Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?
Call to Prayer
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
High and powerful God, every day I fall short of living up to your law.
Why do I so easily fall into temptation and live in reckless disobedience?
I’m weak, God, and I need Jesus. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
This reading plan will help you to develop the habit of being in God’s Word each morning and evening. Come to this time with expectation. Expect God to reveal himself to you. Expect that he delights in you being there, even when you’ve wandered away. Growing a spiritual habit is a slow, patient process. So be kind to yourself as you grow!
Readings are hyperlinked. Simply hover over the passage or click Morning/Evening Reading (email version).
Praying the Psalms: Read slowly. Take note of words and phrases. Bring them before the Lord in prayer and personalize the passage as you pray.
NT Context: “Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians was written during a difficult period in his relation with the church at Corinth. Some members of the church had evidently made strong attacks against Paul, but he shows his deep longing for reconciliation and expresses his great joy when this is brought about.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “The book of Deuteronomy is organized as a series of addresses given by Moses to the people of Israel in the land of Moab, where they had stopped at the end of the long wilderness journey and were about to enter and occupy Canaan…The great theme of the book is that God has saved and blessed his chosen people, whom he loves; so his people are to remember this, and love and obey him, so that they may have life and continued blessing. The key verses of the book are 6:4–6, and contain the words that Jesus called the greatest of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Each day this devo will tread along a variety of paths connected to the week’s theme in Knowing God. Consider this your invitation to come along for the ride as we head into the wilds of coming to know and experience God’s person and grace.
This week we head into the difficult doctrine of God’s jealous love. It’s difficult, for one, because we’ve never met a perfectly righteous jealous friend, or lover. But we should keep in mind that God doesn’t think or act like us. His ways soar like the sky above the earth, forever higher than us (Isa. 55:8-9). So also is his jealousy not our petty jealousy.
J.I. Packer talks about it this way,
“When God brought Israel out of Egypt to Sinai, to give them his law and covenant, his jealousy was one of the first facts about himself which he taught them. The sanction of the second commandment, spoken audibly to Moses and “inscribed by the finger of God” on tablets of stone (Ex 31:18), was this: “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” (20:5).
A little later, God told Moses, even more strikingly, “the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (34:14). Coming where it does, this latter is a most significant text. The making known of God’s name—that is, as always in Scripture, his nature and character—is a basic theme in Exodus…
Now, Scripture consistently views God’s jealousy as being…an aspect of his covenant love for his own people. The Old Testament regards God’s covenant as his marriage with Israel, carrying with it a demand for unqualified love and loyalty. The worship of idols, and all compromising relations with non-Israelite idolaters, constituted disobedience and unfaithfulness, which God saw as spiritual adultery, provoking him to jealousy and vengeance. All the Mosaic references to God’s jealousy have to do with idol worship in one form or another; they all hark back to the sanction of the second commandment (“have no gods before Me”)…
[For example] In Ezekiel 16, God depicts Israel as his adulterous wife, embroiled in unholy liaisons with idols and idolators of Canaan, Egypt and Assyria…From these passages we see plainly what God meant by telling Moses that his name was “Jealous.” He meant that he demands from those whom he has loved and redeemed utter and absolute loyalty, and he will vindicate his claim by stern action against them if they betray his love by unfaithfulness…
One further point, however, must be made if we are to view this matter in its true light. God’s jealousy over his people, as we have seen, presupposes his covenant love; and this love is no transitory affection, accidental and aimless, but is the expression of a sovereign purpose. The goal of the covenant love of God is that he should have a people on earth as long as history lasts, and after that should have all his faithful ones of every age with him in glory. Covenant love is the heart of God’s plan for his world.”
Reflect: Think of the last time you were jealous. Was it of a friend, a colleague, a “frenemy”? Contrast your jealousy with God’s. What differences can you observe?
Evening Prayer of Examen
Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
Return O my soul to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:7)