The Right Stuff
Are you a son of Zadok? The sons of Zadok were a small family of priests who served God faithfully when the rest of Israel was going flakey (Ezekiel 44). They were famous for their love of God and loyalty to Him.
They were from the lineage of Zadok, the priest who transcended the era of Saul, an awful time when the Ark was not in the place it should have been, and they moved into a season of blessing during the reign of David. These were the guys who carried the Ark of the Covenant back into Jerusalem on their shoulders after the infamous oxcart incident. (II Sam.6) Zadok and his family were loyal to David during the Absalom revolt. They were on the right side. The king could trust them.
Zadok comes from the Hebrew word which means right. They were the right ones to carry the ark, the presence of God. In Ezekiel’s vision, the sons of Zadok were the family of priests who lived in the temple in a compartment that faced north. In other words, they knew the true north, the point where navigators establish their bearings, the right direction. This is the same temple from which the River flowed. Woooo.
God was nuts about them. Ezekiel records that God mentioned three times that they had been faithful whenever the rest of Israel was straying. They wore the right garments, nothing that made them sweat. God gave them an important charge: “to teach my people the difference between the holy and the profane, the clean and the unclean, (in Hebrew, the “pure” and the “foul”)”(Ezekiel 44:26).
In this holy nation of New Covenant priests, God wants us all to be sons of Zadok. He wants us to know the difference between what’s real and what’s not, what’s pure and what’s foul, what smacks of “sweat-producing” works and what brings a person into the rest of co-laboring with God-initiated pursuits.
In Ezekiel’s vision, the River flowed from the temple, so the sons of Zadok were guardians of the “fountainhead.” They kept the foul out of the River and saw to the purity of the flow. Because they loved God for Himself they kept “old shoes,” out of the River. The “old shoes” are the familiar things we’ve walked in before which didn’t take us into God’s rest.
Your temple is your heart and out of it flow the springs of life. Is it pure? Do you have the right motives? Do you find yourself “working” to be more, do more or even see more? Are you wearing the garments that keep you from sweating to be “spiritual” or to please God? Sons of Zadok are careful watchers of their hearts, keeping them free from sins like bitter- ness and jealousy, root causes of “sweat.” The secret of their discernment is in their desire to constantly experience God’s presence and their willingness to remove the boards from their own eyes first before they try to cleanse anyone else’s life.
Sons of Zadok are not in this because they have to be, but because they just love God and His family and want to serve Him joyfully. Their deep love for God is the source of refreshing to the desert. They are true ministers of reconciliation, ambassadors of “the God in heaven who loves people—even Christians.” (My husband’s favorite quote)
The sons of Zadok think that this presence of God, this God-sent revival is to die for. Real sons of Zadok are the “right stuff” in God’s eyes. Are you?
Originally Published May/June 2008 Editor Melinda Fish