You know what always used to confuse me? The idea that God is a jealous God. Isn't jealousy a bad thing? How could God be jealous, then? Isn't that pretty egotistical?
Then I realized it. How good He is! He is the Creator. Every piece of emotion, thought, spirit, and biological function that combine in beautiful complexity to make each individual life as well as the awe-inspiring orchestration of the nature or mankind's history is the result of a plan He set in motion with perfect calculation. How beyond our comprehension that is! Every delight that we experience, from a mountain view to the laughter of a room full of children, is only the tiniest glimpse into the joy and beauty that is Him by nature. In Him all things consist and without Him was not anything made that was made. There would be nothing without Him. No joy, no love, no existence. Just nothingness. Unless we know that, we never realize the abundance of living that should be ours. We exist as amazing testimonies of His creativity and everything that is Him, day by day; but until we realize it, what and who are we? Is there any other way it could be? Our joy depends upon our knowing Him. The glory, the joy, and the jealousy of their protection is the music of the most lovely symphony ever written!
His jealousy is that we would know Him; that no one else would get the glory for any bit of His symphony. Is such a jealousy bad? By no means! It couldn't be more good! Suppose you knew that your child's life would be unhappy and unfulfilled as an orphan without a parent. Even if he were being fed and clothed and educated, what would his life be without the love of his parents? A child is made to be loved and cared for and to know the simplicity of a care- free childhood. You, as his parent, can give him this. Is it egotistical for you to want him to know you and be secure in your love? No! Without you, he will always be missing something; he will miss out on the fullness of childhood. You love him too much for that. You want him to know you because the design is that, in knowing you, he is happy.
It is the same with God, don't you see? He loves you and I far too much to let us live in the emptiness of an unfulfilled childhood. Even if we are fed and clothed and educated without knowing Him, and even if we don't even know we're missing Him...we are, and He knows it.
When we read in the Bible of how God longs to have us know Him and that all things must be ultimately for His glory, we should never see an egotistical God. We should see a loving parent who knows that His glory is our good. As we decrease and he increases, we begin to experience the joy unspeakable that He jealously protects. Creation could be designed in no other way than that, in seeking His glory, we become all that we are meant to be. Jesus prayed that the disciples' " joy might be full" (John 17:13) in becoming one with the Father because He knew that this was the only way these men He loved would experience true and full joy.
The most complex and well-thought-out scheme of man does not come close to the master design that our God has put in place for us. With perfect precision and an accounting for every possible combination of variables, he put in place an awesome design in which all would point to His glory and our joy. What an awesome plan!