Today: [1 Chronicles Sixteen] What is the Tabernacle of David? In this chapter David brings the ark to rest in an open air tend called the Tabernacle of David. This tent was nothing like the tabernacle of Moses. Very few – the vast majority of Christians know nothing of the tabernacle of David yet it was prophesied to be raised up again at the last days. As obscure as it’s existence is to modern Christianity it is important to understand what it represents because it played a pivotal role in determining the very important question of whether all the nations would be accepted in God or just the Jews.
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[1Ch 16:1-43 KJV] 1 So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God. 2 And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. 3 And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon [of wine]. 4 And he appointed [certain] of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: 5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals; 6 Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God. 7 Then on that day David delivered first [this psalm] to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. 8 Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. 12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. 14 He [is] the LORD our God; his judgments [are] in all the earth. 15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations;
In this chapter David brings the ark of God to rest on Mount Zion. He doesn’t put it in the elaborate tent structure known as the tabernacle of Moses. Instead he erects an open air tent that becomes known in scripture as the tabernacle of David. This would have been a historical oddity were it not for the prophet Amos who prophesied the following:
[Amo 9:11 KJV] 11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
The tabernacle of David points to a greater fulfillment of God’s purposes in the endtimes. If we study further we find the passage in Amos being quoted in Acts 15 as the justification or scirptural revelation of why God would allow Gentiles to be saved. In the midst of a great schism developing in the early church Peter spoke by the Holy Ghost and gave God’s judgment on the Gentile question by citing the precedent of what takes place in this chapter we are reading:
[Act 15:16-17 KJV] 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
So it is interesting that you can ask most Christians that they have no knowledge of the tabernace of David or its significance for the Christian faith. The tabernacle of David was characterized by open access to the ark of the Covenant. There were no sin offerings made here only peace offerings and consecration offerings. Instead of articles of furniture representing prayer, the illumination of the gospel, etc., the ark was rather surrounded by musicians and singers 24 hours a day.
What were there no sin offerings here? Because Jesus put away sin once and for all mankind upon the cross. Our religious works (prayer, bible study, church attendance) will not afford us access to our heavenly Father. We come to this altar at the tabernacle of David and find we can only ACCEPT and BELIEVE in the peace found in Christ and consecrate ourselves to His presence.
The early church fathers in Acts 15 saw the tabernacle of David as a door of access for all peoples to come to Christ and not just Jews. Because of this they openly began to preach to all men in all walks of life and life’s experiences.
16 [Even of the covenant] which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; 17 And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant, 18 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; 19 When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. 20 And [when] they went from nation to nation, and from [one] kingdom to another people; 21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, 22 [Saying], Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. 23 Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation. 24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. 25 For great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also [is] to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 27 Glory and honour [are] in his presence; strength and gladness [are] in his place. 28 Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 29 Give unto the LORD the glory [due] unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. 31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let [men] say among the nations, The LORD reigneth. 32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that [is] therein. 33 Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.
Much of modern Christian culture has more in common with the tabernacle of Moses than the tabernacle of David. When one approached the tabernacle of Moses he was confronted with prohibition and exclusion. There were walls, and gates obscuring your view from the deeper things of God and preventing you from entering in. The leaders of Jesus’ day used the taberncle of Moses as the template of their understanding of the purposes of God and as such they felt it was their duty to bar the way for those they considered common or unclean from entering in.
[Mat 23:13 KJV] 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
In the sacred writings Jesus appears to be the first to coin the term hypocrite. A hypocrite in Jesus’ day was an actor by trade. What is Jesus saying? He is accusing the Pharisees and others of compartmentalizing their lives and their understanding of God so that others cannot see who they really are or WHO GOD REALLY IS. This is common in Christian culture. We put on one affectation in front of others or on social media but something else altogether in our home life. We are one person in front of our spouse but something else altogether when no one is around to observe our behavior. We put airtight walls between these compartment of our lives as though somehow we can pretend while we rebuke and chastise others that our own sinfulness is something that we will not be held accountable for.
The call to the tabernacle of David is a call to come out of the curse of sin and death and into the promises of God afforded to those who are willing to be contrite and humble before God. Bear in mind that contrition and repentance are not about shrilly shouting at others that they need to change – but about looking at yourself and coming transparently before the presence of a loving God who chooses to include you and wash you because He knows that in His presence you will be changed.
So where are the shouts and denunciations and words of condemnation? At the tabernacle of Moses not the tabernacle of David. Where does sin get dealt with? At the tabernacle of Moses laid out in the form of a cross speaking of WHAT JESUS DID FOR US not what we are supposed to do in order to please Him. We cannot please God outside the context of all that Jesus has done for us – therefore let your glory be in Him and not in your erudite and incisive ability to identify what is wrong with everyone else contrasted by your own flawed sense of self righteousness.
34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever. 35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, [and] glory in thy praise. 36 Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD. 37 So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required: 38 And Obededom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obededom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah [to be] porters: 39 And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that [was] at Gibeon, 40 To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and [to do] according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel; 41 And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because his mercy [endureth] for ever; 42 And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun [were] porters. 43 And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.
The Sweet Psalmist king David declares “give thanks to the Lord for HE IS GOOD…” David knew what he was made of – do you know what you are made of? If David ever became self righteous all he needed to do was look at Bathsheba whom he loved deeply but yet was a reminder of his own humanity and vulnerability and past failure. David’s rejoicing was in the goodness of God that set the parameters of every positive thing that happened in His life and in the generations after him right down to the birth, life, death and ressurection of Christ. When you look transparently at yourself you will have very little energy left to point the finger of accusation and condemnation at others. The tabernacle of David is a place where WHOSOEVER WILL is the maxim that rules the day. To deny others on any basis is to exclude yourself. What about sin? It was dealt with in Christ. Whatever vestiges of sin are found in those that come to the ark of God’s presence in Christ are expiated by the Glory of God emanating off the Mercy Seat that now resides within the human heart of all that have made the peace offerings and conscreation offerings before the altar at the taberncle of David.
After must rejoicing and blessing and worship David sends every man home with a flagon of wine, a loaf of bread and a good peice of flesh. This was a time of celebration. He did not tell them to go home an impose some convoluted, religious rite of self mortification. He sent them home to find fullness and celebration in their own dwelling. Notice that at the tabernacle of David the fullness was found AT HOME and not at the corporate gathering. The wine speaks of the vintage of what God is pouring out of His spirit in the earth. The bread speaks of Christ as our provision and our healing. What about the “good piece of flesh”? Isn’t the flesh bad? Not when it is consecreted and at peace with God. Joel prophesied that the outpouring of God would be upon “all flesh”.
[Joe 2:28 KJV] 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Jesus identified the meat portion with the will of God being done in His life:
[Jhn 4:32-34 KJV] 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him [ought] to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
What is your “goodly piece of flesh”? It is to identify and pursue the ministry portion ascribed to your life in the things of God. That is what “seek the kingdom” entails where you are concerned. To come before him with transparency, to know him in open access, to afford others the same blood-bought privileges regardless of whether you approve of them or not – and to pursue with gusto the revealed, personal will of God for yourself as an assignment in His kingdom.
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