Does God feel the same way about us that Bella feels about Edward?
The Bible uses many images to describe God: he is our father, he is our groom, he is our helper. I am most uncomfortable with the image of God as our jilted and jealous lover. That image can be found in the below passage from James.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? -James 4:4-5
This passage in James suggests that God jealously longs for us and is afraid of losing our affection to the things of this world. It’s uncomfortable to think that God longs for me and wants to be a in a relationship with me, so much so that he’s worried I’ll turn to something else instead of him.
I think I struggle with this image of God because I think of him as some lovelorn teenager, pining over his crush that won’t even look at him. Do we really want to think of our God sitting by his cell phone, waiting for us to respond to a text? Or do we want to think of our God commenting on our Facebook status just hoping that we’ll acknowledge his presence?
That’s an uncomfortable and inaccurate image of God.
God isn’t like Bella, swooning and worrying about whether or not Edward is going to be in class today. God’s jealousy and passion for us goes deeper than some schoolboy crush. When I had a crush on a girl and felt a tinge of jealousy, that jealousy was completely unfounded because there was no expectation that my affection should be returned. God has created everyone, though, so his jealousy is completely founded; God created us and it is only right for him to assume that we should turn our affection toward him.
When we think of a jilted and jealous lover, we think of some sort of stalker creeping around, making mix tapes and sending notes with letters cut out of a magazine. That image is true for some amount of the population but it doesn’t apply to God.
God isn’t a creeper; he’s just a creator that grieves when he sees his creation walking away.
God is jealous for us because he created us and he wants to be in a relationship with us, which is why he is so willing to pursue us. God’s jealousy is completely justifiable and I’m thankful for it because without that jealousy, without that desire to pursue humanity, we may never have been reconciled to him through Jesus Christ.
How do you feel about God’s jealousy for you?