Genesis 26: 12-16: The green-eyed monster.
“12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth. 16 Then Abimelek said to Isaac, ‘Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.’” NIV UK
Jealousy! Who has not felt at some time or other? But it’s not an acceptable emotion for a Christian. It’s a sin – one of many sins for which Jesus died. Those of us who trust Him, and have a new nature because of him, must fight and resist every form of jealous, in the power of the Spirit God has given to us.. We must not enter into a tenancy agreement with it; not allow it to occupy one single room in the building of our life. Show it the door. Today’s reading shows something of the pettiness of jealousy. What peevish forms it can take. Have you ever looked back on feelings you had at one time, or certain ways of building, and felt ashamed? ‘How could I have been like that?’, you may wonder.
Apparently, this actually happened. Many years ago, during a time of scarcity (I think in the years of World War 2), a little boy won a box of chocolates at a Sunday School party. That would be quite something to take home to his mother. But his ‘friend’, who was sat next to him, was obviously unable to feel ‘blessed’ by this happening to someone else. He placed his hand under the box, and knocked it flying up into the air, so that the chocolates went everywhere.
Whether this story is correct in ever detail or not, we know it is true to how jealousy often acts. It produces malicious, and downright silly responses.
God kept His Word to Isaac (12, see also 3). It is a sad fact of life in a fallen world, that we don’t always act with joy when we see the evident blessing of God on another.
I am also reminded, in today’s story, of Paul’s words to the Galatians:
‘’So let’s not get tired of doing good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up’’ (Gal.6:9 New Living Translation).