Sunday: Jealous Souls
Even in heaven, a perfect environment, Lucifer feels jealous of Christ. “Lucifer was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge His supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, he bowed with them; but his heart was filled with envy and hatred”. — Ellen G. White, The Story of Redemption, p. 14. Jealousy is such a dangerous feeling to harbor that in the Ten Commandments themselves, alongside the forbiddance of murder and theft, there is the command against covetousness (see Exod. 20:17).
Read Daniel 6:1-5, along with Genesis 37:11 and 1 Samuel 18:6-9. What role does jealousy play in all these stories?
Daniel’s administrative abilities impress the king but provoke the jealousy of other officers. Thus, they conspired to get rid of him by accusing him of corruption. But as much as they search, they find no fault in Daniel’s administration. “They could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him” (Dan. 6:4, NKJV). The Aramaic word translated as “faithful” can also be translated as “trustworthy”.
Daniel is blameless; there is nothing the officers can do to raise an accusation against him. However, they also perceive how faithful Daniel is to His God and how obedient he is to his God’s law. So they soon realize that in order to frame Daniel, they will have to produce a situation in which Daniel will be faced with the dilemma of obeying either God’s law or the law of the empire. From what the officers have learned about Daniel, they are absolutely convinced that under the right conditions he will side with his God’s law over the empire’s. What a testimony to Daniel’s faithfulness!
|What kind of struggles with jealousy have you had to deal with, and how have you dealt with them? Why is jealousy such a deadly and crippling spiritual fault?|
It is interesting to note just how many times jealousy has been the prime mover for persecution. In an effort to get a handle on the use of wild beasts as a method of persecution, I have done a fair bit of reading with some surprising results and will probably comment on that later in the week.
The role of court intrigue, racial discrimination, gender role discrimination socio-economic status in engendering persecution is much greater than most of us anticipate and maybe that should cause us to rethink where we stand on the idea of truth. If you want some interesting challenges, read about the Oxford martyrs, and see if you can see parallels between them and Daniel.
The lesson this week has the potential to really challenge us and is much more than just a story to tell our kids encouraging them to be good.
We envy someone else: their looks, their job, their family, their vacations, their skills, their money. And it’s something so overwhelmingly common that we tend to overlook it. We minimize its sinfulness and allow it to fester to our soul’s detriment.
We don’t like to put jealousy to death. Instead, we feed it. We tend to it. We give it life.
Jealousy and envy are not the same although all too many use them interchangeably which can cause some confusion. What the lesson is talking about mainly is envy. Envy is when you want something another has (looks, abilities, wife, kids, etc.) while jealousy is more a fear of losing what you have to another. They can occur together adding to the confusion.
In the case of Daniel it is likely that those presidents and satraps were both jealous and envious of Daniel. Daniel was a rising star. They would have envied his position, power, authority and at the same time feared losing their own.
So how do we deal with these when they crop up? Well one way is to keep our eternal future in front of us. Remember that this world is temporary, these bodies are temporary. This should give us a better perspective and while this new perspective may not eliminate these feelings it should go a long way in helping us not feed and nurture them.
if that is the case, then what does the apostle Paul meant in his book 1 Cor. 12:31 ? can someone explain? he speaks about covetousness, what about the two wives of Elkanah and Hannah and Peninnah, was the jealousy of Hannah acceptable against Peninnah? nevertheless God granted her wish. all of us have passed through jealousy in some time or another, but the question is, was it alright?
To be envious you have to want something that belongs to another that you do not have. In the last commandment look at the list of things given that you are not to covet. The things that Paul speaks of do not belong to anyone but are freely available to all so I can see someone with a stronger relationship with God and desire it but I am not to desire anything that they own.
As for the two wives of Elkanah, here is a great example of how jealousy and envy can go hand in hand but are not the same. Hannah was envious of Peninnah's fertility because that was something she did not have. Where jealously may come into play is that she might have feared losing her status as favorite or loved wife to Peninnah so she would be both jealous and envious. That's just me speculating mind you but just to show that she could have been both.
As for whether it's ok I would say that being envious is not ok and being jealous is more neutral as it depends on other factors. God said He was a jealous God and that is ok but we humans tend to be selfish and so our jealousy tends to lead to behavior that is a sin but not always.
The reason I commented on this was because I did have someone approach me stating that the bible said jealousy is a sin (It does not) and that then it says that God is jealous. For this reason and others he rejected the bible as contradictory so I find it very important to be clear on terminology whenever possible.
Jealous is not necessary a sin, God is jealous of us, and he does not sin:
Exodus 20:5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
Jealous can show deep affection and care. To not be jealous can show neglect and no love - a “don’t care attitude”; however, over the years we have coined jealousy with envy. Envy is a sin and envy does not have the components of love and care.
Nahum 1:2 “God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.”
If the Lord did not care for us (if he was not jealous), He would do nothing! No revenge!
My parents always tell me t be contented with what I have and work honestly for what want
Jealousy is something that can consume us. To make room for it is to open the door to disease and death. Facing ourselves everyday with Christ, with humble hearts, can give us the right balance for us to overcome our defects. Because our own hearts can fool us, it is wiser to trust in God first! Jesus can truly show us who we really are and what we need to do to overcome these type of negative feelings.