I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments (Exodus, 20:5-6).
I believe, first off, it is extremely important to know that God is never less than love and wisdom. If He were for a moment to express something else like anger – anything less than love and wisdom – the universe would cease to exist. This can be compared to the death of a sun; as soon as iron begins to be produced in the core of a sun it only has seconds left before it explodes. The whole universe and every person is sustained by love and wisdom which proceed from the Lord as waters from an infinite spring. This source is what sustains life generally, and gives all the gifts of life specifically, just as heat and light proceed from the sun and sustain life in every way.
Concerning God being a ‘Jealous God’ it means that when it comes to the evil things of life, punishments, times of pain and growth – man attributes these to the Lord; when in fact, nothing except love and mercy reside with the Lord. God is always seeking our salvation, and His love sometimes feels like wrath to man; His guidance, correction, and reformation feel like pain and punishment to man. This is because man has inclinations to evil, and man has evils he has committed, and for these to be removed people must go through a process that God completely understands and people only understand a little. It usually is not easy, and one understands it all in hindsight.
God being a jealous God also signifies in the Word that there is One God, and the Lord alone is to be worshiped. If another God or person is worshiped, the Divine good and Divine truth begin to depart from that person, for there is no truth or good in it. This is similar to the meaning of the word ‘Jealous’ to man; we know it refers to a person who does not suffer anyone but Himself to be loved and worshiped.
A person who thinks God is jealous like a man has not come to know the Lord. Some people think that the Lord loves to be worshiped, that He desires glory from man just like a man would do, like a man who wants to be honored for himself, so he can give others what they ask for. This is not what love is. Love Divine consists in desiring worship and glory for the sake of man and his salvation. He who worships the Lord and gives glory to the Lord must be in a state of humility; in this state man’s selfish nature begins to depart from Him. In this state of humility man receives from God abundantly, and can then give with love also. In man there is a natural inclination to be selfish, man has a jealous desire to be better than others, to think of himself alone, and to demean others. Man is born with hereditary evil from head to toe so what comes from man’s own is separate from God, and is inclined to the evil and deception. This obstructs the Divine in him.
But the Lord provides a way. There is an inherent desire in man to trust. We can never be whole unless we can learn to trust, which is also to love. The Lord can always be trusted. Because of trauma and pain, disappointment and loss, seeing and experiencing evil from ourself and others – man is guarded. God is not guarded, but loves us and understands us. God knows our whole soul. We can be open, seen, and humble with him, and thus learn and discern how to do the same with other people. God can only be approached honestly, sincerely and in humility. One can now see, how this is not for His sake, but for our transformation and salvation.
The Lord has undertaken every deed necessary for Man to be saved, and He achieved this by His might alone. The difficulty of what He did to redeem us is far beyond our ability to comprehend, nevertheless, we must seek to understand as best we can from where it is told in the Word. He is the hero of heroes. This is the glory of the Lord!
Glory for the sake of self is from the love of self, and heavenly love differs from the love of self as heaven differs from hell, and infinitely more does the Divine love differ from it.