Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Holy Jealousy

“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace…” (James 4:4-6, NKJV)

Abraham pondered the situation. He was now 140 years old, and his wife Sarah had died. Their only son Isaac was forty…and single. Where would Abraham find a worthy wife for him among the Canaanites? He concluded that the best course was to send his trusted servant Eliezer back to his people in Mesopotamia. It seemed like mission impossible, but if God was in it, then Eliezer would bring back a good wife for Isaac. Through a chain of miraculous events the servant found Rebekah and brought her home to his master’s son. And she comforted Isaac after his mother’s death.

This is far more than a beautiful love story. It foreshadows the work of the Father in wedding us to Christ. As Abraham sent Eliezer, the Father has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to gather a bride for His Son. The Spirit speaks of Christ’s attractive attributes. He draws our hearts in love to forsake all in order to pledge ourselves eternally to Jesus. When we agree He delights to deliver us to our Lord.

But what if later we are attracted by the allurements of this world? What if our pure devotion to Jesus is no longer enough and we start turning to other things? In this case the Holy Spirit who dwells within yearns jealously. He becomes jealous for our affection, not for Himself, but for Jesus. We must remember that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of holiness. It is His job to keep us dedicated to Christ. When we allow this world to penetrate our hearts so that we become its friend, then we are compromised. The Spirit yearns jealously over us to restore our purity, virtue and devotion. But Jesus gives more grace. Why? Because it is His grace and goodness that leads us to repentance. He knows that this world is a deception. It makes great boasts but delivers little. When sin has left us dirty, empty and ashamed, Jesus pours out His abundant life upon us and makes us treasures of His grace!

May God help us to take these things to heart. May we never resist the Spirit in keeping us holy for our Bridegroom. At times His voice may be stern, but His intention is always golden!

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