Tag Archives: jealousy

1 Samuel 18; 1 Chronicles 6; 1 Corinthians 4; Psalm 11

The wicked are stringing their bows
    and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.
They shoot from the shadows
   at those whose hearts are right. (Psalm 11:2, NLT)

The making of an enemy. The battleground of spiritual warfare. Warring spirits cloaked in human armor of tender flesh. It starts in the heart.

In 1 Samuel 18, I read of David and Saul. It started well. Saul really liked David. Saul’s son loved David. The people liked David.

From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home.

Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander over the men of war, an appointment that was welcomed by the people and Saul’s officers alike (1 Samuel 18:2,5, NLT).

Songs are sung about David’s greater victories. Perspective takes new light.

So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David (1 Samuel 18:9, NLT).

David plays the harp, and Saul tries to impale him. Twice. And twice, David eludes the spear.

12 Saul was then afraid of David, for the Lord was with David and had turned away from Saul (1 Samuel 18:12, NLT).

Saul offers a daughter in marriage to David, who declines from a place of humility. Saul offers another daughter with a price David could afford–but this manipulation was meant for David’s death.

24 When Saul’s men reported this back to the king, 25 he told them, “Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want.” But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight (1 Samuel 18:24-25, NLT).

Vengeance on his enemies … perhaps both the Philistines and David.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, 29 Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life (1 Samuel 18:28-29, NLT).

Enemy for the rest of his life. Hatred enduring to the end. The grip of sin embedded in a human heart. It threatens with jealousy and hatred and fear. When sin roots, nothing good will come from it.

But the Lord is in his holy Temple;
    the Lord still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely,
    examining every person on earth.
The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked.
    He hates those who love violence.
He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked,
    punishing them with scorching winds.
For the righteous Lord loves justice.
   The virtuous will see his face (Psalm 11:4-7, NLT).

The Lord watches. He examines. He reveals. He judges. I read Paul’s words and check my thoughts against them.

Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due (1 Corinthians 4:2-5, NLT).

Lord, your word highlights the cunning craftiness and deceit of sin. It takes deadly aim. I want to work with a clear conscience and pure motives. Help me to guard my heart. You care for me. Help me to purge every obstacle and sin that keeps me from following you well. Help me to steward what you have given me for your glory.

Courtney (66books365)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Genesis 35-37; Psalm 12; Mark 14

Oh, what to do with Joseph and his brothers’ betrayal? Sold out. A beautiful gift his father had given (Joseph), the dreams (he was) given by God, his siblings’ seething hatred and jealousy fully surfaced in their hearts. Money exchanged. Blood. Lies and deception. Grief. That’s just their story.

And on some level, it’s everyone’s story–hater or hated: a dream is dashed; a haughty, hateful eye seethes over a beautiful gift/talent received. In bloodline or in Christ.

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race. (Psalm 12:1-2, 7-8, NIV)

Bloodshed still, and it looks different on social streams–hatred, slander, condemnation. Strutting about, honoring what is vile. Lifeblood flows, spirits crushed. Grief.

I looked to learn from Joseph’s perseverance (which was not in my reading today!), but instead, I find the lesson at Jesus’ feet.

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Mark 14:3-11, NIV, emphasis mine)

She did what she could. And it was a beautiful thing to the Lord. She gave her best, poured out.

Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me as you do. Help me, Lord, to do what I can with the talents and responsibilities you’ve given me. And while I grieve the betrayal of blood- and Christ-line, you show me it is nothing new. You encourage me to press on with the dreams you’ve placed in me, to serve you with the talents you’ve given me, to honor you with my attitude despite condemnation and criticism from those around me–be it bloodline or in Christ. Help me, Lord, to be mindful of my heart and my words, to encourage those who run alongside me. I answer to you. I serve you.

Courtney (66books365)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 5; Psalm 88; Isaiah 33; Revelation 3

It’s hard not to imagine David Crowder singing as I think, “He is jealous for me.” I read in His commandments, again, that He is a jealous God. And His jealousy is not the kind that separates, but the one that draws close. When so much drives me at hustle speed, I slam on the brakes to grasp this. He is jealous for me.

“You must not have any other god but me.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 10 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. Deuteronomy 5:7-10, NLT

The God who rescues from slavery. Who disciplines those he loves. He lays a path to walk upon.

33 Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Deuteronomy 5:33, NLT

He is merciful. He is strong. He protects.

But Lord, be merciful to us,
    for we have waited for you.
Be our strong arm each day
    and our salvation in times of trouble.
The enemy runs at the sound of your voice.
    When you stand up, the nations flee! Isaiah 33:2-3, NLT

My foundation. A store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. My treasure.

In that day he will be your sure foundation,
    providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.
    The fear of the Lord will be your treasure.

My God who is jealous for me?!? He lays a path to walk upon. He tells me how to walk upon it.

14 The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear.
    Terror seizes the godless.
“Who can live with this devouring fire?” they cry.
    “Who can survive this all-consuming fire?”
15 Those who are honest and fair,
    who refuse to profit by fraud,
    who stay far away from bribes,
who refuse to listen to those who plot murder,
    who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong—
16 these are the ones who will dwell on high.
    The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress.
Food will be supplied to them,
    and they will have water in abundance.

 

He gives a vision.

17 Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor,
    and you will see a land that stretches into the distance.

20 Instead, you will see Zion as a place of holy festivals.
    You will see Jerusalem, a city quiet and secure.
It will be like a tent whose ropes are taut
    and whose stakes are firmly fixed.

21 The Lord will be our Mighty One.
    He will be like a wide river of protection
that no enemy can cross,
    that no enemy ship can sail upon.
22 For the Lord is our judge,
    our lawgiver, and our king.
    He will care for us and save us. Isaiah 33:17, 20-22, NLT

Jealous.

“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.

10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12 All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.

18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” Revelation 3:4-5, 8-12, 18-22, NLT, emphasis mine.

Father God, thank you for loving me so fiercely. Thank you for wanting my love.

Courtney (66books365)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized

1 Samuel 26-27; 1 Chronicles 8; Acts 18

Battlefields take surprising shapes.

18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime? 19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the Lord’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’ 20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the Lord? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?”

21 Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.”

22 “Here is your spear, O king,” David replied. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord’s anointed one. 24 Now may the Lord value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles.”

25 And Saul said to David, “Blessings on you, my son David. You will do many heroic deeds, and you will surely succeed.” Then David went away, and Saul returned home. 1 Samuel 26:18-25, NLT.

David was far from a flea–though in light of a king and 3,000 elite troops he probably felt pretty small and insignificant. But to Saul, David was a large threat: popular, successful in all he did, dwarfing Saul in victory and song. With thousands at his command, compared to David’s six hundred, who felt like the flea?

David was a warrior fighting for territory. Saul was a king fighting for his image. How did a mission get so far off track? God had given Saul authority, and Saul felt threatened by what God had given David–that David would take what Saul had as well. Suddenly, a battlefield isn’t the size of a kingdom; it’s the size of a heart.

Lord, I want to keep my eyes on you, like David did. Help me to lift up my brothers and sisters in Christ and rejoice for the gifts you’ve given them. Help me to also recognize the strengths you’ve given me, and not hide them, but use them for your glory and delight.

Courtney (66books365)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Ecclesiastes 7-9: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

I like to think about things that take my breath away: people I am absolutely in love with, nights so clear that I can see the Milky Way, sitting in the middle of a live orchestra performance when the music invites my heart to well up inside of me… What I have a hard time believing is that God shares similar emotions and thoughts towards me. Do I really bring that kind of joy to the heart of God? The answer is yes. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that God is describes himself as jealous and Paul is quick to follow:

” I am jealous for you 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.” 2 Corinthians 11:2.

Paul speaks of his godly jealousy. I like how John Addison, the English poet defines jealousy, “Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he loves entirely.” Paul’s jealousy does not come from a place of insecurity or neediness; it comes from a place of unbridled passion and love, the heart of God. It’s the kind of jealousy a man feels towards a wife who has turned away from him. They belong together in life, not apart.  I think that there is another component to godly jealousy. It’s  parental; we hate to see our children go in directions that rob them of joy and suck the life from them.

So why is it that I can so easily be distracted from following the one who loves me so fiercely? The one who has pursued me and given his life for me?

Lord I want to love you as you love me. Make me like that love song so that “I only have eyes for you.”

Klueh

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Exodus 39-40; Matthew 24:1-22

A few years ago, there was something going around about what would you say to your seventeen-year-old-self if you could go back. I had a lot of things I’d want to tell myself. But one thing is this: Be you. Be everything God made you to be; delight in him and serve him wholeheartedly. I’d say it in all seriousness, despite sounding cliche.

Today I’m standing on the sidelines and watching Bezalel weave worship into garments. His care and attention are poetic, like a song, and I feel joy. He is beautiful, even if I don’t know what he looks like.

A repeating refrain reminds at least eight times in Exodus 39: just as the Lord commanded. (Be you. Be everything God made you to be; delight in him and serve him wholeheartedly.)

A tabernacle is built, and this is a holy dwelling place, where fire lights the night for all to see.

***

I listened to a sermon by Andy Stanley on comparison this past week–and it sticks with me, even as I read today’s passages. I read of excellence in preparing a place for the Lord in Exodus–doing a God-wired job. And in Matthew’s pages, I read of persecution and hatred for being Jesus followers. That we would be hated for following Jesus, and perhaps for following his command on our lives–being whoever it is he has wired us to be. This is where jealousy and comparison come in and kill relationships. Is this such a stretch: the placement of excellence in the Old Testament, jealousy/comparison, and the reality of hatred in the New Testament? Maybe it is, but it’s what I’m trying to work out.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come. Matthew 24:9-14 NLT.

Jesus is talking about end times and physical death. Hatred is a precursor to death. I have witnessed among believers and unbelievers, the relational ruin of comparison and jealousy. One either hates another, or hates himself.

I can’t go back in time to that girl of seventeen, but I remind myself still and today, “Be you. Be everything God made you to be; delight in him and serve him wholeheartedly.” Hatred and dislike are stumbling blocks thrown on a path–why would we do this to each other? This is not love.

Endure. The Spirit of God is a light that lives inside the heart of believers. Shine in the darkest places, so that the Good News of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world. Whatever the gift, may it be used to glorify God.

Courtney (66books365)

3 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

Judges 15; Acts 19; Jeremiah 28; Mark 14

If misery loves company, I think hatred is empowered by it. It gathers force as it is fed–by pride, betrayal, deception, and strength in numbers.

Samson used a God-given gift of strength for his own purposes–fueled by an untamed anger, it hurt others in the process.

11 So 3,000 men of Judah went down to get Samson at the cave in the rock of Etam. They said to Samson, “Don’t you realize the Philistines rule over us? What are you doing to us?” Judges 15:11 NLT.

The craftsmen in Ephesus become an angry mob because of paranoia and perceived threat. It halts me here–most of them didn’t even know why they were there.

32 Inside, the people were all shouting, some one thing and some another. Everything was in confusion. In fact, most of them didn’t even know why they were there. Acts 19:32 NLT.

The leading priests were delighted that Judas came to visit. And Judas began looking for ways to betray Jesus.

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted when they heard why he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. Mark 14:10-11 NLT.

I read a quote on Facebook from author Bob Goff, who wrote Love Does.

If I had one last meal, I wouldn’t spend it with the person I knew would betray me – Love does.”

And I sat stumped over that–thinking of that last meal, reading today of Jesus with his disciples around him, knowing one would betray him. As he announces to them,

“I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.” Mark 14:18b NLT.

And then looks each one in the eyes, as each man–greatly distressed–inquires of the Lord, “Is it me?” One of those men knew that he would betray, and stood before the Lord deceiving. I think of what that moment was like–eye to eye, and both of them knowing the truth. Hate stands on one side. Love on the other.

I guess that’s what the power of hatred does, gives one fuel to do unthinkable acts just out of hatred for love.

Maybe sometimes people move forward in hate, but don’t really even know why they are there.

Jesus, thank you for showing me what love does. That while we were still sinners, you loved us. While I see the roots of hatred in situations in my own life, I pray that I might be grounded and rooted in You, to stand up in and for love. I’m glad that Your spirit lives in me, because on my own this would be impossible to do.

Courtney (66books365)

 

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan