It's been just over a decade since Oprah Winfrey revealed publicly why she walked away from Orthodox Christianity.
Orthodox simply means standard doctrine which was what the vast majority of Protestant churches believe. The reason she walked away from her faith in her late 20's was because she heard a sermon on Deuteronomy where she head this verse:
"For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." - Deuteronomy 24:4
After hearing that, it really bothered Oprah. Especially as her career started to gain steam and she started to become more and more famous with more and more wealth. It always bothered her that God was jealous of her. She didn't understand how that could be.
Well, simply put: God is not jealous of her. Not in the slightest. I think it's really important every now and then that we kind of pause on some of the verses in the Bible that might sound a little confusing to us at first glance. God is not jealous of us and and I find the notion of a jealous God who describes himself as a consuming fire to actually be very comforting. Think about it: God is the host of the angel armies. He's the Alpha and the Omega. He's the beginning and the end.
In fact, Psalm 50 tells us:
"But I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens. For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine." - Psalm 50:9-11
Psalm 147:4 also tells us that:
"He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name." - Psalm 147:4
What in the world do you and I have that God has not given us? The answer to that is absolutely nothing. Everything belongs to God (Hebrews 2:10). So then we must ask ourselves, what is this jealousy referring to?
We need to come to understand that God is not jealous of us, He is jealous for us. When we know this to be true, it changes everything. His love for you is so great that anything that would cause you to stray from him and put your trust in something that will only fail you infuriates him. But make no mistake, God isn't mad at you (Romans 8:1), God's anger rages at the idols that draw our attention away from dependence on Him. That's why he's a consuming fire like Deuteronomy 4 says. It's that deep love that sent His Son to the cross to finally and fully consume sin and death.
God is not jealous of you, but He is very jealous for you.