Our Jealous God Demands Exclusive Devotion

Published on May 3, 2024
Category: Devotion | Behold!

Read: Deuteronomy 4-6

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Deuteronomy 5:9-10

God is a jealous God and exclusive devotion is at the heart of God’s desire for His people.

As the people of Israel stand on the brink of the Promised Land, Moses gives final reminders. This verse is part of the Ten Commandments, which were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, where God prohibits the worship of idols and false gods, and emphasizes His status as the one true God who demands exclusive worship.

The phrase “jealous God” is used in various parts of the Bible to describe God’s character, including in Deuteronomy 5:9, which says “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”

In this context, the term “jealous” refers to God’s intense desire for the exclusive worship and devotion of His people.

The phrase “punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” refers to the idea that the consequences of sin can be passed down from generation to generation. However, it does not mean that God is punishing innocent children for the sins of their parents, but rather that the effects of sin can have long-lasting consequences that can affect future generations.

God wants His people to be fully committed to Him, and not to be distracted by the worship of other gods or idols. The idea of jealousy is used to convey the seriousness of this demand and the consequences that can come from failing to meet it.

God’s jealousy is not the same as human jealousy, which is often characterized by selfishness and possessiveness. God’s jealousy is rooted in His perfect love and His desire for what is best for His people. When we turn away from God and worship other things, we are essentially rejecting His love and choosing to follow a path that leads to destruction.

“God’s jealousy is love in action. He refuses to share the human heart with any rival, not because He is selfish and wants us all for Himself, but because He knows that upon that loyalty to Him depends our very moral life. God is not jealous of us: He is jealous for us.” (Redpath)

Exclusive devotion to God is the lifelong aim and commitment of every believer leading to a life filled with purpose, joy, and peace that surpasses all understanding.

“The fact is, we are all worshipers, and we will either worship the true God or we will worship something else.”

R.C. Sproul

What or who in my life is taking priority and precedence above God? What are the challenges I face in maintaining exclusive devotion to God in my everyday life? What are some specific habits or practices that I can incorporate into my routine to help me stay focused on God throughout the day? How can I involve others in my journey to prioritize God in my life? such as through accountability partnerships or seeking mentorship from a more experienced believer?


Lord, give me an undivided heart that truly worships you alone, amen.

Scripture Writing: Matthew 6:24

Song: No Other Name

For more daily devotions like this At the Potter’s Wheel (Kindle)


Preethi Alice Jacob

Preethi Jacob is the author of the yearlong devotional At the Potter’s Wheel, Day by Day. Her journey includes teaching a Bible Study Fellowship class, teaching and leading the Sunday School ministry in her church, leading Bible studies, besides counselling young women. She serves on the Global Mission Team of the United Bible Societies and lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and two young adult children.

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