A Jealous and Angry God

Abrahamic (Jews, Christians and Muslims) God is described as a “Jealous God” 31 times, as an “Angry God” 238 times and “fear” word is used 455 times in the Bible, many of these citations are by the God Himself. Koran also has many stern warnings if you pray to other gods. Here, two view points presented on the Jealous God concept.

Posted by Jason: I, The Lord your God, Am A Jealous God.

Exodus 20:5 “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me…”
Exodus 34:14 “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD , whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
Deuteronomy 4:24 “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Joshua 24:19 “Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the LORD . He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.'”
Nahum 1:2 “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;…”

Oh, is he now? Well if God is a jealous God, then how do you reconcile 1 Corinthians 13:4 where it says “love…is not jealous” (NASB)? If love is not jealous, and God is jealous, then God cannot be considered loving. (See also Galatians 5:19-20 and 2 Corinthians 2:20)

Although it seems we almost always think of the word “jealous” in negative terms (i.e. We equate envy with jealousy – “She’s just jealous that I have much prettier hair than she does.”), jealousy can actually have a good, positive meaning. First, the word “jealous” is translated in the New Testament from the Greek word zelos. This is important because Paul used this same root word in a good sense to encourage his brethren to “earnestly desire (zeloo) ” [NIV] or “covet earnestly” [KJV] spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1,39). Paul himself says that there is such a thing as “godly jealousy.” Paul says in 2 Cor. 11:2 “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” What kind of jealousy was Paul talking about?

Secondly, the Bible talks a lot about how the relationship between God and his people is a spiritual marriage (One of those instances off the top of my head is how the church is said to be the “bride of Christ”). We can see that, in the sense of a love-relationship, being a jealous husband or wife is a good thing. If I had a wife, I could say I love my wife and am delighted when good things take place in her life. However, I would indeed be jealous if she decided to no longer enjoy a relationship with me and instead determined to have relations with others. That would be a proper jealousy. In fact, there would be something wrong with my professed “love” if that sort of jealousy were not present. The same is true with God and us. God knows what is best for His people and He is it. He doesn’t want us to be enamored with anything unworthy of our love, like false idols and false gods.

Like a bird that watches over her eggs and young with jealousy, preventing other birds from entering her nest, God watched over the Israelites, His chosen people, with “righteous” jealousy, unwilling to tolerate the presence of false gods among his people. In practical terms, I’m actually very comforted knowing my God is jealous-and for me! – – Jason.

Also read Jealous God-2 , Jealous God-3 and Jealous and Angry God-4.

Reply by admin:

Jason, you found very comforting knowing your God is a jealous–and for you! If your God was not “jealous” and “angry,” will you not feel comfortable?

Mahatma Gandhi spent plenty of time in Churches to learn of Christianity, but he found “love” in Lord Krishna. Is your God going to be jealous of Gandhi’s God? On the Judgment Day, what will be the fate of Gandhi? Tell me what is more important,….Gandhi’s good work (Karma) or which God he prayed?

Amongst the different Gods described, like the LORD God of Israel, the Father God, Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, Goddess Laxmi, elephant God-Ganesh, Mahavir and Buddha, tell me which of these listed Gods are “other gods” or “idols” that your God will be jealous about?

What is wrong in having liberty to pray the God as one desires? Jews feel holy in Israel and not in Saudi Arabia. Muslims pray only in the direction of the Kaaba (Black Cube) to reach to Allah, even though Allah is in all directions. Christians have little more liberty and believe in trinity, 3 forms of the God. Catholic churches are full of manly and womanly figures, photos and wooden or Golden Crosses, …..are these “idols” or “graven images?” Hindus, even they believe that there is absolutely one Supreme Reality, have liberty to express the God in what ever form one sees the God. Why (any) God wants to take away the liberty of praying Him (or Her?) the way one desires?

Instead of jealously, anger and exclusivist (there is only one God, and that is mine!) thinking, why will you not feel comfortable focusing on your Karma?

How would you interpret these jealous, angry and to fear descriptions of the God?

An interfaith couple should spent good amount of time understanding this “fear-factor” in your Abrahamic (Jews, Christians and Muslims) intended life-mate’s mind.


Other articles written by InterfaithShaadi:
Bar Mitzvah for Hindus?,
Torah on Hindus?,
Koran on Hindus?,
Bible on Hindus?,
Hindus, Abrahamics and Intolerants,
Can Allah be the Father God?,
A Jealous and Angry God,
One God, Allah?,
Idol Worshippers: Who is and Who is Not,
Circumcision: Science or Superstition? ,
Saif and Kareena: Religion and Marriage,
Religious Conversion for Marriage,
Ten Points of Interfaith Dating ,
FAQ on Interfaith Marriage,
45% of Muslims Marry outside their faith,
38% of Hindus marry Abrahamics,
Interfaith Marriages: A Message to Dharmics,
Hindu-Muslim marriages,
Hindu girl/boy, Muslim girl/boy,
Hindu-Christian Marriage,
Hindu-Jew marriages,
Meera Verses Margaret,
Marriage laws,
Follow Jesus not the church

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3 Responses to “A Jealous and Angry God”

  1. Freek Magin says:

    God is not an entity to own.
    Religion teaches a good way of life.

    Once you stop living for god and start living a Good life
    It is then you find religion.

    Love all.. Have a broad mind.. Be open.. be less interfering..
    Stop imposing your views.. Try and promote humanism and love.
    You will find life more satisfying..

  2. Nana Datar says:

    All Roads Lead to Rome

    In object drawing, an article is placed at the centre. A group of artists sit around and draw a picture of that article. It is found that everyone’s picture is different. When the article is one and the same, why should pictures be different? Simple. Every artist looks at it from a different angle. One has the view of the face, another of the side and still another, of the back. Can we say, the picture of a particular person only is correct and all other pictures are wrong?

    The story of an elephant and the blind men is well known. One blind man says, the elephant is like a pillar! The other says, he is like a rope! The third claims that the elephant is like a wall! Can we say, only one of them is correct and others are wrong?

    We see only one side of The Moon, the side illuminated by The Sun. We can never see the dark side of The Moon. Can we say that The Moon has one side only?

    In higher and higher courts of law there is always a “bench” of judges, comprising of two or more judges. Why employ more people when only one man can do the job?

    All these illustrations, and many similar others, show that –
    • A man is not destined to have a complete view of things.
    • He can have a partial view only.
    • Everyone’s view is different from another’s view.
    • Everyone is correct; but only partially.
    • Others also are correct (partially).

    We, as rational beings, must admit and practice this fact. We must never insist that “I only am correct, and all others are wrong!”

    Let us apply this thought to matters of religious faith. We find people institing that their faith only is true and those of others are wrong. Is is not like wearing tinted glasses and institing that the world has only one colour? Let us think and act as rationals. Let us grant that another man’s faith also is equally true, as is mine.

    In the modern world, people of different faiths stay in close communities. Every day they have to deal with each other in matters of business, art, sport, science, literatue, social matters, etc., etc. Every day their childern play together. Let us, therefore, develop a culture of “respesting the other man’s view,” a culture of “progress for all, with co-operation, understanding and tolerance!”

  3. Travelmate 2355nlmi Battery says:

    But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (KJV) 1 Corinthians 15:23
    [This verse reveals to us that there are successive stages of the resurrection: (1) Christ was the firstfruits; (2) there was a resurrection of some Old Testament saints at the time of Christ’s resurrection (Mt. 27:50-53); (3) There is a resurrection of those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Th. 4:13-18); (4) there is a resurrection of the unbeliever unto damnation (Jn. 5:28-29; Rev. 20:12-13).]

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