Zeal for the Lord!

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John 2:12–13 HCSB
After this, He went down to Capernaum, together with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples, and they stayed there only a few days. The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
John 2:14–15 HCSB
In the temple complex He found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and He also found the money changers sitting there. After making a whip out of cords, He drove everyone out of the temple complex with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables.
John 2:16–17 HCSB
He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” And His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for Your house will consume Me.
John 2:18–19 HCSB
So the Jews replied to Him, “What sign of authority will You show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered, “Destroy this sanctuary, and I will raise it up in three days.”
John 2:20–21 HCSB
Therefore the Jews said, “This sanctuary took 46 years to build, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking about the sanctuary of His body.
John 2:22 HCSB
So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this. And they believed the Scripture and the statement Jesus had made.
Dr. A.B. Simpson was a zealot for the Deeper Life ideal. His concept of the “Deeper Life” was based on his understanding of the incarnation, when God became flesh in Jesus, and man became one with God. One’s whole life is to be a pursuit of becoming one with God through a belief, trust, and following of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Jesus prays that this “Deeper Life” truth would become evident in our very lives,
John 17:21–22 HCSB
May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one.
John 17:22–23 HCSB
I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.
What Jesus is praying for us is that we become little incarnations of Himself in the world. This is the understanding that Dr. A.B. Simpson had of what it means to live the “Deeper Life”, being little incarnations of Jesus in the world.
“Yes, a real Christian will honestly be able to demonstrate by their speech and actions that, “If you have seen me, you have seen Jesus Christ!”” -Days of Heaven and Earth, Monday, May 7, 2018, Readings by A.B. Simpson. Are you and I being little incarnations of Jesus in our world? If we are actively pursuing to be incarnations of Jesus in this world, we are actively seeking to be incarnations of God in this world. This is indeed what we are called to be. This is the deeper life - living in and as God’s presense in our world today.
This I would say to you is a present day sign of Jesus, a miracle - that someone who would be the embodiment of God today; caring for, loving, being, creating, and doing all that God would do, be, and is. Would you not agree, to find a person who is this 100% of the time, would be a living miracle? This is who Jesus is.
John, in his Gospel account, declares the cleansing of the temple as a miracle, a sign of God. Why does John declare the temple cleansing as a miracle, and/or a sign of God? Does it fit our idea of a miracle or sign of Jesus? Is the miracle/sign that Jesus cleansed the temple of corruption or that someone would dare do so? As Jesus drove out the oxen, sheep, turning over the money changers tables, and pouring their coins on the ground, He is asked, by “What sign of authority will You show us for doing these things?” (John 2:18).
John 2:18 HCSB
So the Jews replied to Him, “What sign of authority will You show us for doing these things?”
The fact that someone, would be crazy enough, to fashion a whip, and have the umption to upset and drive out all that had been given persmission to be there, by the religious authorities, has to beg the question, “Who is this guy? Who does He think He is? Why such anger? Why such passion? Why such hostility? Why such zeal?”
Psalm 69:8 HCSB
I have become a stranger to my brothers and a foreigner to my mother’s sons
Psalm 69:9 HCSB
because zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult You have fallen on me.
What is the mark of conviction? What is the mark of ownership? What is the mark of care? Zeal. What is zeal? New Testament wise Zelos [2205] could be defined as excellence; what one does not have, one seeks to supply oneself with. It can be defined as jealousy (Acts 5:17; Romans 3:13; Galatians 5:20) and bitter envy (James 3:14). In the Old Testament the Hebrew equivalent is Qinah [7068] meaning ardent zeal (2 Kgs 10:16, Isa 9:7; 26:11), jealousy (Prov. 6:34; 27:4; Ezek. 8:3; Isa 11:13), envy (Job 5:2), ardor, anger, indignation (Dt 20:20; Ps 79:5).
The best biblical definition of zeal that fits our context though, I believe is found in Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Song of Solomon 8:6–7 NRSV
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.
Zeal is that which is as strong as death and as fierce as the grave! Do we know Jesus in that way? Are we passionate for the things of God is this way? How about the Word of God? How do we get to know Jesus? By having a zeal for the Word of God that is as strong as death and as fierce as the grave. You can only get to know Jesus as you immerce yourself in His Word, His teachings, His love, His walk, and His heart. How zealous can one be with spending 5 minutes a day with Jesus? How can you clearly know the Father’s heart if His will is not hidden in your heart? What is David’s encouragement to us?
Psalm 119:11 NRSV
I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.
A zeal for the Word of God leads us to a resolution to not sin against God, because we then know what brings Him disgrace and displeasure. For the marrieds in our family, what brings your spouse displeasure? What is discouraging to them? What brings them disgrace? How do you know? Because you are invested in your spouse and you spend time with them. Would you openly bring them harm? No, because you love them and you know them. Hopefully we have a love and zeal for them stronger than death and more fierce than the grave.
What about your Father and/or mother? Would you choose to disgrace them or honor them? I guess it would depend on if you love them or not, if you respected them of not? If they invested in you, spent time with you, and loved you. Today there is a lot of zeal missing between moms and dads and children. Why? I believe because of mixed up parental priorities which leads to abuse of children physically, emotionally, and spiritually. How can we expect mixed up parents to bring up healthy children if the parents are not healthy? Now we have schools and government taking parental responsibilites out of the hands of parents because parents have been giving up the priority of their kids for years.
What is the cause? A lost zeal for God and the things of God. Satan is more zealous about deceiving and destroying you and me, than we are zealous about God and the things of God.
Why did Israel go wayward so many times from God? Because their Zeal for God and the things of God was far weaker than the zealousness of Satan. Satan is consumed with destroying and perverting the image of God and all that God has created…everything. The Bible says Satan was a murderer and liar from the beginning and from the beginning he has been all about sinning and causing our destruction, killing our zeal, and stealing our love.
John 8:44 HCSB
You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.
1 John 3:8 HCSB
The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.
John 10:10 HCSB
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
1 Peter 5:8–9 HCSB
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
One’s zeal for God is always tested by the zeal of Satan. Is my zeal for God stronger than Satan’s zeal for me? James gives us some sobering advice and the way to victory over Satan,
James 4:7 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
To submit to God means to give into His Word, His ways, and His will. How are we doing in submitting to God? To know the Father, is to know Jesus, which means living in loving submission to Jesus. He who loves Jesus, loves God; and He who submits to Jesus, submits to God. 1 John 4:7-21 speaks of this truth.
1 John 4:15 HCSB
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God.
1 John 4:16 HCSB
And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
When is the last time we have confessed and witnessed to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God…outside of Church? When is the last time you have witnessed to your love of Jesus outside of the Church walls? To fail to witness to your love of Jesus and His truth is to fail to resist the Devil, destroy His work, and submit to God. It is to stand with the silent majority.
Jesus stated His purpose for coming to the earth…what was it?
John 18:37 HCSB
“You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”
Is our zeal for Jesus and His voice greater than Satan’s zeal for us? To be in a living relationship with Jesus is to have zeal for His purpose: to testify to the truth. What is that truth? That Jesus is the Son of God, who came, being very God, to testify to the truth, that God loves man, created man, and has died to redeem man through the Son, Jesus Christ, because man lives under the wrath of God, disobeying God, and bringing sin and death into His world. Without being born again unto God, through belief in Jesus, repentance from sin, one will not be forgiven, and therefore subject to eternal torment, in an eternal hell, seperated from the eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, being One, God, who has an eternal life for all who would believe upon Jesus Christ and follow Him. This is the Truth, the Witness, the Testimony of Jesus. This is what Jesus is zealous about: His love for His Father, His will, His work, and His Word. And we are to be zealous about the same things if we are proclaiming to believe and follow Jesus.
Is our zeal for Jesus and the truth of Jesus. greater than Satan’s zeal for us? Does it consume us? The word consume [2719] katesthio means to eat, swallow, or devour. Does Jesus, and the truth of Jesus, devour our souls, our hearts, and our being?
King Jehu - Zealous for the LORD (2 Kgs 10:16; 9-10)
Jehu was anointed King over Israel, by the prophet Elisha, as instructed by God. He was the son of Nimshi, and a commander in King Jehoram’s army, the son of King Jehoshaphat, and his successor.
King Jehoshaphat “did what was right in the sight of the LORD” (1 Kgs 22:43), having completed the work of his father, King Asa, in eliminating the male cult-prostitutes (1 Kgs 22:47) in Judah. But King Jehoshaphat did not dismantle the “high places” or country shrines, where the people sacrificed and burned incense to other gods (1 Kgs 22:44).
King Jehoshaphat also signed an alliance with King Ahab of Israel,and endorsed the marriage of his son, Jehoram, to Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah…the daughter of Queen Jezebel.
Jezebel, as we know, was the infamous wife of King Ahab, who fostered the worship of the Canaanite fertility deities, had 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah sit at the royal table, and ruthlessly persecuted the prophets of God. Most famously she conceived the plot and death of Naboth the Jezreelite, so that her husband, King Ahab, could obtain Naboth’s vineyard for a vegetable garden (1 Kgs 21).
Jehu was anointed King for one reason, to destroy the line and legacy of King Ahab, including Queen Jezebel (2 Kgs 9:3; 6-10) for the prophets and servants of the LORD who perished under their rule. 2 Kgs 9:7
2 Kings 9:7 HCSB
You are to strike down the house of your master Ahab so that I may avenge the blood shed by the hand of Jezebel—the blood of My servants the prophets and of all the servants of the Lord.
King Jehu takes vengence upon Jehoram (Joram), the King of Israel (King Ahab’s son), killing him on the ground of Naboth the Jezreelite’s vineyard (2 Kgs 9:25). King Ahaziah of Judah is also slain because of his association with King Joram (2 Kgs 9:27). Queen Mother Jezebel meets her death, as Jehu orders those loyal to him, to throw her down out of the window, before him. Jehu rides over her broken and bleeding body and proceeds to go eat and drink.
What is it of King Jehu that should catch our attention? His zeal for the LORD, and the things of the LORD. He again is a Messiah-type figure, taking vengence for the LORD’s prophets and servants. He takes the his anointing and instructions seriously. There is no waiting, no delay with Jehu. He does what needs and is ordered to be done, immediately. Jehu’s zeal is stronger than death, and passion greater than the grave.
How do we respond to our LORD’s commands? His will? His love?
Jehu’s motivation: to fulfill God’s instruction, be pleasing to the LORD.
2 Kings 9:36 HCSB
So they went back and told him, and he said, “This fulfills the Lord’s word that He spoke through His servant Elijah the Tishbite: ‘In the plot of land at Jezreel, the dogs will eat Jezebel’s flesh.
Affirming Jehonadab’s allegiance, King Jehu pulls him up into his chariot and says to him,
2 Kings 10:16 HCSB
Then he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord!” So he let him ride with him in his chariot.
King Jehu struck down all remaining in the house of Ahab, all of King Amaziah’s relatives, all the servants of Baal and it’s worshipers, and destroyed the temple and pillars to Baal. He personally eliminated all Baal worship from Israel and turned it’s temple site into a latrine. He cleansed Israel, the temple of God, from the corruption of it’s rulers, priests, prophets, and people…much like Jesus did, and like Jesus would have for us today.
The church must remain pure and holy. There is no room for a false gospel that denies the deity and humanity of Christ Jesus and His Word. There is no place for social justice theory that is not Biblical justice. There is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - three in One, One in three. There are only two genders - Male and Female - as God created, and the Bible records, having been set forth in the Garden of Eden and were told to multiply and exercise dominion over the earth.
There is no middle ground with God and His Word, there is no trans-kind, only Satan’s deception, destruction, and perversion of God’s creation and created order. Child sacrifice was not condened by God in the days recorded in the Bible, and He does not condon it today. God is the same today, as yesterday, as He will be tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). The church must remain pure and holy, with a zeal stronger than death, and passion more fierce than the grave. Our calling is not to vengence. Our calling is to truth…the truth of God and we will only be faithful to our calling if we are zealous for Jesus and His truth.
What does the apostle Paul instruct in our living towards our enemies?
Romans 12:19 HCSB
Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.
Zeal for Jesus, and His truth, is a sign to the world that we believe Jesus is the Messiah.
Do I truly believe that Jesus is the Messiah to come? Then my zeal for Him should be a refection to the world. Is my zeal to be one with Him? This is the “Deeper Life” and it is only ignited and sustained by a zeal for the LORD Jesus, His ways, His will, and His Word.
Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD! Amen.
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