A Jealous God

But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)…    Exodus 34:13-14 (NKJ)

What takes your time? And your money? If you collect spoons, thimbles, whatever, or have an all-consuming “hobby,” time and money are usually related – and spent. Do you serve on the PTA with a passion really enjoying the committee work but then decide to skip church to prepare for one more meeting? Do you prowl the stores looking for that latest “collectible” piece to add to your ever-growing collection and then aren’t able to put anything in when the plate is passed on Sunday? Are you passionate about taking your boat out every weekend, including Sundays, since you “deserve it” after working hard all week?

In my case, I was obsessed with my yard. Front yard, back yard, all around the house. I designed a patio, ordered plants, bought load after load of potting soil, top soil, sand, pea gravel, whatever came in a bag for the outdoors got delivered to my house. Every weekend was spent outside, digging, cutting, planting; a holiday was that much better – more time, more time. All my energy (and money) was going into what would not last, not in this time and certainly not in the time to come. I was always searching for just the right statuary, the perfect bird feeder, the cutest little bench. You get the idea. And the Lord was going, Ahem. Where were my time and my money going? Certainly not where they should have been. A little care and lawn maintenance is fine, but too much of anything is just… too much.

The Lord our God is a jealous God. He wants our time and attention, and He wants them both focused on Him. He told us that in the Ten Commandments. Matter of fact, having no other “gods” before Him is the first of the Ten Commandments, right up there at the top. That makes it of great importance to God, as it should be to us. Several times in the Old Testament, God had to remind the Israelites of this fact in order to get them back on track.

The next time you buy that doll for your collection, or contemplate adding a media room to your home, or decide to go for that complete cactus-look in your front yard, look for the Lord in all that you’re doing. Are you giving Him equal (at least) time (and money) in your life? Are you doing it for His glory or for yours?

Lord, help us to seek You in all that we do. We love You, Lord, and realize You want our focus to be fixed on You. May it continually be so in our life. Amen.