“Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity on his people” (Joel 2.18 ESV).
Several emotions get a bad wrap but none more than jealousy. Like almost everything, there is a holy and an unholy expression of it. Christians are so quick to label things as inherently good or bad without realizing that it is the intent filling it that makes it so. Judas gave Jesus a Kiss of Death, yet Paul exhorts Believers to give each other a Holy Kiss (Luke 22.48 & 2 Corn. 13.12). A kiss is not inherently good or bad, but how we use it is. One kiss expresses betrayal and deception and the other expresses loyalty and love. There is one unshakeable truth: God is ALWAYS holy. So if God is holy, there must be a holy expression of jealousy. Jealousy can be ignited by “envy” or “zeal.” Since God is the Creator of everything, we know that God’s jealousy means He is zealous for His people, not envious. In the Book of Joel, God’s people are being crushed by those around them–a result of their unfaithfulness–but God will redeem them with the unstoppable zeal of a father, fighting for His lost children. As Christians, we can remember that God will allow people to persecute us, but we can stand on the promise that He will fight our battles for us if we will only trust Him. He loves us and is jealous for us, and He has already claimed the ultimate victory.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14.14 NIV).