The Nature of Jealousy (Song of Solomon 8:6)

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The very nature of jealousy is to turn on those who harbor it; and it will ultimately destroy them. The Old Testament word for jealousy means “to burn or to inflame” – an apt description of what goes on inside the person who allows jealousy to smolder.

A legendary Burmese potter became jealous of the prosperity of a washerman. Determined to ruin him, the potter induced the king to issue an order requiring the man to wash one of his black elephants to white. The washerman replied that according to the rules of his vocation he would need a vessel large enough to hold the elephant, whereupon the king commanded the jealous potter to provide one. Though carefully fashioned, it crumbled to pieces beneath the weight of giant beast. He made many more vessels, but each was crushed in the same way. Eventually the potter was ruined by the very scheme he had devised to defame the man he envied.

In a similar way, Saul’s jealousy eventually caused his own destruction. In Proverbs 6:27 we read, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? The coals of jealousy quickly become a raging fire that will burn us severely. Unless we douse it with confession and repentance, it will eventually consume us. – Paul Van Gorder

As a moth gnaws a garment, so jealousy consumes a man.

  • April 24, Vol. 1, Our Daily Bread
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