When Jesus cleansed the Temple, he screamed “Zeal for Your house has consumed me” (John 2:17).
Why did Jesus say such a thing? Jesus was visibly angry at the Temple priests and religious leaders who had turned the house of God into a marketplace. But He wasn’t primarily upset with the animal feces on the Temple grounds or the unfair money exchange rates; Jesus was angry that the honor of the Father’s name was not being magnified as it should. The Father’s name was not on display and the profits of men were.
Where did Jesus get that way of thinking? Was there anything that inspired Him to think and act in such a way. Certainly the God of the universe didn’t “learn” how to respond to such a situation from another human, but King David recorded similar words in Psalm 69. David writes,
“Let their table become a snare before them, and their well-being a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see; and make their loins shake continually. Pour out Your indignation upon them, and let Your wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their dwelling place be desolate; let no one live in their tents. For they persecute the ones You have struck, and talk of the grief of those You have wounded. Add iniquity to their iniquity, and let them not come into Your righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous” (Ps 69:22-28).
What brought David to pray against His enemies? Well, if you read vs. 9 you receive your answer – “Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
David was consumed for the house of God? Why? Because the house of God was not only the place God resided but it was the center of His glory on earth. It was the place of highest honor. And David’s enemies were God’s enemies and they were a reproach. They were not honoring God.
So David prayed for their destruction, not because he wanted bloodshed and not because they were a deliberate threat to him, but because he knew of no other way for God’s glory to be restored as it deserved. These evil men needed to be removed from this world.
God’s glory is, and should always be, the driving force for everything we say, do, and think (I Cor 10:31).