Five times in the Old Testament the Lord refers to Himself as “jealous“. He even said that one of the names He is known as is “Jealous” (Exodus 34:14). The Lord is jealous for your praise, but why? If praise belongs to Him anyway, why is He passionate about the praise of His people? Wouldn’t anyone who really loved the Lord want to praise and worship Him? “You will worship no other God,” the Lord commanded in Exodus 20:3. Was that because He had to have praise to feel powerful? Does God need praise? Of course not! So, why does He want it so much?
He wants your worship for Himself not because He needs anything you have to offer, He wants you praise and worship because He loves you and desires to be closer to you. The sacrifice of praise, worship and thanksgiving are methods by which your spirit connects with the Spirit of God. Praise creates a place for His Holy Spirit to draw near to you. He loves you so much that He sent His Son to bridge the gap between sin and holiness so He could be reconciled to you. The Lord has proven that He is willing to do whatever it takes- and all He has ever asked for in return is your worship, and not for His own benefit. It’s for yours.
The Lord and Satan Are Both Jealous for Praise
Under the New Covenant, the Lord doesn’t require praise anymore. He desires it. The commandment to praise only the Lord was to keep His people close to Him, under the shadow of His wing. In Isaiah 42:8 the Lord said, “I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.” That word, “praise” is one of the seven Hebrew words for ‘praise’, “Tehillah” which is the spontaneous, “new song” you sing to the Lord moment by moment. “Tehillah” is the only word for “praise” that the Lord refers to in His Word as “Mine”. He is jealous for your praise and and the Lord is vehemently possessive of your “tehillah”, specifically. Why? Because your praise is rooted in your gratitude to Him. Your praise keeps your mind, spirit, heart and soul fixed on Him.
Satan is jealous for your worship too– did you know that? Here is something so many don’t realize: If you’re not actively living a life in which you praise and worship the Lord, who are you worshipping? No one? That isn’t possible. You were created to worship. You will worship something or someone. Satan understands the power of music, and worship to influence lives and hearts and minds, but do you? Satan is going after your spirit, using his own form of “worship” to do it, to lure away your attention, your affections, your focus. If you spend more time listening to secular music than you do worshipping the Lord- you are investing in the wrong relationship! People who write music are influenced in the spiritual realm in ways they don’t understand, many of them being used as unwitting tools of Satan- and then Christians tune in and sing along!
The World’s “Worship” is Casting Pearls Before Swine
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs,” Jesus said. “Nor throw your pearls before swine.” Remember when Jesus cast the demons out of the man at the Gadarenes in Mark 5? The demons went into a herd of pigs who then ran off a cliff. Your worship is holy, like beautiful pearls to the Lord- don’t cast your worship before the pigs, the demonic influences of this world, worshipping along to their lyrics, their concepts and ideas, their tunes and rhythms. Satan will use music to snare you, and then he will attack you spiritually because there is an open door for his access into your heart and mind and spirit. You will hunger for what you feed on. “Set your mind on things above” Paul wrote. “Not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2)
Jude, the brother of Jesus said, “…build yourselves up in your most holy faith…” (Jude 20) Your lifestyle of worship is built upon time spent each day praising the Lord, singing a “tehillah”, a new song to the Lord, thanking Him, acknowledging Him, lifting His name high. “Forget not His benefits,” the Psalmist wrote. (Psalm 103:1-2) He is jealous for that praise because He is jealous for you. The Lord doesn’t want your love because He’s needy and weak- it’s because He made you. He delights in you. (Psalm 149:4) He wants you to have every advantage in this fallen world, and praise is a weapon that will help you win the battles in your life!
Thought for today: The Safest Place for the Soul is the Secret Place
The power that praise holds in the lives of God’s people is directly linked to the time you spend in His presence. Praise creates a holy dwelling place for the Lord. (Psalm 22:3) When it comes to the “worship” of the world and their music, it’s important to use discernment and to remember that your spirit will hunger for what you feed it. The Lord is jealous for praise because He is jealous for You. He is jealous for you because He loves you. He loves you because He made you. He made you to be in relationship with you.
God is jealous, a “consuming fire”, (Deut. 4:24) and He’s willing to fight for you. Not because He needs you, but because He knows you need Him and He will do whatever it takes to draw you closer. Worship facilitates that connection and Satan wants nothing more than to break it, because he’s jealous for you too- and willing to fight as well. Think about this: If you spend more time with the world’s “worship” more than you do worshipping the holy God, ask the Lord to show you why that is. If you’re more comfortable singing to the world’s music than singing to the Lord, or if you spend more time surrounded by the secular than the sacred- there may be a problem with carnal thinking and spiritual disconnect that you need to deal address. God is jealous for you and your worship- so is Satan, so… who gets to have you?
Here are More Reasons Why God is Jealous for Your Praise
- “Refusing to Bow Before the Idols of the Nations”
- “Praise Bring the Power of Your Testimony to the World”
- “The Secret Place and the Hidden Benefits of Praise”
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