“And was clad with zeal as a cloak.” Isaiah 59:17.
THE solitary champion who is here spoken of, who looked and, “saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor”—and therefore His own arm brought salvation unto Him, and His righteousness it sustained Him—this conquering hero we cannot fail to recognize as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Prince of the House of David, our Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever may have been the first and primary meaning of the text, we are persuaded that the ultimate reference of it is to that destroyer of death, the Captain of our salvation, by whose struggles the whole host of the elect have obtained the victory!
Of Him we may say beyond and above all others, that He “was clad with zeal as a cloak.” When a man has all other excellencies, when the Grace of God has worked in him all other virtues, then zeal is still needed to elevate and perfect his entire manhood. Behold the altar, built of unhewn stones, and after God’s own Law. Behold the wood laid on it. See the victim slain and the blood flowing. But you cannot make a sacrifice without fire—unless the fire from Heaven shall perfect the sacrificial preparations, all will be useless. Behold in the altar the figure of the man—he has faith, courage, love, consecration—but if he lacks the fire of fervent zeal, his life will be a failure. He will remain an offering unconsumed, and consequently worthless and unaccepted.
By this, indeed, may you know the genuine from the false when other things might raise a question—the false is like the altar of Baal whereon there is much wood and a well-fed bullock. And around it are active genuflections and vigorous rituals, but there is no true fire from Heaven. While the genuine is like the altar of Elijah, upon which, in answer to fervent prayers, the hallowed flames descend! One of the first requisites of an earnest, successful, soul-winning man must be zeal. As well a chariot without its steeds, a sun without its beams, a Heaven without its joy—as a man of God without zeal.
C.H. Spurgeon-" The Best Cloak"