And he said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” So he had him ride in his chariot.
2 Kings 10:16
Jehu is one of the most interesting kings in Northern Israel during the divided kingdom. He is known for two actions: 1) wiping out the wicked line of Ahab and Jezebel, and 2) driving his chariot with reckless abandon. He had NASCAR sponsors on his chariot because he was that fast! His motivations according to this text are to do these things out of passionate worship of the Lord. He is literally driven to quickly restore Israel by eradicating the evil household of Ahab.
Zeal is a word not used much these days, but a term embraced by Jehu about his own life. The word is used in the Old Testament to describe everything from sexual passion to rivalry against a bitter enemy. It is a burning soul fire. It is a passion that demands action of the person it possesses. It can only be quenched by acting upon it. And this zeal for God marked Jehu's obsession with removing every vestige of Ahab's wicked legacy from Israel.
I'm thinking now about zeal. Does it mark my attitude toward the gospel? Does it mark my desire to fight sin in my own life? Does a driving passion excite my heart for Jesus? It might be that the "first love" Jesus wants from His church as described in the book of Revelation is really the same idea as zeal for the Lord described in the Old Testament. If so, I really want to have that zeal!