Zeal for God Can Reap Eternal Rewards

In our world of deception in the media, in politics, in medicine, and every other area of life, God’s Word stands as a beacon of light in the midst of darkness. In my last post, I shared with you the story of Israel’s idolatry. There was one man by the name of Phinehas who stood out from all the others when he took a stand for righteousness. By his actions God’s wrath was stopped on the idolaters but not before thousands of them were publicly hung or killed. God made a two-part promise to Phinehas and, His promise stood and will stand the test of time.

First, God promised Phinehas ‘covenant of peace.’ 

A covenant of peace meant that God, Himself, would protect, provide for, and defend Phinehas and his family forever from anyone who would try to harm them.  Also, if they were in need of anything at all, God would be available to help them. That’s better than any insurance policy on the planet. 

He also promised him the covenant of a ‘perpetual’ priesthood.  In the King James Bible it says, ‘everlasting’ priesthood.  In other words, the male descendants of Phinehas would forever serve as priests to God in the Levitical order of Aaron.   

1 Chronicles 6:4-15  gives the genealogy of Phinehas who served as priest in the Levitical order of Aaron. Among his linage is listed is a man named Zadok. Before we cover the first promise, let’s take a look at how this second promise played out and will play out.

1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.

God is speaking to the High Priest Eli here whose sons were evil. Because his sons were rebellious, God was not going to allow the lineage of Eli to go forward as priests.

Then in this next scripture, we see that Abiathar was removed from the high priesthood for conspiring against King Solomon, and was replaced by Zadok, one of the men of Phinehas’ lineage.

1 Kings 2:27 & 35  Solomon expelled Abiathar from being (High) priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh…35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put Zadok as (High) priest in the place of Abiathar.

I know the genealogy lists seem immaterial to us, but to God, they are not. You often find treasures in them to help you understand scripture better and uncover more of the character of God.

Zadok played a key role then and his descendants will play a key role in the future. We read about it in Ezekiel 40, 43, 44, and 48. At the end of the book of Ezekiel describes a vision God gave him of the Temple to be erected – possibly in the Millennium-The thousand year reign of Jesus on the earth after the Tribulation. Revelation 20:4-6)

Here is a description of part of the Temple complex. Notice the reference to Zadok in these verses:

Ezekiel 40:46  and the chamber that faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, who alone among the sons of Levi may come near to the Lord to minister to Him.

Ezekiel 43:18-19 Consecrating the Altar:  And He said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord God: ‘These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it. 19 You shall give a young bull for a sin offering to the priests, the Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me,’ says the Lord God.

The sons of Zadok are chosen to fulfill the most sacred role of all in the Temple. They would minister to God Himself.

But God also remembers the priests who did not act in righteousness as Phinehas did. Even though they failed to stand up for God, God gives them a place in this Millennium temple.

Ezekiel 44:10-16, 28  “And the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity. 11 Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, as gatekeepers of the house and ministers of the house; they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity, therefore I have raised My hand in an oath against them,” says the Lord God, “that they shall bear their iniquity. 13 And they shall not come near Me to minister to Me as priest, nor come near any of My holy things, nor into the Most Holy Place; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. 14 Nevertheless I will make them keep charge of the temple, for all its work, and for all that has to be done in it.

So, we see here that the lineage of those who didn’t stand up for God’s word in the incident of Baal Peor, will serve in the Temple, BUT will not be allowed anywhere near God or His holy things.

However, as Ezekiel 44 continues we see the Promise made to Phinehas fulfilled: 15 “But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood,” says the Lord God. 16 They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge.

28 “It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I am their inheritance. You shall give them no possession in Israel, for I am their possession.

This will be the fulfillment of the covenant of everlasting priesthood.

And now let’s see the evidence of the eternal covenant of peace–the Zadok priesthood and their families would forever be stationed around the Temple and be provided for eternally.

Ezekiel 48:9-12  “The district that you shall set apart for the Lord shall be twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width. 10 To these—to the priests—the holy district shall belong: on the north twenty-five thousand cubits in length, on the west ten thousand in width, on the east ten thousand in width, and on the south twenty-five thousand in length. The sanctuary of the Lord shall be in the center. 11 It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12 And this district of land that is set apart shall be to them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.

Bottom Lines:

  1. God doesn’t tolerate idolatry—worship of other gods.  Punishment is executed.
  2. God honors zeal for His word.
  3. God performs what He promises
  4. Ministering to the LORD is superior to ministering to people.
  5. One man zealous for God can set in order a pattern for eternity.

Possibilities:

  1. We may see a repeat of Baal Peor judgment today.  Public executions will cause people to realize the holiness of God and the weight of sin.
  2. A remnant is rising who honor God’s word and are zealous to see righteousness return.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:23-24 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

The sons of Zadok were not only ministering to the Lord in the Temple, they were living lives of holiness outside the Temple. They were sold-out 100% to God and His word. Let’s follow their example and stand for God and His word. Our world could use some living billboards for Jesus — and we are the only ones who can fill that place for them.

Shalom my friends. ♥

Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

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