Jealousy Consumes

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: If the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, who has defiled herself; or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, although she has not defiled herself— 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. He shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, an offering for remembering, for bringing iniquity to remembrance.  (Numbers 5:14-15 NKJV)

Observation: The SDABC explains that the term “the spirit of jealousy,” “indicates an intense impulse or emotion.”  The BRC adds, “The prescribed ritual is not magical. Rather the call for a jealous husband to take his suspected wife to “stand before the Lord” (v. 16) acts out the belief that God is present among His people. The whole ritual is an affirmation of faith, and in response to that faith God promises to act. He will clear an innocent woman and visibly judge a guilty one. The ritual is thus communication between God and His people. The jealous husband speaks to God, and in response God speaks to the husband. What is more, God speaks to the whole community. He reminds His people that sins have consequences, and that the sinner must bear the consequences even of hidden sins.
Abdomen swell and thigh waste away (5:22, 27). The phrase does not describe a deadly disease, but rather was a way the Hebrews spoke of childlessness and miscarriage.

Application: There are several points that come from the situation here mentioned:
1. If the woman has not done anything, then she has nothing to fear.
2. If she has done something, the fear and guilt involved will consume her – in fact, more than an actual punishment which God brings on her, maybe the swelling of the abdomen and the wasting away is a picture of the internal struggle which ends up consuming the guilty, unrepentant party.
3. If the marriage is strong and healthy, there’s no reason for the man to have these feelings of jealousy.
4. In a healthy relationship, she should or would not do anything to give her husband jealousy or vice-versa.  If one or the other experiences jealousy, maybe their spouse is doing something that is causing it, even if they have not actually committed adultery.
     Some people are jealous because they are insecure and no matter what their spouse does or how faithful they are they will still feel jealous of very word or action of theirs – they can see winks and smiles in everything the other person does toward people of the opposite sex.  In other cases, people who do not take good care of their relationship and of their spouse could be helping them toward improper relationships and even adultery.  The lesson here is, take good care of your spouse, be trustworthy, don’t give your spouse any reason to not trust you or become jealous of you.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, the spirit of jealousy in Lucifer led to these six thousand years of pain and death.  May that spirit be eradicated from our lives and our relationships and instead, may the spirit of love and trust reign.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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