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Romans 10:1,2 – Zeal of God

09-08-2021 - Posted by Hans

Indeed, brethren, the delight of my heart and my petition to God for their sake is for salvation. For I am testifying to them that they have a zeal of God, but not in accord with recognition.

At the beginning of the previous chapter, Paul began his discourse on Israel’s salvation by explaining how deeply the subject affects him. Israel’s unbelief meant to him “great sorrow and unintermittent pain in his heart” (9:2). And he confirms that here (“indeed brethren”). The salvation of his Jewish compatriots also played an important role in his prayer. He also explains this great personal involvement. He testifies and pleads for their zeal of God. A zeal that was so recognizable to him, because he himself once had that same zeal (Acts 22:3). In Galatians 1:14 he even says that he was “exceedingly more zealous for the traditions of my fathers.”

But even zeal is no good without understanding (cf. Prov. 19:2). The fervor and fanaticism of Paul’s fellow citizens did not keep pace with reason. Judaism has a reputation for understanding Scripture, but Paul disagrees. People do run… but in the wrong direction. In order to arrive at the intended place, one must first know where one is going.