God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries…
There is in man a selfishness that is Divine. It is a singular fact, in our moral constitution, that often the tenderest feelings of our nature should also be the most selfish. Love, even apparently in its highest moods, is sometimes also most exacting and difficult of satisfaction. I have known a mother most jealous of the departure of a daughter's heart to its natural home and rest. When I have seen this, I have thought of the selfishness of God. God is infinitely selfish, for we may appropriately use that term. For selfishness may be celestial, and an attribute of benevolence. We do not, indeed, think much of love that cannot, in circumstances, be jealous; such is but a cold, indifferent, impoverished affection. How can it be other than that the best natures of the universe must he most selfish? Jealousy is not necessarily an infirmity. It may be a Divine emotion. The apostle speaks of a "godly jealousy." No doubt all our love is ""infirmity. The best, what we call the most purely unselfish, has its infirmity: I call that rove of the highest which most intensely desires the well-being of its objects! this is me selfishness of love. Jealousy is a passion that depends for its character upon the fuel that gives its flame. It is the sorrowing and pitying passion which would save, if it could, from the perdition and the doom, and unable to do so, or even seeking to do so, moves all its powers, takes all the minor emotions, faculties, and casts them into the flames of its love, bidding all blue. This is the apostle's "godly jealousy." And God is jealous. Do not think of Him as beneath the influence of that passion which sometimes, as envy, spite, and malice, disturbs our rest; still think of Him as, in a lofty sense, the jealous God. There are many terms applied to Him in Scripture which seem to anthropomorphise His character. "Angry," "repenting," "foreseeing." Whenever such terms are used, think of them as steps of Divine descent. We may be sure they do represent some qualities of the Divine nature on which it is important that we should reflect, and of which we should stand in awe. The meaning of words assists to the conception of things. Jealous is the same word as zealous, and both are derived from the Greek word zeal, fire; zeal is enthusiasm — moral fire; and jealousy, — what is jealousy but love on fire? Is not this the representation we constantly have of God? I do believe in the mercy, and gentleness, and goodness of God. I do believe that He who "knows our frame" does save His children from the alienation of eternity, even when the heart has so vehemently loved in time the children of time. But then you must take the consequences here of that too vehement love. God is jealous of sin, of all aberrations from Himself. He is jealous of love, of power, of knowledge. See how He is constantly reminding man of his weakness as He incarnates his strength; and God is constantly absorbing man's knowledge, power, and love to Himself. Divine love on fire, God is jealous! There is no love where there is no fire, but let it burn with the white, not with the red heat. Imagine no evil against God from this declaration of His Book. God is jealous, His love is on fire, the Holy Spirit is love on fire, — hell is love on fire. The one by gentle persuasion entreats; the other, by forcible compulsion, guards His holy ones. Thus His fire folds inward and outward; inward to bless, outward to punish — so a calm breath of holy life, a stormy fire of doom.
Parallel VersesKJV: God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.