For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. –Psalm 69:9
Zeal-qin’ah (OT 7068): ardour, zeal, jealousy; ardour of zeal (of religious zeal): of men for God, of men for the house of God, of God for his people.[i]
Ever notice how people really get exited over insignificant things. I remember seeing a cartoon of a pastor at a football game and the caption said, “I really don’t like football I just wanted to see someone get exited about something!” In the grand scheme of life it really does not matter who won the NCAA basketball championship, or the Superbowl, or how trendy the latest designs are coming out of New York or Paris.
The wording here: the zeal of thine house has eaten me up. My love and passion for the house of God is consuming me. It is important to me and I will be active, zealous and passionate in its defense! The psalmist even comes to the point here to that if someone reproaches the house of God are fallen on me. I am to take it personally. It is my responsibility as a member of the church (and even more so to those of us entrusted with positions of service. And I said service not leadership. The Pastor is the head servant and shepherd of the flock under God and is worthy of honor and obedience of the flock but the heart of a true pastor sees himself as a servant among servants. The same is true of us old crusty deacons whose job it is to hold up the pastors arms as Aaron and Hur did for Moses. But I digress. Excuse my rant, but what else are parentheses good for?)
This is the verse the disciples remembered when they saw Jesus turning over the money tables of those who sold oxen, doves, and exchanged money not because they were selling but because they had made His House “a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13). People were coming to worship and they were robbing them! What are we as Christians to be zealous over?
- Sin in the church. God cannot bless a church that harbors sin.
- A pure pulpit where the man of God is free to preach whatever God leads him to.
- Attacks against the men of God. If you are going to have the pastor for dinner make sure he is there! Same goes for your deacons, teachers and other leaders, but especially for your Pastor!
This is just a few thoughts to get us started. Bitterness and strife has no place in the house of God. We need to be a kind and forgiving people. We are different but human and we need to make a conscious effort to forgive those who offended us (and there is not a place in the Bible where we are commanded to get an apology to forgive! We just need to forgive and not make a big show about it and tell 40 people how you forgave sister so-and-so for what she said to you. Then you are a gossip spreading strife under a cloak of false spirituality.) I find the easiest ways to do this is to pray to God about it, bring the offence to Him in a spirit of humility and forgiveness. We do not need to be zealous over our feelings or rights. It is about others. Contrary to what Cain said, I am my brother’s keeper.
Just something to think about.
[i] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for qin’ah (Strong’s 07068)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2007. 13 Jun 2007. < http:// cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?