Jealousy…opposite of love

Daniel 6:6-14

So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.

10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?”

The king answered and said, “The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”

13 So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is one of the captives [fn1] from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

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picture taken from: The Kingdom, The Kids, & the Cowboys a blog site

Jealousy is devious.  It acts in a manner opposite that of love — the command by which all others are derived.  The command to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength  and love your neighbor as yourself would not seek harm to a colleague or neighbor. A devious plan is created to remove Daniel, a plan attacking the only area in Daniel’s life that could not be manipulated.  His faith and trust in God and his consistent manner of giving honor and respect to God.  Daniel remained faithful.  His faith had carried him and would continue to.  No reason now to believe any different.  He did not defy the decree; he simply continued to do what he did; give honor to God Almighty.  May we believe as he believed; God is who He says He is; He does what He says He will do.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Fear not…

Acts 17: 1-9

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious,  took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.  But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

 Fear of the unknown, jealousy, change, placing mankind above God all have a part in this scene.  Fear perhaps is the overriding factor.  It has as a consequence the evidence of jealousy, unwillingness to change, not wanting to step out of a place of comfort or familiarity.  Scripture says love casts out all fear.  If we are unwilling to accept the love God extends to us we find ourselves captive to fear and all its manifestations.  Many turned to Christ, believing the word being delivered by Paul and Silas.  However there were those who did not and found this new belief presented to them to be a challenge to the day-to-day life they lived.  It called for change, it presented a new way to think and do.  This change in those who accepted, challenged the authority and position of the Jews who did not accept it.  People leaving a faith brings fear of loss to those still in it and jealousy arises.  Jealousy is a destructive force that is willing to use violence to gain its objectives.  In its reaction, it also presents the possibility that the very thing it is jealous of has power to defeat it.  And God’s protection rested over Jason and the brothers.

 What is the take away?  When we share we can expect just such a reaction.  It is not rational and further emphasizes our need to rely and trust in the Lord we serve.  Keeping our focus on Him and what He has for us to do keeps us from buying into the fear that could rise up.  Fear not, a phrase often used by Jesus.  Fear not.

Filtered vision

John 12:12-19

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:


​‘​Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’

​​The King of Israel!”

 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

 ​​“Fear not, daughter of Zion;

​​Behold, your King is coming,

​​Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.  For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.  The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”

Looking at events, people, ideas through our filters changes what is to what it appears to be.  The people saw Jesus and used a filter of miracles to determine that he was to be their king.  What that truly meant to them evaporates when opposition comes.  They are participants in a prophecy that even those versed and taught in the scriptures missed until later.  The Pharisees view this event through the filter of jealousy and envy.  …”You see that you are accomplishing nothing.” …another translation puts it this way, ” See, this is  getting us nowhere.” The ‘me’ factor, what is in it for me?  This statement is followed by the comment; “Look, the whole world has gone after Him!”  What prevents us from rejoicing in the success or accolades presented to another?  Children demonstrate this at a very young age.  Praise one and the one standing near by will tell you what they have done.  We must be taught to be glad for another’s achievements, it is learned.  Because of this selfish attitude, those who knew and taught scriptures missed the significance of the event.  We can take heed, when our own selfish desires and filters arise we may be hindered from receiving a blessing from the Lord.  Lord, increase our awareness of our own attitudes toward others.  May we follow you because we love and adore you for who you are not just what you do.  May we develop a relationship that brings us to a place of genuine love for our people that enables us to rejoice in their blessings as well as empathize with them in their sorrow.  May our devotion to you go deeper than the superficial praises given by the crowd.  May our faith in you grow to the point that when opposition comes we can stand firm by your side and not run in fear. When we say. “Bless the Lord!” let it be from the heart with conviction and determination.