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“Are You Jealous Enough?”
In the past few years there has been a big trend towards talking about super foods. These are foods which have an exceptional quality because they have some sort of special characteristic.
One of those superfoods is Quinoa
Now I know it looks like the word says … quin-o-a.
But it is pronounced 'ki?nw??.
For those who are interested this is what it looks like:->
It is not a true cereal, but it is a grain crop.
It is high in protein and has no gluten.
Everyone talks about this “new food” but archaeological evidence shows it has been used as a food in Peru, Ecuador and Columbia from 2000 years before Jesus came to this earth.
If you have never had it before you cook it like rice.
If you want to know more look at the “great-source-of-all-knowledge” which is called wikipedia.
That is Quinoa.
I’ve told you this because I want to help you remember a Hebrew word.
(Hebrew word here 'ki?n:?h)
It is pronounced 'ki?n:?h
So you can see the close resemblance to 'ki?nw??
So what does that word mean in English?
Well for the moment I am not going to tell you. Because sometimes translating from Hebrew to English doesn’t help. Rather I’m going to try and show you how the word works with two examples of the word from the Scripture.
Here Moses is reminding the people about the LORD’s attitude towards idols.
And especially what happens when a person turns away from worship of the LORD and turns to idols. There is something about this action that really gets God upset.
Firstly we are told that God becomes indignant and is not willing to forgive. And we sit here and we say, “How can God not forgive?” Indeed we know that there were many times when God did forgive.
But understand that God is speaking to a specific group of people. It is those who have visually witnessed all that God has done as they during the Exodus – read Deuteronomy 29:5-7
They are the ones who see visually the Shekinah – the presence of God which is a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.
All through the wanderings God looked after them.
The point God is making here is “How on earth can you see so visually all that I have done and then, once you get into a new land, change and worship an idol? If this happens I’m not going to put up with it.” That is what God is saying.
God will bring the curses – not against the nation – but very specifically against the individual.
So that is the situation. And somewhere in these verses our word - ha'n>qi – can be found.
'ki?n:?h is a description of the aspect of God’s character.
It is the part of God’s where God wants to do all that He can to stop people going after that which is false and that which is empty and that which will be excessively detrimental for the spiritual life of His people.
They have seen all that God has done.
They know God has been with them every step of the way.
For 40 years God protected, and sheltered, and fed and clothed the people.
God has proven again and again that He is with the people.
God says …
I am 'ki?n:?h. I am zealous.
That is how the NIV puts it in verse 20.
20 The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them.
Other versions say:-
20 “The Lord would not spare him; for then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy would burn against that man (NKJV).
20 The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and his jealousy will smoke against that man (ESV).
The Lord sees us and we are so valuable to Him.
He has revealed Himself so clearly – so that we can understand what His nature is like and how He wants to protect them.
He is impassioned for His people and is doing everything that He can to protect them from a road of destruction.
So when God says he is ha'n>qi he is not being petty – jealous over the idols and the things that we make idols in our lives.
The zealousness … jealousy … of the Lord is that aspect of His character that wants to protecting that exclusive covenantal relationship that He has with his people.
God does not want us to turn away from a relationship with Himself.
He jealousy wants to preserve that relationship … even if it means showing wrath.
Let’s have a look at another example. Isaiah 9:2-7
Now that you know it you can see it can’t you?
'ki?n:?h – The zeal of the LORD there in verse 7. Pretty well all the versions translate the word the same way.
Because of 'ki?n:?h the LORD will bring light into spiritual darkness, even to the nations that were once enemies of God. To the Gentiles.
Because of 'ki?n:?h the LORD will bring peace between Himself and mankind. The LORD wants us in a relationship with Himself. He wants to bring about repentance and renewal. He wants transformation.
Because of 'ki?n:?h the LORD will send His own Son. The Son who will take on the anger and wrath of God because of our rebellion and unwillingness to walk the part of righteousness. The Son who will cry out “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Because of 'ki?n:?h you and I have hope. God wants to do all that is necessary to have us come into a spiritual relationship with Him. He doesn’t want to see us eternally perish, but that we come to repentance. He wants to bless and see joy. He wants to come and take our burdens and give us real life.
The 'ki?n:?h of the LORD is not driven by one-up-manship, or trivial competition, or fear of losing His belongings, or envy against others. It is all about us. He is impassioned to see that we are in the right spiritual space.
An aspect of the character of God … who is showing his Father’s heart.
With all that in mind let’s turn to Proverbs 6:30-35
The focus of these verses is the issue of adultery.
It is an important issue, but my main focus this morning is directly related to the issue of ha'n>qi.
Perhaps you noticed the wording of 6:34
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
Other versions say:-
34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
34 because a jealous husband can be furious and merciless when he takes revenge.
The same word that is used to describe an attribute of the LORD is the word that is used to describe the attributes of a man and a husband.
Think about that.
Think about what that means for us as men and us as husbands.
We are being called here to be impassioned about our relationship with our wives.
We are being called here to be impassioned about our relationship with women in general.
To take this attribute of the LORD and live it out.
Remember what we said about this attitude.
It is not about petty jealousy or one-up-manship, or trivial competition, or fear of losing what belongs to us or envy against others.
It isn’t about being possessive – as if you own that person.
It isn’t about demanding allegiance – as if you have manly rights.
It isn’t about squashing personality – and getting your way.
It is all about protecting an exclusive covenantal relationship with another person and doing all we can to make sure that they are in the right spiritual space.
So what does that mean in practical terms?
Men-husbands … need to keep working on their own spiritual development
You cannot make sure others are in the right spiritual space unless you are in the right spiritual space.
• Are you looking after your own spiritual devotional life? Spending time in prayer to listen to the Lord as He challenges us in our journey with him?
• Are you making sure your wife has time to do personal devotion so that she also is having the opportunity to grow.
• What is the spiritual temperature of your household like? A place of peace … and prayer … and talking about Jesus … and living for Jesus.
• Husbands are you taking the lead in demonstrating and living out a commitment to the Kingdom?
Being zealous … because your wife and your family are your spiritual priority and you want to make sure your heart is the same as the Father-heart of God.
Men in General.
• For those who are younger and not married – are you preparing yourself for the future to spiritually lead?
Here is a real description of a mother about her 24 yo son.
My son is a high achiever, focused and dedicated to what he does. He has an OP1 mentality.
However he needs to grow in his social interaction and recognise he is not the centre of the universe. Women are not going to fall at his feet because of what he has and has achieved. It will be about who he is and his relationship with Jesus.
He needs to treat a relationship as something precious.
In short he needs to grow up.
• All men … are we being jealous in our spiritual life because we have the calling to be an example. To lead the way. So that all who look to us see spiritual Fathers.
(Tim D … as an example)
Being zealous in doing all we can to help people be in the right spiritual space.
That is one area of application
Here is another.
Men-husbands … need to remember the “jealous” nature of a marriage relationship.
There is a whole lot that can be said here … I’ll put it out there in the first person.
My wife is not yours.
She is not yours to sexualise, or fantasize over, or be mesmerised by.
She is not yours to put down, hurt, abuse, condescend or talk down to.
I will protect her. I will care for her. I will make her a priority.
That is 'ki?n:?h.
My daughters … until they are handed over in a covenant of marriage … are not yours.
They are not yours to sexualise, or fantasize over, or be mesmerised by.
They are not yours to put down, hurt, abuse, condescend or talk down to.
I will protect them. I will care for them. I will make them a priority.
That is 'ki?n:?h.
And if you want my daughters … you have to show that you know what ha'n>qi means.
And only three men … godly, faithful, 'ki?n:?h men … have done that.
But that is what it should be for all wives … and all daughters.
If this was the case
• then the porn industry would collapse over-night.
• and domestic violence would cease.
• and organisations like destiny rescue wouldn’t be needed.
The Father heart of God being put into action by God-hearted fathers and God-hearted men.
Men this is a huge calling.
And isn’t fair to say that most of us would be asking right not.
Do I have enough 'ki?n:?h?
Am I impassioned enough?
The honest answer is “no”.
Father’s Day is a day of celebration … but aren’t we so aware at the same time of our failings.
So as we go from here today … fathers … men … males … spiritual fathers.
As we go let’s go remembering the Gospel. Remembering that with all our failings we are still shown ha'n>qi.
The Lord wants us to know about that exclusive relationship we have with Him.
The Lord wants us to be brought to the right spiritual space.
So we can move forward because of forgiveness and our lives can be defined by this powerful word.