For zeal for Your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult You fall on me (Psalm 69:9).
David said this about 1000 years before Jesus lived it out.
David was uncomfortable with the spiritual status quo that had seemed to descend on him and the people around him. He desperately wanted to stoke the passion of his heart to burn hot for God again. So he prayed, he fasted, he abased himself, he cried out to God. Zeal for God consumed David!
Jesus wanted all people everywhere to come into His Father’s presence. So when Jesus saw His Father’s house overrun by merchants, effectively keeping people away from the closeness that David and others longed for, He went into action. Zeal for God consumed Jesus!
In both of them we see a passion for God that moved them to action, but action that also aroused the anger of those who preferred the passivity of “religious activity” to the realness of God’s presence. Both David and Jesus became the targets of insults, scorn, and mockery.
Just as Jesus would announce 1000 years later, David expressed the same motivation that prompted his zealous action: God’s glory—
- may those who hope in You not be disgraced because of me
- may those who seek You not be put to shame because of me
- may Your salvation protect me
Zeal for a real closeness to God’s presence is rare.
Zeal for that intimacy upsets hypocrites.
Zeal for God empowers others who aren’t satisfied with merely playing at religion.
Zeal for God glorifies God.
And most importantly: Zeal for God pleases God!
When you see play actors and religionists blocking hungry seekers from coming closer to God, I pray that your zeal, too, burns white hot. Be prepared to be the target of scorn, but know that God’s smile on your zeal for Him far outweighs their insults.