Spiritual zeal may be easier to describe than to define. It captures the idea of fervent passion, combines passion with single-minded devotion, infuses devotion with energetic enthusiasm, and focuses that enthusiasm on God and His will with spiritual intensity. In short, it takes God’s will so deeply to heart that it can shine through in every aspect of a person’s life. When Jehoidah hid Joash for six years after Athaliah’s coup d’état, his focus was on correcting this error and enthroning the righteous. So in the seventh year he set in motion a plan to put Joash on the throne, even though he was only seven years old. He found willing helpers among the chiefs and through them called help from the Levites and leaders throughout Judah (2 Chron. 23:1-2). He assembled this assembly of people and explained his plan to restore David’s descendants to their rightful place on the throne (2 Chron. 23:3-5). Yet despite his desire to have as much help as possible, he took holiness too seriously to condone breaking God’s covenant—even for mere motives (2 Chr. 23:6). Regardless, the mission he undertook depended on ensuring the safety of the young king—even if it meant personal sacrifice (2 Chr. 23:7). So the people followed Joidah’s instructions and anointed Joah king (2 Chr. 23:8-11). But when Athaliah heard the commotion, she cried, “Treason!” – certainly an ironic statement. Nevertheless, she was taken out of the temple by officials at Joida’s command and executed (2 Chr. 23:12-15). For Joida, however, it was not enough to shake off Atalia’s illegitimate rule. Instead, he led the people to devote themselves to the Lord’s people, both in conduct and devotion, and in name. So they destroyed the Baal temple and all its idolatrous connections and restored the worship of the Lord in the temple (2 Chron. 23:16-19). After struggling to destroy the evil influences of Athaliah, they placed Joash on the throne and rejoiced in what the providence of the LORD had made possible (2 Chron. 23:20-21).
Jehoidah’s zeal for the Lord and His covenant made him the very leader Judah needed in a time of turmoil and spiritual despair. More than that, he continues to serve as an example today of what we can achieve if we only regain the passion and enthusiasm for God that he expects of us. To do this, however, we must see that zeal is neither a fleeting emotion nor a passing whim. It is the everlasting enthusiasm of those who truly love God. Therefore, people who are zealous for the Lord:
(1) Let God’s Word direct what God’s people should do instead of turning to the world or personal opinions (2 Chron. 23:3; Jn. 17:17). .
(2) They take holiness seriously and refuse to compromise the truth (2 Chron. 23:6; 1 Pet. 1:16).
(3 ) They protect the king and his reputation rather than their own (2 Chron. 23:7; Gal. 2:20).
(4) Their enthusiasm for God’s word is not limited to preaching it hear, but also extends to act accordingly (2 Chron. 23:8-11; Jam. 1:22).
(5) They oppose the man-made authority (2 Chron. 23:12-15 ; Acts 4:19-20).
(6) They devote themselves to the people of the Lord and identify themselves by obedience to the will of the Lord rather than by presumption or tradition (2 Chr. 23:16; Mt 15:8-9). Why are they doing all this?
(7) They respect the throne and the one God made to sit on (2 Chron. 23:20; Col. 3:1-2).
Having just one of these qualities is not enough. Diligent people have them all.