God Wants Us To Be Content in Him Alone
“Jealousy is the rage of a man.” (Proverbs 6:34a)
“I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 5:9b)
When the Bible talks about jealousy, it means envy, discontentment, being mad about someone else’s “good luck,” and, even a hatred against that other person. Have you ever discovered that you were jealous of someone? Maybe there was something you wanted and did not get get, but your friend did get that thing. How did you feel? Maybe you know people who are very popular, or very good looking, or very talented in sports, or very rich. And maybe sometimes you wish you could be like them. We live in a world where it is easy for us to be jealous. Commercials on television make us want to have whatever they are advertising. When people show off what they have, it makes us feel left out.
Remember, there is no such thing as “good luck,” and God does not play favorites with people. The Bible says that “no good thing will [God] withhold from” the person who walks uprightly (trusting and obeying Him). We start to think we deserve to have whatever we want, instead of being content with what God has been good to give us. When we start to feel like that, we need to remember that, if God has withheld something from us that we want, and we are trusting and obeying Him, then that thing that looks so good to us must not be the best thing for us to have.
Why is it wrong for us to be jealous? We were all created by God, and we could never earn any of the good things He has done for us or given to us. When we complain, or when we long for something God has not decided to give to us, it is basically saying that we are not grateful for His wisdom and His timing and His gifts. When we are discontent, we are not glorifying God. When we desire more things, or when we seek to get other people’s approval of us, or when we want anything other than God and His good gifts, then we are showing that we do not trust God. We are showing we do not trust that He knows what He is doing in the way He takes care of us. We are showing that we want more than God, and that God is not enough for us.
It is wrong for us to be jealous. But did you know that it is right for God to be jealous? He is the only One Who has any right to expect to own anything He wants. He is the only One Who has earned honor and approval and adoration. He is the only One Who deserves our worship and attention. When God spoke about being a “jealous God,” He was revealing that He wants our complete loyalty. He does not want us to trust in things or people. He does not want to share attention. He wants for us to desire Him more than we desire money or talents or anything else.
One of the very first stories told in the Bible is a story about how jealous Cain was of his brother Abel. Cain was not happy when God rejected Cain’s offering, but accepted an offering that Abel gave Him. Really, though, Cain had given the wrong kind of offering, against God’s instructions. But Cain was mad. The jealousy that developed in Cain turned into a rage, and Cain ended up killing his brother Abel. This was the first murder ever, and it was caused because of jealousy! (Genesis 4:3-8)
Do not let yourself become jealous. God wants you to be content and thankful for what He has given you. He is jealous for His glory, and He wants you to know that He loves you and will take care of you according to what He knows is the best way, not just the way you think is best. Are you content with the circumstances and friends and abilities that God has decided to give you? Are you content with God? He wants you to be content in Him and Him alone. Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Philippians 4:11b says “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
Jealous for His own glory, God wants us to be content in Him alone.
» Do I view God as the Giver of good things?
» Do I view God as wise in His timing and choice of gifts?
» Am I trusting and obeying and finding my happiness in God alone?