- NIV, “He drives like a maniac”
- NLT, “He’s driving like a madman”
- GW, “(He) is driving like a lunatic”
Apparently, crazy drivers have been around for a long time. Jehu reigned as King of Israel 900 years before the birth of Christ. Every time he got behind the wheel (actually reins) of his two-horse power chariot it was open throttle, pedal to the metal, full speed acceleration. 2 Kings 10:16 tells about a poor guy named Jehonadab who was forced to ride with Jehu on one of his wild excursions. This unfortunate soul was probably the first confirmed case of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Read the story of Jehu, and you will read the story of a zealous man. Jehu was a man of action. He drove his chariot with zeal. He reigned over Israel with zeal. He brought judgment upon wicked Queen Jezebel with zeal. He drove idolatry out of Israel with zeal. Jehu was even commended by the Lord for carrying out his kingly assignments with fervor. But strangely enough, the zeal that so characterized Jehu seemed to evaporate when it came to his own personal walk with God.
I am always perplexed by professing believers who attack life with zeal, but go apathetic when it comes to serving the Lord. They drive furiously, but worship timidly. They are passionate about sports, but passionless about Jesus. They are enthusiastic about their career, but indifferent about church. A real disconnect takes place. For all his zeal, Jehu failed in his personal walk with the Lord. Never forget — God hates mediocrity.
Romans 12:11 presents this timeless command for all believers, “Never be lacking in zeal.” Another translation says, “Do not lag in zeal” (NRSV). The command continues, “but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” The word rendered “fervent” means “to boil.” The idea is to keep your relationship with the Lord at the boiling point.
So learn a lesson from Jehu, the crazy chariot driver of ancient Israel. To be zealous in life can be a good thing, just make sure it is zeal coupled with knowledge (Romans 10:2). And make sure your zeal carries over into your relationship with the Lord. As Christ commanded the lukewarm church of Laodicea, “Therefore be zealous” (Revelation 3:19).
Pastor Todd Weston