As God works restoration into the heart of his people, a burden of judgment remains against the Levitical priests, “but the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols when Israel went astray, shall bear their punishment” (Ezekiel 44:10). Priests are called to a higher standard. They represent the people before God and God before the people. If the people are faithless, they must remain faithful. If they do not, they bear not only their own guilt, but share the guilt of all.
One family of priests did remain true to God and Ezekiel singles them out, “the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me” (Ezekiel 44:15). Zadok had served faithfully as priest during the reigns of David and Solomon, and was appointed leader among the priests. His faithfulness, apparently, passed along to his children and his children’s children. It is an easy thing, finding the faithful. They are the ones standing before God when everyone else is bowing to the world.
Our choice is always idolatry or faith. Idolatry was the ongoing offense of Israel, choosing something other than God; faithfulness chooses God over everything. God said of the sons of Zadok, “this shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession” (Ezekiel 44:28). To be given no possession in Israel seems an odd reward, but they were not given nothing. They were given nothing but God, and that is everything.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ~Matthew 6:33
Holy Father, Thy Kingdom come! We long for the eternity ahead of us, when we are free from sin, when we are surrounded with Your holiness, when the world is pure and good, when the lion lays with the lamb, when there is peace on earth. God, as we live this side of eternity, may our lives reflect Your Kingdom in a world that desperately needs love and purity. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
You are my King, and You have invited me into Your Kingdom. “Follow me,” you offered (and could have commanded). You gave me the choice, to put my life in the hands of this world, or in the world to come. I will give up all, and place my life in Your hands. I am Yours.