In the video at the bottom of this post you will see Oprah Winfrey explaining that her rejection of the Christian God and the initiation of her search for something else began when she heard her Baptist preacher say that God is a jealous God. Something about that didn’t set well with her.
Was her concern justified? Is God really self-centered? The below text is an excerpt from J.I. Packer’s book Hot Tub Religion in which he explains why God must be jealous or cease to be God;
That God aims always to glorify himself is an assertion we at first find hard to believe. Our immediate reaction is an uncomfortable feeling that such an idea is unworthy of God, that self-concern of any sort is incompatible with moral perfection, and in particular with God’s nature as love. Many sensitive and morally cultured people are shocked by the thought that God’s ultimate end is his own glory, and strongly oppose such a concept. To them, it depicts God as essentially no different from an evil man, or even the devil himself! To them it is an immoral and outrageous doctrine, an if the Bible teaches it, so much the worse for the Bible! They often draw this conclusion explicitly with regard to the Old Testament. A volume, they say, that depicts God so persistently as a “jealous” Being, concerned first and foremost about his “honor,” cannot be regarded as divine truth, for God is not like that. It is blasphemy, real if unintentional, to think that he is! Since these convictions are widely and strongly held, it is important to consider what validity, if any, they have.
We begin by asking: why are these convictions asserted with so much heat? On other theological matters people can disagree calmly enough. But protests against the doctrine that God’s chief end is his glory are made with passion and often angry rhetoric. The answer is not difficult to see, and it does credit to the moral earnestness of the speakers. These people are sensitive to the sinfulness of continual self-seeking. They know that the desire to gratify self is at the root of moral weaknesses and shortcomings. They are themselves trying as best they can to face and fight this desire. Hence they conclude that for God to be self-centered would be equally wrong. The vehemence with which they reject the idea that the holy God would exalt himself reflects their acute sense of the guiltiness of their own self-seeking.
Is their conclusion valid? We repeat: it is in fact a complete mistake. If it is right for man to have the glory of God as his goal, can it be wrong for God to have the same goal? If man can have no higher purpose than God’s glory, how can God? If it is wrong for man to seek a lesser end than this, it would be wrong for God, too. The reason it cannot be right for man to live for himself, as if he were God, is because he is not God. However, it cannot be wrong for God to seek his own glory, simply because he is God. Those who insist that God should not seek his glory in all things are really asking that he cease to be God. And there is no greater blasphemy than to will God out of existence.