Remember “Qanna” our Jealous God! Exodus 34:14

Devotional by Pastor Joshua Hall; Faith Presbyterian Church, Quincy, IL; May 5, 2020

Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!

Today we will remember God’s past faithfulness as a reminder that God is still faithful to us and will always be faithful!

One of the names of God in the Bible is “Qanna” which means jealous. Now this name of God might not immediately bring you comfort, but once we understand how and why God is jealous, I think you will discover that God’s jealousy over you is a very comforting thing indeed!

We find this name of God 6 times in the Old Testament. One of those times is in Exodus 34:14. I am going to read verses 11 to 16 for context.

“Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst.You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.”

Let us pray…

Many years before, God gave Abraham a promise, he would give his descendants the land of Canaan. Canaan had been cursed because his father, Ham, had laughed at his father, Noah’s nakedness. You can read about that in Genesis 9. Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites, were now ready to inherit the land God had given to them. But God sternly warned them against becoming ensnared with the wicked inhabitants of the land. God did not want his people to learn to worship false gods from these inhabitants. God forbid marriage with these inhabitants. 

I feel the need to address an issue which often comes up when we read passages like this. How can God judge entire nations, and condemn them to death? Part of the answer to that is simple: those who repented of their pagan worship and joined in worshipping God became Israelites and inherited the land of Canaan along with the physical descendants of Abraham. We know that some of the Egyptians learned to fear God and joined the Israelites on their quest for the promised land. We learn that Rahab the harlot and her family, who were Canaanites, converted to love and serve the Lord. Rahab is an ancestor of Jesus Christ! God condemned these people groups for their abandonment of Godly worship in service of false gods. 

Consider Abraham’s pleas with God over the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. He asked God to spare the city if there were only 10 righteous in it. And God agreed. And consider the judgment of God upon the inhabitants of wicked Ninevah. When Johan finally obeyed God and pronounced judgment, that city repented in sackcloth and ashes, and God relented of the disaster he had planned for them. In declaring judgment ahead of time, God grants time for repentance.

But let us go back and consider God’s command to the Israelites and his self identification as “Qanna”, “Jealous” God. 

God warned the Israelites not to allow any pagan worshippers of false gods to dwell in their land. They were not to allow these pagans in their fellowship lest they be corrupted and turn from the one True God to worship other false gods. Often times in the Old Testament we read about this vey pattern. The Israelites under their first king, Saul, did not entirely drive out the wicked in their land, but compromised. And eventually the children of Israel followed the ways of their wicked and idolatrous neighbors and abandoned the true God for idols. It happened slowly, with lots of deception and misunderstanding. Nonetheless, it happened, and God allowed the Israelites to be overtaken by their enemies and to experience famine as a result.

Consider the book of Hosea. Hosea was a prophet. He called upon God’s people to turn from their idols and serve him alone. God had Hosea marry a prostitute to show that God had married Israel who was committing adultery by serving other gods. We lean a lot about God’s jealousy form the book of Hosea. I encourage you to read through it if you haven’t in a while.

Here is where we learn that God’s jealousy toward us is a very good thing. God wants us. He wants our whole hearts. He wants all our devotion, our complete love, he wants us to be committed to him alone. Not because he is a slave driver, nor so that he can lord it over us, but because he loves us! 

God loves you and me like a husband his precious bride! He wants us to be in love with him, to walk with him, to love and serve him, and not to turn to other loves! God is a jealous God! He is jealous of the affections of your heart because he loves you!

Beloved, when I think about how much God loves me, I do not want to disappoint him! I want to experience more of his love for me! And I want to love him more! Do you want to love God more? Do you want to experience more of God’s love? Then run to him! Run to him by setting aside time to pray. Run to him by spending time each day reading the Bible. Run to him by asking him to give you a deep knowledge of his love for you. Run to him by asking him to fill you with love for him! 

Beloved, all you need is found in Jesus Christ. All the love you need to feel whole and accepted is found in Jesus Christ. All the love you need to love God and one another is also found in Jesus Christ. Run to Jesus. Run to him when you feel like it, run to him when you don’t! Run to him in the morning, and the afternoon, and the evening! Run to him on Sunday and on every other day of the week! Run to him with your whole heart! For he loves you and longs to give you what is best!

Let us pray!

Amen!


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