Lesser known characters :: Zadok

Beethoven once said, “I would bare my head and kneel at his grave.” recounting the greatness of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), who needs no introduction to the music lover. A composer during the Baroque period, he was known for his masterpiece rendition of the Messiah “Hallelujah” chorus. In addition to the Messiah, another composition of his that gained popularity is “Zadok the Priest”. The lyrics of this rendition tell the story of king Solomon’s coronation. But who is this Zadok the Priest?

Zadok, the high priest was a descendant of Phineas, the son of Eleazar, who was the son of Aaron. So from a Levitical lineage, he was qualified to be a priest that would serve the Lord, but it was not his lineage that makes Zadok standout. He served alongside Abiathar, another high priest during the reign of David. When Absalom, the son of David, rebelled against his father and king David, Zadok remained faithful by David’s side and followed David’s request to stay with the ark of the Lord, in Jerusalem, and later we see that he was asked by David to accompany Nathan the prophet and Benaiah the protector (soldier) to crown Solomon as king, after David. Once Solomon, builds the temple in Jerusalem, Zadok becomes the inaugural priest to serve in the first Temple. Prophet Ezekiel, in fact, refers to those who remained faithful to the Lord, not succumbing to the pagan worship during his days, as the sons of Zadok, who would have the privilege of serving God in the New Jerusalem, where the Lord and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) himself would be the temple (Ezekiel 44:14-16; Revelation 21:22).

What can we learn from Zadok?
Zadok does not go down in history, just as the first high priest to serve in the temple of the Lord built in Jerusalem, by Solomon, but because of his faithful service to God in keeping charge of the ark of the Lord and his sanctuary, when the people of Israel went astray, he is remembered as the father of those who remain faithful and who will be given the privilege to serve God in the New Jerusalem, whose builder will be God himself, one far greater than Solomon. Like Zadok, we must remain faithful in serving God and those whom God has appointed over us, so that we may be known by God, not just for our current service but also for our service in the future, when we see Christ face to face.

Ezekiel 44:14-16 (KJV)
But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein.
15 But 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, saith the Lord GOD:
16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.

Revelation 21:22 (KJV)
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Lesser known characters :: Ahimaaz

Ahimaaz was the son of Zadok the high priest who served in the time of David. When Absalom, king David’s own son rebels and revolts against his father, David’s counselor Ahithophel, switches sides and counsels Absalom on a strategy to kill king David. Absalom wants to get a second opinion on Ahithophel’s plan and consults with Hushai, the Archite, who was David’s friend.  Hushai, sends word about Ahithophel plan to kill king David, through the priests Zadok and Abiathar, who send this message with their children Ahimaaz (Zadok’s son) and Jonathan (Abiathar’s son) (2 Samuel 15:24-37). Ahimaaz was known to be a sprinter, fast on his feet, and along with Jonathan, Ahimaaz brings the warning message to king David (2 Samuel 17:15-22).

Ahimaaz, was not only known to bring a warning message. Later, when Absalom is killed by Joab, he asks Joab permission to take the victory message to king David, but Joab instead purposes to send a Cushite. The Cushite bows to Joab and then starts to run to deliver the message. Ahimaaz continues to persevere and asks Joab again, permission to be the messenger of the victory news. Joab questions Ahimaaz, why do you want to be the bearer of the news that will bring you no reward (since the victory was as a result of the death of the king’s son Absalom), but Ahimaaz replies, “Come what may, I want to run.” Let me run behind the Cushite.”  Joab agrees, and Ahimaaz starts to run (by the plain) and outruns the Cushite, becoming the first to be the bearer of the news of God’s vindication against the enemies of the Lord’s anointed, king David. (2 Samuel 18:19-33). David refers to Ahimaaz as a good man, who brings good tidings/news. (2 Samuel 18:27)

What can we learn from Ahimaaz?
We must be runners for God, running the race with our eyes fixed on the prize. We must adorn ourselves with the shoes fitted with readiness for that which comes from the gospel of peace, which is warning of the enemy’s attacks against God’s saints and the message of the victory against the vanquished foe, the devil, who rebelled against the Lord’s anointed, Jesus Christ. Irrespective of the outcome, come what may, we must want to run.

Can the King of kings and the Lord of lords, say of you and me, “He/she is a good person, who brings good tidings/news of mine to my people?”

2 Kings 18: 19-28 (KJV)
Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies.
20 And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king’s son is dead.
21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?
23 But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.
And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.

25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near.
26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.
27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.
28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.

Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Ephesians 6:14-15 (KJV)
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;