artist, and you’ve spent the last few years completing your masterpiece. You’re delighted with it, it is your best work, and as you gaze at it, you know the countless hours you spent on it were worth it.
Your friend, a gallery curator, visits, and you show them the painting. They agree it is your finest work and are eager to show it in their gallery.
On the exhibition’s opening night, you wander the showrooms looking at the other paintings on display. Your piece has been given pride of place, and it is the best artwork in the gallery.
As the visitors pour in, you notice them gasp with delight as they look upon your work. No one knows that you are the artist, so you edge a little closer to the party discussing your work to hear what they think.
“It’s incredible!”
“I love it.”
“… but surely it can’t have been painted by this unknown artist, we’d have seen their work before.”
“I think it’s one of the master artists playing a prank on us; they’re displaying thier work under an alias.”
“… or perhaps this upstart painter discovered this piece and wants everyone to think it’s their own work.”
As you stand there listening to them, emotions overwhelm you. Why does no one believe an unknown artist could have produced this painting? You simply want to be recognised for your creative work.

Does a jealous God feel like this?

Consider now that you’re a musician and you’re in love. You write a song for your boyfriend and invite him to your house, where you have a grand piano, to play it for him.
As you sing it to him, you see that he loves it. His eyes fill with tears, and he is enraptured. Your boyfriend asks you to play it over and over before pulling out his phone and asking if he may record it.
“Of course”, you agree.
Once he’s captured the song on his device, he thanks you profusely and tells you that he will listen to the music every day. He anticipates a lifetime of pleasure listening to it.
He leaves shortly after, and as the front door clicks shut, you can’t help feeling that the evening didn’t go as planned. You wanted him to love you, not the song.

Does a jealous God feel like this too?

To return to the Oxymoronic God series of articles, please click here.

DislocatedChristians exists to create and support a community of like-minded people. My prayer is that you’ll find some echoes of your dilemmas with church and culture in these pieces, and it will encourage you to know others have the same struggles. Please like, comment on or share my articles if you’ve found them helpful. I’d be immensely grateful if you could follow me; click towards the bottom of the page.

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Just as we are each a work in progress, so too is DislocatedChristians. Sometimes I’ll get things wrong, and I hope you’ll forgive me and continue to stick around when that happens.

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