INTRODUCTIONIn the Bible, jealousy, similar to anger, is closely associated to a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 29:20; Psalm 79:5; Ezekiel 36:5; Ezekiel 38:19). As man provokes the Lord to jealousy, the Lord responds with judgment. At times, that judgment may be the consumption of the one who provoked the Lord. At other times, that consumption may be directed toward the very thing that the man put before the Lord. Either way, God’s jealousy is a consuming fire (Zephaniah 1:18; Zephaniah 3:8). In one biblical instance, the zeal of a man named Phinehas stopped the consuming fire of God’s jealousy (Numbers 25:11). Men should wisely seek the Lord today in hopes of delaying the fire of God’s wrath and anger upon their nations and homes.
- (For children): In many Old Testament stories, God's jealousy was aroused and judgment came by fire (Numbers 11:1-2). Future judgment on earth will be with fire (2 Peter 3:10) and final judgment for the unsaved will also be with fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
- (For everyone): We live in an age that highlights the grace of God. Should this cause us to forget or even deny the importance of the fear of the Lord? How could His jealousy be the downfall of a nation? What should we do as a nation to avoid the inevitability of this approaching fire?
- How can God be a God of love and jealousy at the same time? How do the two work together?
- Ask God to open the eyes of those in national leadership.
- Ask God to strengthen your desire to stay His hand of judgment.