We often think of jealousy as a bad thing, and it is for something we shouldn’t have, but it is a good thing for something we should have, something that is rightfully ours. So much so that God displays jealousy, jealousy for what is rightfully His, being grieved when what is His is given away to other gods, other things and other interests.
In today and yesterday’s Psalm this is stated. God was jealous when what was His was given away ( Psalm 78:58 and 79:5). The children of Israel gave away their worship, love and devotion to Him, to other gods, and this made God’s jealousy “burn like fire” ( 79:5), He so wanted all of His peoples’ hearts.
This healthy jealousy should exist in other relationships. A husband and wife should be jealous for each others love, demanding exclusive devotion of themselves to each other, not tolerating divided loyalty in the relationship.
As a lover God is jealous of our devotion to Him. He guards it ” possessively”, wanting all of our hearts just as He gives us all of His. He is grieved if our loyalty to Him is divided, our love and attention of Him watered down. If we give away anything that should be His, any part of our heart.