When the LORD gave the commandments to Moses, concerning having no other gods before HIS face, or the making of graven images, HE revealed HIMSELF as a jealous GOD. “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (Exo 20:5) Even HIS NAME is JEALOUS. “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exo 34:14) Shortly before his death, Moses reminded the Israelites of this in a warning concerning the singularity of their worship and the consequences of disregarding the LORD’s commandment and covenant. “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” (Deut 4:24) The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, quoted this very passage as he exhorted the saints to serve the LORD with “reverence and GODLY fear.” “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb 12:29)
To be jealous is to have great regard for a possession which one rightfully has. Men are often jealous of those things which they desire to have or consider that they possess. Such as the love of their wife or child, or respect among their peers. But since men are innately corrupt, so too is their jealousy tainted by that corruption. Yet the LORD has a perfect jealousy, since HE is the possessor of all things and rightfully demands honor since HE dwells in the LIGHT to which no man may approach. HE commands men to worship HIM because HE alone is worthy of worship. HE will destroy those who will not worship HIM because it pleases HIM to do so, and who can question HIS doing since HE is the CREATOR and answers to none.
This is a clear message which is set forth in the Holy Scriptures, from their beginning to their end. The LORD revels in HIS glory and will share it with none. The rebellious nature of men, causes them to take issue with this, because men delight in their own glory, wrongly assuming that they have some standing which would entitle them to respect, even before GOD. We live in an age when the singular glory of GOD is little mentioned, while the supposed “glory” of men, is magnified. Little by little, over time, the truth of GOD has been turned into a lie, as men worship and serve the creature more than the CREATOR.
This error is manifested in the widespread teaching of a “gospel” which is “another gospel”, as Paul described it. “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:9-10) Those who preach any other message than JESUS CHRIST and HIM crucified are those, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. --- Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2Tim 3:5-7)
The preaching of CHRIST crucified is done for the sole purpose of magnifying HIS NAME and setting forth before the sons of men, the glory which surrounds HIM who bled and died for sinners, according to HIS eternal purpose. It is the declaration of HIS Eternal Kingdom which HE has established in the Earth through HIS redemptive work in the behalf of those who were chosen “in HIM” from before the foundation of the world. It is the proclamation of the fact that HE has finished the work which HE came to do, and has saved HIS people from their sins. It is the announcement that HE is calling HIS sheep by name from the midst of the darkness of this world where they are scattered like pieces of treasure awaiting the day when they are snatched as brands from the burning and subjected to the REFINER’s fire. It is the assertion that HE presently works in HIS people through HIS SPIRIT. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Php 2:13)
It is to announce that HE will come again to the Earth to gather that possession which HE has purchased with HIS own blood and to raise those of them, who sleep in HIM with the same resurrection which HE manifested when HE triumphed over sin and death, rising from the dead on the third day. And so shall they ever be with the LORD.
This gospel declaration is made in the presence of all men, but it is specifically sent to the ears of them whom the LORD is pleased to awaken that they might hear the call of HIS voice and come unto HIM, even as HE commands them to do so. “Hark the gospel trumpet’s sounding, sinners hear the call and come. CHRIST in pard’ning love abounding, now invites the weary home. Though your crimes have reached to heaven, and of deepest dye appear, ask and they shall be forgiven, seek and ye shall find HIM near.” “Come ye sinners poor and wretched, weak and wounded, sick and sore, JESUS ready stands to save you, full of pity, joined with pow’r. Let not conscience make you linger nor of fitness fondly dream, all the fitness HE requireth, is to feel your need of HIM, this HE gives you, ‘tis the SPIRIT’s rising beam.”
As the Psalmist says, “though the LORD is high, HE hath respect unto the lowly”. The LORD stands in need of nothing, yet HE has regard unto sinners. Is this not the most amazing revelation that can be set forth before men and angels. This truth is manifested when HE said, “to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isa 66:2) The LORD JESUS rejoiced in this truth when HE declared, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” (Mat 11:25)
Just as surely as HE holds the “proud” at arm’s length, HE does gather those who are “lowly” in HIS arms and will not let them perish. “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.” (Mat 12:20) “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. ---- Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Mat 18:11-14) The “proud” will not seek HIM, for they are satisfied with their own righteousness and they shall have it and the fruits which come with it. Yet those whom the LORD has caused to see their “lowly” estate, HE will also deliver out of it, setting their feet upon a SOLID ROCK and causing them to rejoice therein.
This is the message that HE came to deliver, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19) HE has not in anywise failed to accomplish exactly what HE has set out to do, nor shall HE in anywise be disappointed in the outcome of that which HE has purposed to do. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”(Isa 53:10-12) Are you among the “proud” who are “afar off” or the “lowly” who are brought near?