Perhaps the most beautiful, powerful and emotional thing the Lord ever did was to send His Son to earth to experience the human condition in all of its sin and darkness, pain and humiliation, rejection and death – but it was not the “experience” the Lord sought after. It was restoration. Reconciliation. God’s love for you is so fierce and so desperate and so passionate and so deep that He was willing to sacrifice His own Son to death so you could have a Savior and be reconciled to Him again. It was Isaiah who prophesied of the coming Savior and he declared that “…the zeal of the Lord will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:7)
When Adam and Even sinned in the Garden of Eden, the beautiful, perfect world God had created to fellowship in close relationship with His creation was immediately thrust away from His holiness. A gap between the holiness and light of God and the filth and darkness of sin lay between the two and there mankind languished for thousands of years toiling, fighting, killing and dying. Even so, God’s jealousy, passion and intimate love for His people has never, ever changed.
The Zeal of the Lord is Passion with a Promise
How can a loving God have wrath? In order to answer that question, it is crucial to know what the wrath was toward. God’s wrath was never against people, but against sin. And He poured that wrath out onto His Son, Jesus and now, it is no longer in effect for those who are in Christ. (Is. 53:6) The zeal of the Lord refers to His jealousy and passion for you, to be close to you. His jealousy and zeal refer to the kind of love that wars are fought over. His zeal is to win your love, to be close to you and to keep you under His protection- and He’s willing to battle for that! And for the span of time between sin’s entry into the world and the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, God was faithful to send word to His people that He was on His way!
Take a look at just a few of the promises driven by the zeal of the Lord, outlining the miracle of what He had planned to bring you and I close to Him once again:
Isaiah 11: “And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord….In that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the peoples. For him shall the nations seek. And his rest shall be glorious…”
Isaiah 9: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light has shined…For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the bar of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor…For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with justice and with righteousness, from now until forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.”
Isaiah 43: “You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior…See, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not be aware of it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 53: “Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.“
Isaiah 60: “…I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob… Violence shall no more be heard in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord shall be an everlasting light to you and your God for your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor shall your moon wane; for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall end.”
Thought for today: The Zeal of the Lord Consumes
Jesus Christ, who “knew no sin and became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21) is the evidence of the zeal of the Lord, His unfailing love, which has never changed from the first moment He spoke life and breath into Adam. He has always desired you. Nothing will ever change that. I’ll say it again: NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE THAT. (Romans 8:38-39) Maybe on your end sin has made you feel you cannot get close to God’s holiness, but because of Jesus Christ you can! If you have Jesus in you, you are worthy, you are cleansed, you are considered righteous through Him. Run to Jesus! David wrote, “the zeal of Your house has consumed me” (Psalm 69:9) because he knew that the way to war and to win was through the worship of the Lord whose zeal for him was unmatched in heaven and on earth. Worship the Lord and thank Him for Jesus. The Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, who took your sin upon Himself, was born to die so that you could live with God eternally. (John 3:16-17) That is the GOOD NEWS of which the angels sang!
Discover More About the Zeal of the Lord for You
- “Why Does the Lord Do All That He Does for You?”
- “Unshackled From Your Own Chains”
- “Waymaker in the Wasteland”
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!