Provoking Israel to Jealousy Juleon Akana
Jealousy. What exactly are we to do with it and how is it painted on the canvas of how we are to reach the lost? Many still do not comprehend how to function in this role. First, we must look at the word to understand its origin. Jealousy comes from the Greek verb zeo, meaning to burn in spirit, boil as water, or to become ardently passionate about someone or committed to something. From the Hebrew, El Kanna, this is the same word used for the jealousy God feels for His chosen people. Adonai uses this same perpetual emotion to excite zeal in the house of Israel through the Gentiles. Kinah is a similar word in the Tanakh and has identical undertones of being set ablaze with a fervent desire to possess. In short, the jealousy of God is two-fold. The Gentiles’ zeal for the Lord reignites Israel’s fire on the altar. Thereby provoking Israel’s teshuva or to return to Him in perfect repentance.
The second commandment specifically declares what moves God to jealousy and whyIsrael should not bow down to worship false gods constructed from that which God alone has created. However, the jealousy of God comes through His love for humankind. God’s jealousy is pure, thus mirroring the seventh commandment, “Do not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
Within Jewish thought, God’s jealousy is comparable to the imagery of a lover who is protective of his bride. From this we are reminded that God is telling Israel of their marriage together. He is loyal in his eternal covenants and expects no less loyalty from her and we would expect the same from our spouses.
Read the full article here: November ’22 Issue 15