Last night I was reading Is God A Moral Monster? by Paul Copan. For some reason as I was reading about the jealousy of God an episode of the greatest sitcom ever came into my mind, The Cosby Show.
There is a great show where Rudy (the youngest daughter) wants to play football. The initial reaction of Clair is, let’s just say, less than thrilled.
Rudy lights up the entire league with her mad skills until the championship game.
They get throttled.
Clair sends Rudy upstairs to get cleaned up after the game and then starts to blow up in the kitchen. She talks about the way the other team manhandled HER daughter. She ends her venting by talking about a kid on the other team and that she wanted to smack him!
It seems to be a decent parable for the jealousy of God.
Many people, like Oprah, have said the issue of the jealousy of God is what turned them away from Christianity. Although, the idea of God being jealous can be difficult, what if we understood it through the above example?
Clair wanted to protect Rudy. She didn’t want Rudy to get hurt. She loved Rudy. She jealously wanted the best for Rudy.
Clair wasn’t sitting back saying, “She is going to get hurt and won’t ever be able to love me.” “Doesn’t she understand I am her provider and she needs to do what I say.” “Doesn’t she get that if she just did what I said, how I said, when I said it we would both be happy! Yet, she has decided to put me through misery by going and playing football of all things! She never thinks about me.”
This was not in Clair’s mind, yet she was jealous for her baby girl. In fact, jealously wanting her best was not egotistical, but lovingly proper to desire the best for Rudy.
Here is another way to see the jealousy of God through a passage in Copan’s book.
Those claiming that God’s jealousy is petty and constricting might like God to a husband who won’t let his wife even talk to another man. A more appropriate analogy, however, is a husband who is concerned that his wife is being emotionally drawn toward another man. He wants to protect the preciousness of marital intimacy, which is in the best interests of his wife and their marriage.