First I just looked at the meaning of the name.
El Qanna, El is a name that is translated as "God" and is often used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Qanna is translated as “jealous.” The fundamental meaning relates to a marriage relationship. God is depicted as Israel’s husband; He is a jealous God, wanting all our praise for Himself and no one else.1
I decided to look up the meaning to jealous even though I know the meaning of the word sometimes I find it helpful to look it up anyway. Often I gain a different perspective of a word, or a deeper understanding. According to www.thefreedictionary.com jealous has five meanings and it’s important that we apply the correct meaning to the context of who we know God to be. Here in the context of God’s character we will look at meaning four and five. God’s jealousy is being vigilant in guarding something or intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity.
The second thing I do is look at the verses that use this particular name for God. (Blue Letter Bible is very helpful for this) The Strong’s number for Qanna is 7067 and it is used 5 times in the Old Testament. We find it in Exodus 20:5 and 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9, and 6:14-15. With it only being 5 verses I will look up all of them and so that I can read in the context. It’s best to read the whole chapter that the verse is in that way you can get a real feel of what is going on.
"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,” Ex 20:5
“for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” Ex 34:14
"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” Deut 4:24
“'You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me” Deut 5:9
“for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God ; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.” Deut 6:15
In each one of theses verses I saw a very similar context. In each verse it’s Moses reminding the people of who God is, that He is a jealous God. They are being reminded to not forget the covenant they made with God. They are to worship no other gods but God. They are not to make any graven images or an kind of idol. They will only worship the Lord, they will worship Him and swear by His name.
Pulling it all together. Now I pull everything I have read together. Our God is a jealous God and in many other passages in the Old Testament God compares His relationship with Israel as a marriage. (see Hosea) God is Israel’s husband, Israel is the bride. Oh wait! (I remember something I’ve studied before.) In the New Testament we are told that because of what Christ has done on the cross when we become believer in Christ we are grafted in with Israel. That makes us apart of the bride. I am the bride of Christ! (See Rom 11 and Rev 18-22)
So how do all these pieces fit together? Actually quite beautifully. We are the bride of Christ and God is jealous over us. Meaning He wants us to love only Him. There should be no other god in our life. He alone is the husband of His Bride and He will not tolerate His bride loving any other. He will not tolerate any god or idol of any kind.
Just so we understand let me say it like this, He will not tolerate His Bride serving the god of the Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims nor the self god of the New Age. Nor will He tolerate His Bride serving the god of wealth, health, materialism,or people. If His bride takes any image or representation of a god or If a person or thing is greatly admired, loved, or revered and becomes an object of worship then we are committing adultery. We become the adulteress and God, being a jealous God, is provoked to anger. Spiritual adultery is evil in the sight of the LORD. (Duet 4;25)
I don’t know about you but I know there have been (and still is) some things in my life that would be considered idols. I may not have a shrine in my home where I bow down and worship but there are enough times in my life that I bow to self and what I want and need. God will not tolerate me loving anyone more than Him. He is my husband and to put anything before Him is to be unfaithful.
So what do we do when we’ve committed spiritual adultery? We bow our knee at the cross of Jesus and remember that His blood covers the sin of adultery. In His blood we are forgiven and free. Then we worship our One True God and go and sin no more…
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