© 1999 James A. Fowler

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I. Some Biblical usages of the word "jealousy"

    A. Hebrew words qana, qanna, qina - meaning "zealous" or "jealous"
         Gen. 37:11 - "his brothers were jealous of him" (Joseph)
         Exod. 20:5 - "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God"
         Numb. 5:14,30 - "jealous of his wife"
         Deut 32:16,21 - "they made Him jealous with strange gods"
         Zech. 8:2 - "I am exceedingly jealous for Zion"
    B. Greek words zelos, zeloo, zelotes - meaning "zealous" or "jealous"
         I Cor. 3:3 - "there is strife and jealousy among you"
         I Cor. 10:22 - "do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?"
         I Cor. 13:4 - "love is not jealous"
         II Cor. 11:2 - "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy"
         James 3:14,16 - "jealousy and selfish ambition exist"

II. Defining "jealousy"

    A. English word "jealousy" is etymologically derived from Greek zelos
    B. Webster's Dictionary
         1. "apprehensive of loss of exclusive devotion"
         2. "intolerance of rivalry or unfaithfulness"
         3. "hostile toward one believed to enjoy an advantage"
         4. "vigilant to guard a possession"
    C. Defining features from original Biblical words
         1. Emotional expression toward person, idea or cause
         2. Passionate commitment
    D. A working definition: "Jealousy is a fervent desire to have things transpire as one desires."

III. Applying the definition to the Biblical usages

    A. The jealousy of God
         1. God has a fervent desire that things should transpire as He desires, which is always in               accord with His character.
              cf. Exod 20:5; Deut 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Josh 24:19
         2. God is zealous/jealous that His people should not sin.
              cf. Deut. 29:20; 32:16,21; Ps. 78:58; 79:5; Ezek. 16:38; I Cor. 10:22
         3. God is zealous/jealous that His people should live in accord with His character.
              cf. Ezek. 39:25; Zech 8:2
    B. The jealousy of man
         1. Man can have a fervent desire that things should transpire as God desires.
              I Kings 19:10 - "I have been zealous for the Lord"
              Jn. 2:17 - "Zeal for Thy house will consume Me"
              II Cor. 11:2 - "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy"
         2. Man can have a fervent desire that things should transpire as he ignorantly or selfishly               desires.
              a. Jealousy is linked with
                  (1) selfish ambition - James 3:14,16
                  (2) strife, conflict - Rom. 13:13; I Cor. 3:3; II Cor. 12:20
                  (3) deeds of the flesh - Gal. 5:20
                  (4) anger, wrath, rage - Prov. 6:34; 27:4
              b. Jealousy is a dissatisfaction and unacceptance of God's providential arrangement of                   one's life.
              c. Jealousy exhibits diabolic character - James 3:15
              d. Jealousy is destructive - Job 5:2; Prov. 6:34; 27:4
              e. Jealousy is often based on an inadequate sense of identity (cf. I Cor. 15:10), and fuels                    depression
              f. Biblical examples of selfish jealousy
                  (1) brothers of Joseph - Gen. 37:11,19; Acts 7:9
                  (2) Korah - Ps. 106:16,18; Numb. 16:3
                  (3) Jewish leaders - Acts 5:17; 17:5
                  (4) Zealots - Lk. 6:15; Acts 1:13

IV. Examples of selfish jealousy

    A. jealous of another's possessions, wealth, assets - (greed, coveting)
    B. jealous of another's position, placement, job, advancement
    C. jealous of another's authority, power, leadership
    D. jealous of another's recognition, praise, prestige
    E. jealous of another's abilities, talents, skills
    F. jealous of another's accomplishments, achievements, success
    G. jealous of another's intelligence, logic, knowledge
    H. jealous of another's personality, social standing
    I. jealous of another's relationships, communication, intimacy, marriage
    J. jealous of another's loyalties, devotion, attachments
    K. jealous of another's age, youth, maturity, experience
    L. jealous of another's looks, appearance, beauty, health
    M. jealous of another's clothes, style, sophistication
    N. jealous of another's opportunities, privileges, advantages, good fortune

V. The character of God in reference to zealousy or jealousy

    A. In our zeal we must recognize
         1. the character of God and His intents
              a. zeal according to knowledge - cf. Rom. 10:2; Gal. 1:14; Phil. 3:6
              b. godly jealousy - cf. II Cor. 11:2
         2. that only God's grace can bring about what He desires.
    B. In place of selfish jealousy we must allow the character of God to be expressed in
         1. Faith - our receptivity of His active expression of His character
         2. Thanksgiving, gratitude - recognizing the "good grace" of God in His providential              arrangement of our life
         3. Contentment, satisfaction, acceptance, appreciation - cf. Phil. 4:11
         4. Love - "seeks highest good of other, without thinking what I get out of it" - I Cor. 13:4 -               "love is not jealous"
         5. Perseverance - "abide under" even unfairness, inequity
         6. Joy, peace, patience



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