by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

I.         We started this morning trying to understand the concepts of envy and jealousy

II.        What is jealousy?

            A.        “Vigilant guarding of a possession.”

            B.        Zelos - It literally means “heat” (Deut 4:24), sometimes translated as zeal.

            C.        The desire to hold on to what is yours for your own personal use.

            D.        Sometimes jealousy is interchanged with envy.

                        1.         Envy is wanting what someone else has.

                        2.         Sometimes we wrongfully believe that what someone else has is our own exclusive possession.

                                    a.         A husband believes he alone should be the focus of his wife’s attention.

                                                (1)       He then is jealous of his wife’s attention

                                                (2)       He then is envious of others who hold his wife’s attention.

III.       Sometimes jealousy is used in a good sense.

            A.        God is a jealous God - Ex 20:5

                        1.         God’s people belong to him exclusive. We are not to share our time with other gods such as idols or money.

                        2.         Matt 6:24 - You cannot serve God and mammon

                        3.         We are a people set apart for God’s own possession - I Pet 2:9-10

            B.        Similarly, preachers and elders may be jealous to guard the purity of God’s people - II Cor 11:2-3

            C.        The love between husband and wife is a jealous love - Song 8:6-7

                        1.         A husband does not want to share the love of his wife with another man, nor does a woman want to share the love of her husband with another woman.

                        2.         The marriage vows makes that relationship exclusive. Like death, the love between a husband and wife does not easily relinquish it’s hold.

IV.      Sometimes it is used in a bad sense

            A.        II Cor 12:20 - Paul did not want to see jealousy among the brethren

            B.        Jealousy can get out of control, just as anger - Prov 27:4

                        1.         Anger is not wrong of itself, but must keep tight control over it - Eph 4:26

                        2.         Jealousy, out of control, is often associated with strife - Rom 13:13

                        3.         James 3:13-18 - Jealousy spent on one’s self is of this world.

            C.        At times we become jealous of things we do not possess.

                        1.         A husband and wife’s love is exclusive, but some take it too far. In their doubts, they want everything for their own — their spouse’s attention, their time, their friendships.

                                    a.         That is why I Cor 13:4 says love is not jealous.

                        2.         The leaders of the Jews were jealous of the loyalty of the people to themselves - Acts 5:16-17

                        3.         The Corinthians dividing over who they followed - I Cor 3:3-5

                                    a.         We do not belong to men

V.        Jealousy, like anger, is an emotion that must be closely controlled. It has its place, but too often we let things get out of hand.

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