What does it mean that God is Jealous and Avenging?
We don't get to pick and choose what attributes God has. We must take all of them together. For that is who God is.
So, what does it mean that God is Jealous and Avenging? God is fiercely protective of His own glory. He will punish all His enemies in time for the glory and praise of His great name (Nahum 1:2). God's long-suffering, patience, and kindness is not to be seen as weakness. But is rather to be regarded as a strength. It takes great strength for the greater to restrain from destroying the weaker. God is jealous for His name and His glory (Exodus 34:14) and will avenge in His own time and for His own glory.
Apart from the Savior Jesus Christ, these are terrifying truths. God will avenge His great name. We must look more into this.
Make no mistake, God is not to be trifled with. There are many who abuse the lovingkindness of God, the patience of God. But the warning remains for all, death. All men die. For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a). Death is the evidence that man cannot escape the punishment that God has reserved for us because of our sin.
It is a great warning sign saying, STOP AND CONSIDER. Just as the great storms have warning signs before the wrath of the storm is unleashed upon the world. God also has given warning signs. But as we read earlier in 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.”
Just as a thief doesn’t show up at your doorstep, knock and ask for permission to come in and steal. The King will not give us such a privilege. His long-suffering, kindness is enough privilege. When the King’s kindness runs thin over His rebellious creation, He will return.
A Great and Terrible Day
When He does return to avenge His name, it will be a great and terrible day. For,
A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; He dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither; The blossoms of Lebanon wither. Mountains quake because of HimAnd the hills dissolve; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world and all the inhabitants in it. Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire and the rocks are broken up by Him. The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of its site, And will pursue His enemies into darkness. (Nahum 1:2-8, bold added)
The Lord God has created man in His image to be His representation and govern over His creation. Yet, all we have ever done is scream NO, NO, NO! I WILL NOT OBEY….
Due to our insubordination, and our rebellion, the King has set Himself up as an enemy against us. I praise God that He is loving, kind, patient, etc. All the wonderful truths that we have already covered in this book. Because I am absolutely terrified of God. For the Scriptures declare that He is jealous, avenging, and full of great wrath.
Hurricanes are full of wrath and vengeance. Full of destruction. The storm is impartial to anyone or anything. It utterly destroys everything in its way. No one can hide from the raging storm. If you go down into the basement the flood waters will find you. If you hide in the house the roof will be blown off. If you cling to a tree, the tree will be uprooted. If you climb av board a boat the waves will capsize you. If you try to outrun the storm it will catch you. You cannot escape it.
Refuge and Judgment
This is a tiny picture of God and His wrath towards His enemies, sinful men, and women. It is recorded that when the seven seals of judgment are opened in the book of Revelation 6:15-17,
Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hide themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” None can stand amidst the wrath of the storm. None can stand amidst the wrath of the King. What I find to be extremely profound and comforting about the illustration of the hurricane is the eye of the storm. It is the eye of the storm that gives the hurricane all its power, force, vengeance, and wrath. It is also amidst the eye of the storm where it is calm and peaceful. If you wanted to stay out of the wrath and destruction of the hurricane you must keep yourself in the eye of the storm. You must go where it goes and stay where it stays. This is the same thing with God. God is the source of the wrath and destruction, but He is also the safe refuge amidst the storm. Christ Jesus, the King, the Son of God, is our refuge from the coming storm. The storm is coming. As faithful witnesses of the signs, God’s people have been graciously declaring this to be true. Declaring that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and therefore a day is now fixed when the storm will come. When God will pour out His jealous wrath and vengeance upon His enemies. Declaring that evacuation from the area is not enough to save you from this storm. Only the safe refuge of Christ Jesus can keep us from calamity and ruin. When the storm begins to surge it will be too late for anyone to get to the eye, to Christ, to the safe refuge. God’s wrath will go forth with a vengeance and will not abate. For all of eternity His righteous indignation, wrath, fury, and vengeance will be poured out upon the sinner because of their sin. They will never reach the end of the storm, there will be no breaks, only intense eternal punishment. We are closer today to the great day of the Lord than we have ever been. Tomorrow we will be even closer still. Don’t presume upon the kindness of the Lord. Rather, knowing the fear of the Lord, let us hide ourselves in the refuge of Jesus Christ. (Most of the content on this page is taken out of my book: Knowing the God We Proclaim) (To discover more about God, see our page, Who is God?)