“Even zeal is not good without knowledge; and the one who acts hastily sins.” (Proverbs 19:2) “I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)
Paul bared his heart in Romans 10 as he expressed his deep desire for the salvation of Israel. When we read these words we feel the anguish of his soul, probably because we also know folks who are not saved, people we would dearly love to be saved. In Israel’s case, Paul noted that they certainly have a great zeal for God, but they do not have knowledge. What does that mean? It means they had a “head” knowledge of the Scriptures and of God, but they did not have a heart understanding of how Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures. They did not have a personal knowing of the Lord by faith. It seems that Paul, in part at least, drew on this concept from Proverbs.
Zeal is a good thing. Nothing wrong with zeal. But zeal uninformed is a wild horse: beautiful but untamed and not really useful. For zeal to hit its mark, it must serve the purposes of God. It has to be bridled and hitched by knowledge and understanding that are derived from a personal walk with God in faith. When truth is brought to fruition through personal understanding impacted by a personal faith relationship with the Lord, zeal gets hitched or bridled or saddled, and that is when it moves toward fulfilling the purposes of God.
By all means, may we be a people of zeal, but let’s be certain that our zeal is informed by the Scriptures and by our personal faith walk with God, so that our zeal will not “miss the mark.”