Our ideas of God are always too small. We are not dealing with a tame God, but the God of the Bible who is jealous and wrathful.
“The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.”
- Nahum 1:2
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. So glad that you have joined us today as we study the attributes of God; specifically the jealousy of God. The text of Scripture I have in mind is Nahum chapter one verse two: “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.” Probably you’ve not heard a sermon on that for quite a while.
We live in a day and age when we forget that God is a God of wrath and vengeance and jealousy. What we need to do is to understand that God did not decide what attributes He was going to have. It’s not as if God said, “You know, I’m going to be omniscient. I’m gonna be omnipotent. I’m gonna be merciful. I’m gonna be love.” God is all of these things. And think about this: whenever He acts, all of His nature acts together in harmony. And one of the aspects of God that we forget about is His vengeance and His jealousy.
You know, we’re living at a time when people want to create their own God. Someday, I’m going to expound on this in more detail, but that’s happening all the time. We have, for example, oftentimes, the Santa Claus God. God exists there to make me happy, to give me everything that I want. Maybe it’s health and wealth.
We have “the God of my sexuality.” God is supposed to approve of everything I do—because, after all, I am desire-driven. And He created me, and so it is what it is.
And so we have a cafeteria where people decide what kind of a god they really want—a god of their desires. I need to emphasize today that this is not the God of the Bible.
Oh by the way, you know why we want our own god? We want a god who agrees with us about everything. Everything we want, everything we think, we want God to come along and to approve of. That’s our God. But when God said to Moses, “I Am that I Am,” I think what He was saying is simply this: “I Am who I Am, and not who you want Me to be.”
My friend, today it is important for us to worship the true God. Because He is vengeful and wrathful and jealous. But it’s also very important that we come to Him in the right way.
You know, in the Old Testament, there’s a remarkable story in the tenth chapter of the book of Leviticus—Nadab and Abihu. They were sons of Aaron. They went in and they authorized in the temple—or I should say in the tabernacle—they offered “unauthorized fire.” Not sure exactly what that was, but God was not very happy with them. As a matter of fact, He struck them dead. Now, we might say to ourselves, “Well, they were coming to the true God. This was not an idol.” They were coming to the true God, but God says, “It isn’t enough that you come to me, the true God. You come to me in the right way.” And if you read the text, you’ll discover that they had to pull them out—pull them out of the tabernacle.
And, you know what God said, actually, to Aaron? Now, just think about this. Aaron has just lost two sons. We might think to ourselves, “This is overkill, to put it mildly. I mean, these are seminary students. They are doing an experiment. They are coming to God in their own way.” Aaron has just lost two sons, and Moses says to him, “Aaron, I don’t want you to be tearing your clothes. I don’t want you to be arguing with God about this, or you might die too.”
My friend, today, the minute we think we have God the minute we think we have God figured out, our ideas of God are always too small. Yes, we’ll speak about grace and mercy and forgiveness, and all of those wonderful attributes that we like to hear a lot about. But they only make sense when we understand that God is vengeful and wrathful, if I might use that word—and jealous. And you and I must recognize that we should hurry to Christ, the only way to the Father, to be protected from His anger, His zeal, His jealousy, and His fire.
I’m so glad for Jesus today, who spares us from the wrath to come. Let’s remember, we are not dealing with a tame God. We’re dealing with the God of the Bible, and it’s not for you and to me to make up the kind of God we’d really like to have.
So glad you have joined us today. Hope that you join us next time. And today, my friend, think about God—and go with God.