ZEAL FOR THE LORD
By Wayne S. Walker
In 2 Kings 10:16, Jehu, who had been anointed king of the nation of Israel and commissioned to destroy the seed of wicked Ahab, said to Jehonadab the Rechabite, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” From the account of Jehu’s activity in chapters 9 and 10, no one can deny that he did have a zeal for the Lord of some kind. In this short article, I would like to encourage all Christians who are reading these words to develop a zeal and dedication for Christ also.
I am not much of a sports fan. I especially do not care for professional sports because of the crass commercialism involved. However, in years gone by, I used to enjoy watching the Olympic games. The next time they occur, if you have some extra time in which you are not sharing the gospel and trying to win souls, I would suggest that you also take a look at the Olympic competition. There are several reasons why the Olympics appealed to me, the first being that the participants were not there for the money—there was simply no money to be had in former days. Rather, they were there just because they wanted to be.
Also many interesting things can happen during the games. In the 1976 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria, the men’s downhill ski race, the first main event, was won in a spectacular performance by an Austrian name Franz Klammer. The amazing thing about Klammer was that he was only 22 years old then (the same age as this writer was at the time). There were many men much older and more experienced than he, but Klammer was faster than any of them, and his flawless run beat them all. Just think—what were you doing at age 22? What feats for Christ were you trying to accomplish then? Of course, there are things in life more important than winning a men’s downhill ski race, but Franz Klammer will have something which he can remember and be proud of for the rest of his life. Yet many Christians, two and three times as old as he, have done practically nothing so far in the service of the Master!
But the major reason that I have enjoyed the Olympics is that they bring to my mind the tremendous amount of time, energy, effort, and plain old hard work that these athletes must put in to get where they are. And when I think of that, I begin to feel ashamed for my brethren, and myself, because we do not seem to exhibit this same kind of enthusiasm and dedication for our Savior. “…Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25b).
As we contemplate the work that needs to be done—seeking the lost, restoring the fallen, strengthening the weak, teaching the young in faith, keeping the saved saved, ministering to the sick, providing for the needy, encouraging the lonely and discouraged, comforting the bereaved, and visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction—let us remember the words of the inspired Preacher who wrote, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Truly, the Lord’s people must possess a “zeal for the Lord.”
—in The Gospel Guardian; May 15, 1976; Vol. 28, No. 10; p. 12