Qanna: His Name is “Jealous”
“You shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." Exodus 34:14
The name Qanna means “jealous” and it is only used to describe God’s jealousy. The fundamental use of the word relates to a marriage relationship. In several scriptures, God is depicted as the husband to His people, a comparison to one of the deepest loves found on earth.
There is a holy jealousy, which is what a person can feel for their spouse. When you understand covenant, you understand that you belong to one another in marriage, not as a possession to objectify, but a possession to treasure. I could say, “Jerry isn’t just a husband, he is MY husband.” Jerry could say of me, “She isn’t just a wife; she is MY wife.” A holy jealousy wants to protect what is theirs - their marriage covenant and their marriage partner. “Jealous” is one name for God, and it is holy.
A holy jealousy isn’t based in fear of what could be lost, but a respect for the love we have found. There is an unholy jealousy, a jealousy based on insecurity. God isn’t insecure to demand respect for His covenant. A spouse isn’t insecure to expect respect for their marriage. Adultery can happen when you love your spouse first, but you’ve made room to love someone else second. God wants to be more than first in our life; God wants to be our one and only. Either you are His or you are not; there is nothing on the side. When God set His covenant with Israel, He gave commandments as part of the covenant agreement, an agreement not to sin, saying, “For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.”
How could we disrespect God and cause Him to be jealous? Through a heart that desires something that is outside of our relationship, a sin. When we love God, we set our affection on Him. If something tries to pull us away from our set affection, the honorable thing to do is to stop it. It is a matter of respect to protect and cherish our love. If we don’t cherish our relationship with God, then we don’t mind taking risks that could lead to hurting Him, angering Him, or causing interference with our communion.
God is jealous for you because He loves you. He is like a good husband, and He’s faithful. His name is still Jealous, and God will still fight for you. In James 4:4,5 it is written that sin will put you at odds with God. “…Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?” If you have made room for sin, remove it, and make God your One and Only. His love forgives, heals, and restores!
Application: Some have known an unholy jealousy that is controlling, and they resist being controlled. God isn’t like that. Trust His love.