“Fresh Bread!” (Exodus 20:4-5)

The young man clad in a red apron emerged from the swinging door of the kitchen.

“Fresh bread!”

On cue, a dozen customers swarmed the man holding a tray of the freshly baked loaves. Seconds later, the tray was empty. There is something intoxicating about the smell of freshly baked bread, surpassed only by the explosion of senses that follows when one bites into it. 

I know this experience very well. For over twenty years, my mother baked fresh bread every week. Recently my wife has started baking bread, bringing back a rush of pleasant and delicious memories from childhood. To continue to receive this treat, one must keep the bread starter alive. If one does not “feed” the starter, refresh it with flour and water, it will not be able to be used after one week and the yeast will die. For my mother, it was a true commitment and she never traveled for more than a week out of fear that her starter would die. Of course, she could have asked someone else to feed her starter but she insisted on doing it herself, jealousy determined to keep it alive. 

You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods…

Exodus 20:4-5 (NLT)

The Bible often speaks of God as a jealous God. Isn’t jealousy an egregious sin? Is God a sinner? Of course the answer is no. Jealousy is a sin depending upon the context. If we covet someone else’s possession, something that does not belong to us, then it is a sin. God created all of us and we belong to Him. When we turn away from God and follow after the idols of this world like money, titles and awards, or physical gratification, He desires to prevent us from hurting and destroying ourselves. God’s love is perfect, complete, and all-consuming. It is a jealous love for us.

My mother’s jealous devotion to her starter was admirable and every week we were the grateful recipients. God jealously is devoted to His children and will do everything to demonstrate His love, even to send His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a Cross for the punishment for our sins which we rightfully deserved. 

Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy through faith and belief in His Son, Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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