David had two sons who wanted to be king.
One was Absalom, the most handsome man in the kingdom. "But
in all Israel
there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole
of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish on him." 2 Sa. 14:25.
He looked like David, but was taller and better-looking. He seemed like a king and he spoke like a
king. The people loved him even more
than they loved David. 2 Sa. 15:6, 13. They saw the exterior, but pride and
rebellion was hidden deep in Absalom's heart.
He was willing to kill his own father to take the throne. Many of David's closest friends abandoned the
king to go to the side of Absalom. It
was an opportunity for advancement. King
David refused to resist Absalom. He put
his trust in God. When Absalom brought
his armies, David fled with a few of his loyal supporters, including Ittai and
Zadok, the junior priest. 2 Sa. 15:21,
24. In the end, however, Absalom was
slain, along with many of his supporters.
". . . (F)or man looketh on the
outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1 Sa. 16:7.
never coveted the throne. True, Samuel,
the prophet, had anointed David to be the next king over Israel when he was just a
youth. 1 Sa. 16:13. Later, David and his men were hiding in a
cave when King Saul, who was looking to kill David, had unknowingly fallen
asleep at the mouth of the cave. David's
men encouraged him to kill Saul and be the king. David refuse and instead, cut off the skirt
of Saul's robe. Even the act of touching
the king's robe smote David's heart. "Then David arose, and cut off the skirt
of Saul's robe privily. And it came to
pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's
skirt. And he said unto his men, The
Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to
stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the
Lord." 1 Sa. 24:4-6. It was a test and a temptation for David and
he passed with flying colors.
second time, God caused Saul and his army to fall into a deep sleep. David and some of his men were able to walk
into the middle of King Saul's camp. As
they stood over the sleeping Saul, David's servant, Abishai encouraged David to
let him kill Saul. "And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch
forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth,
the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend
into battle, and perish." 1 Sa.
trusted God. How could a servant of God
kill another servant of God in order to take away his throne? David would rather perish than take things
into his own hands and cause God's name to be sullied. David would not speak badly against his king
or to touch Saul. The heathen would
laugh. David wanted God's will to be
done. If God wanted David to be king,
then David would be king no matter what others did to stop hm. If God didn't want David to be king, then
David would not be king no matter what David did. Such is the heart of a true servant of
was another son of David that coveted the throne. When King David was on his death bed, his
oldest son, Adonijah, presumed that he was the next king since man's tradition
was that the oldest son would inherit the throne. In order to quickly remove all opposition and
to secure the throne for himself, Adonijah persuaded Abiathar, the chief
priest, and many of David's closest advisors, including Joab, to join him and
anoint him as the next king even before David had even died.
appeared to Israel
that Adonijah was the next king. He had
little resistance. Only five of David's
men stayed with him until he died, including Zadok the junior priest. 1 Ki. 1:8. It was not a simple matter, since the one who grabbed
the throne would usually kill all those who did not support him. It was man's ways. But, God chose Solomon instead.
the end, Joab perished along with Adonijah. Abiathar, the chief priest, was banished from
the kingdom. While most rebelled and
deserted David at the end of his days when it appeared advantageous to them, Zadok
remained loyal until the end. For his
faithfulness, God declared in Ezekiel 44:15‑17, that:
the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my
sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near
to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the
fat and the blood, said the Lord God:
They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my
table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. And it shall come to pass, that when they
enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen
garments; and no wool shall come upon
them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.
sons of Zadok, those who are loyal to their masters until death, will minister
directly to God in heaven, in His very presence. Others will be limited to the gates of the
outer court (away from the throne of God).
Eze. 44:10‑12. The reward of
David, the king, became the reward of Zadok, the loyal and steadfast servant of
are many lessons to be learned from the life of Zadok.
God has the authority to appoint and anoint someone to be His delegated
authority. There are many who desire to
be leaders in the church and there are many who were never called by God to be
a pastor or church leader. Ambition,
opportunity, pride and man's traditions can make leaders in man's eyes, but only
God can appoint and anoint His true leaders.
He does not look to physical appearance, wealth, reputation, personality,
accomplishments or intelligence. He
looks to the heart and reins of men.
Jer. 11:20; 17:10; 20:12; Rev. 2:21.
God will test hearts and reins until the very end.
Zadok never aspired to any reward or position.
He was content to be a junior priest.
His loyalty and love for his king was all that he cared about. In the end, Zadok became the head priest of
all of Israel. One of his sons became chief priest later,
and one of his daughters became the Queen of Israel. Zadok will forever be remembered for his steadfast
loyalty, submission and obedience to the one God placed above him in authority,
and those who follow his example are called the sons of Zadok.
does not need to strive to be a leader in God's kingdom. All he has to do is be loyal, supportive and
obedient to spiritual authority above him and he will receive the reward of his
leader. Zadok received the same reward
as David in heaven, and so will the sons of Zadok. You don't have to be king. All you have to do is serve. In due time, you will be exalted by God.