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Commentary on "Jealousy"



Day 2: Sunday, February 27, 2011 - At the Root of Evil



How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV)

According to Ellen White in Early Writings, p. 145 this “triggered dissension, rebellion, violence, and much pain to all inhabitants of heaven…”



I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit. (Isaiah 14:14-15 HCSB)

Scripture makes no direct reference to a rebellion in heaven as described by Ellen White. Isaiah 14 simply says that Satan (the ‘shining morning star’) said “I will make myself like the Most High” but instead, in verse 15, would be ‘brought down to Sheol’. The lesson states that “Lucifer did not look at what he had; instead, he chose to contemplate what Christ had”. This is without biblical support and certainly not stated in today’s theme text.

Keep in mind that the subject for this week is jealousy with the implied idea that jealousy is a sin. This Isaiah passage does not use the word ‘jealousy’ in describing Satan’s sin. Elsewhere, the bible declares that God is jealous when anyone puts anything equal when him.

Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, (Ex 20:4-5 HCSB)

The title for today’s lesson, ‘At the Root of Evil’, alludes to a similar phrase used in 1 Tim. 6:10 and implies that jealous is the root of all that is sinful.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. (1 Tim 6:10 HCSB)

We need to make it clear that money is not evil. Instead, it is the love of money which leads to all kinds of evil. Returning to our theme, jealousy is also not the root cause of sin or what is evil. If we are to take the lesson title seriously, we need to dig deeper and ask; what is the root cause of evil?

The lesson introduces ‘envy and selfish ambition’ in James 3:16-17. While our emotion of jealousy can easily lead to envy, they are not the same thing. Envy, even when hidden away in our heart, is sin. From this passage we can conclude that the sin of envy leads to many acts of sin and is a root form of sin.

For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. James 3:16-17 HCSB)



  1. Since God declares himself to be a jealous God, it should be obvious that jealousy, of itself, is not a sin. God is truthful, righteous, holy and just.
  2. Whatever Satan’s motives may have been for wanting to be equal with God, any jealousy he may have experienced was not the root cause of his sin.
  3. When Ellen White, or anyone else, goes beyond what scripture actually states, we are in danger of gaining a wrong understanding of what God is teaching us in his holy scriptures. Jealousy only leads to sin when our object of jealousy is sinful. When we are jealous of the same things God is jealous of there is no sin involved.
  4. Along with ‘the love of money’, it is envy that leads to all sorts of sin and could be said to be ‘a root form of evil’.




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