Psalms 119:137-144

“My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.” (v. 139)

The zeal of the Lord and the fire of the Lord, are much the same thing. Those who spoke of the zeal of God, or zeal towards God, did some mighty works in their zeal. It seems that the zealous ones are those who want to call down fire from Heaven and destroy the unbelievers. David realized this in himself, a zeal to kill all those who oppose the Lord God; it was a zeal that almost controlled him to the extent that it was nearly irresistible. I believe Jesus had this zeal, but in a much more controlled manner. It is a very strong desire to promote the Lord, and deter those who would do otherwise. Websters 1828 American English Dictionary defines zeal as such:

ZEAL, n. [Gr., L.] Passionate ardor in the pursuit of any thing. In general, zeal is an eagerness of desire to accomplish or obtain some object, and it may be manifested either in favor of any person or thing, or in opposition to it, and in a good or bad cause.

Yes, a “passionate ardor” is needed today. A people who will stand for what is right, no matter what. Oh that we could say, “my zeal hath eaten me up” or “I am totally consumed in my zeal” for the Lord. The zealot will fight for what he believes, as Peter was willing to do at one time. The zealot will know boldness, the boldness of God, and will defy the enemies of God openly and eagerly. David loved the Word of God and His promises, and he was willing to be consumed in upholding them, and fight to the death to preserve them. This is what happens when the zeal of the Lord consumes us.

As we search out the word “zeal” we see that it can be applied in a good sense, as well as in an evil sense, as our definition from Webster notes. Be careful to be zealous for the Lord, and not against Him. Paul was both of these, but thank God he was converted and used his zeal for the Lord. He is, perhaps, the greatest example of zeal that we have in the New Testament, other than Christ Himself, while David is probably the greatest example in the Old Testament.

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