“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:1-4).
When you are zealous for anyone or anything more than you are zealously focused on pleasing God, you have misplaced zeal.
Paul pinpoints this sobering, devastating spiritual flaw in his countrymen according to the flesh. The real reason why many of his Jewish contemporaries refused to obey the gospel was not because the word of God had failed to take effect. It was not because the purposes of God had been thwarted over time. It was not because God had been unrighteous in His dealings with the rebellious physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Jehovah had shown much long-suffering toward the Jews and their persistent, hardheaded defiance. In the gospel, He has made known His glory and mercy upon Jews and Gentiles. He fulfilled the predictions He made through His prophets.
The Lord of Sabaoth laid in Zion the cornerstone He promised and built the church/the kingdom of heaven upon the bedrock truth that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the living God. This truth is offensive to those with misplaced zeal. It is a stumbling block to those pursuing righteousness through the Law instead of by faith in the faith. Such ignorance of God’s plan of righteousness is not bliss or blessed.
Just as father Abraham was not justified by works of merit, circumcision, or the Law of Moses but by faith (Romans 4), so his physical sons and daughters need to live by faith, submitting to the gospel (the righteousness of God).
All zeal which ignores God’s offer of righteousness via the gospel is misplaced zeal.
BEWARE of misplaced zeal.