Our Jealous God
I wish I could put into words what I have increasingly felt about our nation in the past few years. I believe that when the Bible says that our God is a jealous God it is saying something far deeper than we usually realize. Our God is not only a jealous God (Exod. 20:5); His very name is Jealous (Exod. 34:14). He will share His glory with no other.
In the Old Testament, God’s jealousy was vented against idol-worship, which is a breach of the Second Commandment. Of Israel, God’s unfaithful wife who went whoring after other gods, the Lord proclaims, “I will judge you as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged” (Ezek. 16:38).
Likewise, I believe God demands from His covenant people today utter and complete faithfulness. John Calvin put it this way (Institutes, II, viii, 18):
As the purer and chaster a husband is, the more grievously he is offended when he sees his wife inclining to a rival; so the Lord, who has betrothed us to Himself in truth, declares that He burns with the hottest jealousy whenever, neglecting the purity of His holy marriage, we defile ourselves with abominable lusts, and especially when the worship of His deity, which ought to have been most carefully kept unimpaired, is transferred to another, or adulterated with some superstition; since in this way we not only violate our plighted troth, but defile the nuptial couch, by giving access to adulterers.
America today has “inclined to a rival.” We have transferred “the worship of His deity” to another – the almighty state. Uncompromising men are scarcely to be found. We love our political parties, our elected officials, our hallowed associations more than we love Him whose name is Jealous.
As long as we set up our little gods to which we must be loyal there will be the all-seeing God, burning “with the hottest jealousy.” We cannot escape this Flame of the Presence merely by going through the motions of Christianity. We must cry out with Peter, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
Lao-tze, the Chinese sage, said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.” God desires to bring our nation back into a right relationship with Him, but this requires, first and foremost, that our sins be acknowledged and forsaken. The adulterers in our midst must be exposed and our nuptial couch cleansed.
Mark my words. No liberalism with its denial of the Bible as the Word of God could ever be worse than the conservatism that equates the warfare-welfare state with biblical Christianity. Modern day conservatism is so completely destructive of true biblical Christianity that I would not for a moment even seem to equate the two.
The only solution is to renounce our harlotry with the state – to say “Yes” to the right doctrines and, without compromise, to say “No” to the wrong doctrines of statism and neo-conservatism. Otherwise, God’s jealousy will surely lead Him to judge and destroy the faithless among His people who have fallen into idolatry and sin.
September 3, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book is Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon.