We run into trouble when we think of God as we would think of man. That is all we have to relate to, other humans. With the exception of Jesus’ physical life, all human comparisons with God’s character are flawed. When we read this passage, at first, we may think of jealousy is an unholy quality. That would be thinking as if God was like man. He is not. He is utterly holy. We can understand Him calling Himself a jealous God if we consider His other attributes.
His jealousy is out of a holy heart of real love. Since we are dedicated to Him as His bride, He longs to see us uncompromisingly dedicated to Him. His desires are entirely pure and unselfish. The motivation of His jealousy is His genuine love that knows His ways are best for us. He wants to see us made into a pure and spotless bride.
The same word for jealous in Hebrew can be translated zealous. God has a great zeal to see us transformed into the image of Christ. It is out of His great love that we see this jealousy, or zealousness, in God. It is hard to fathom that Someone so great could love us so much. We, in proper response, should allow our love for Him to flourish. We should be zealous about Him as well. We should also be sensitive to times when something may be competing for our love for Him. It is not a good idea to arouse His jealousy. It is there for our good.
Meditate on the zealous love of God for you. Is there something that is competing for your love for Him?