INTRODUCTIONGod is a jealous God, yet that jealousy is only manifested when men provoke the Lord because of their unfaithfulness. Men can provoke the Lord through various means, but ultimately, they all unite in the fact that they place something or someone else ahead of the Lord. The Lord does not want the leftovers of man’s time, love, money, and strength (Malachi 1:7-9). Instead, He wants the first and greatest of man’s possessions. Anything less is idolatrous and offensive to the God who gave man everything he has. Each man must make a daily evaluation of his life to insure that he is doing nothing to provoke the Lord to jealousy.
- (For children): Joshua challenged the people to serve God alone. Sadly, they and the people after them did not keep their commitment but instead provoked God to judgment (Judges 3:5-7; Jeremiah 1:16; Jeremiah 2:27; Ezra 5:12; 2 Chronicles 36:15-20).
- (For everyone): Have you ever provoked the Lord to jealousy? How did you do this? Who or what did you put ahead of the Lord? Have you repented of this sin?
- What are some things that men commonly place ahead of the Lord? What might the Lord do in order to solve this problem? How can you avoid His chastening?
- Thank the Lord for His grace and mercy.
- Ask God to help you live for Him and Him alone.