David’s Tabernacle Restored, Part 2
November 2, 2018
The history of the ministry of the Tabernacle of David in Israel spanned a total of seven kings over several hundred years. In fact, after the division of Israel when Jeroboam came up out of Egypt and took ten of the tribes with him, the Tabernacle of David ceased to exist in what was then referred to as Israel. It only remained among the kings who were of David’s lineage – and then only seven total, including David and Solomon. It was a costly lesson as we shall see as things unfold.
Last week, we left off with Jehoshaphat and the fact that he faced a formidable army consisting of the Moabites and Amorites. Not until a descendant of Asaph, Jahaziel by name, stood and began to prophesy did the dawn of understanding begin to re-emerge. Watch how this unfolds.
II Chronicles 20:15-17: And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
There’s an interesting thing that happens when real worshipers stand up and take the ground that God has given them. Notice, also, how specific the prophesy of It provokes a remembrance of the past glories of the Lord and His presence. So it did with Jehoshaphat. Now he stands up and orders the following:
II Chronicles 20:20-23: And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
We are told that the armies of Judah spent the next seven days gathering up the spoil of their enemies. Apparently, the soldiers had brought all their gold, jewels and precious assets with them to the scene of battle. Go figure! What kind of rationale goes into that kind of thinking? In any case, Jehoshaphat and Judah recovered the wealth that had been stolen from them by their enemies in the preceding years. Talk about a victory!
For the last seven years of Jehoshaphat’s 25-year reign, praise and worship ensued as it had during David’s and Solomon’s time. Again the nation prospered. Again the nation had victory over its enemies. Again they shook off the shackles of those who had tried to invade and terrorize them.
We now see Israel suffer for the next fifteen years under the reigns of Jothan, Ahaziah and Athaliah — all of whose reigns were cut short by wickedness.
Without getting into all of the details of Joash’s taking the throne, he is seven years old and takes the throne under the watchful care of Jehoiada, the priest. It isn’t long before the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun are restored to their places and the sound of praise and worship begins once again to fill the land. Once again the land begins to prosper and Judah has victory over its enemies. Contrast that to the unfolding disaster that was taking place among the ten tribes of Israel with their abandonment of praise and worship!
For the first 39 years of Joash’s reign, everything goes just great! In the 40th year of his reign, he is beset by self-seeking politicians much like his ancestor Rehoboam was. And just like Rehoboam, he succumbs to the mealy-mouthed politicians and abandons the praise and worship.
Before the year is out, Joash is assassinated, and we now enter a period of 112 years in which Judah sees no praise and worship. We go through a succession of four kings, three of whom make attempts to follow the Lord, but do not resume the praise and worship, and ultimately fail.
We now come to the rule of a king of whom it is written that “since the time of David and Solomon, there was not the like in Israel.” That king was Hezekiah. From the day he took the throne, he was determined to restore the kind of worship that Israel had seen in the days of David and Solomon. The temple had been decimated by wars and kings who thought to take of the treasures of the temple for themselves.
We are told that “In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.” (see II Chronicles 29:3) Following a period of only eight days, he called for a feast of celebration in which the priests offered up hundreds of lambs and seventy bullocks. The families of praisers and worshipers were given their places back. Here’s what we are told.
II Chronicles 29:26-30: And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped. Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
This is the first time that we see an invitation go out to all the tribes of Israel to join in with Hezekiah to minister once again top the Lord as they had in the days of David and Solomon. And for the first time, we have the tribes of Asher, Manasseh, Ephraim, Issachar and Zebulon who join in with Hezekiah. The celebrations increase and the sound of praise and worship once again fills the land as it hasn’t for centuries. Here is what we are told of Hezekiah.
II Chronicles 31:20-21: And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.
When Hezekiah dies, his son, Manasseh, takes the throne and abandons everything his father had done. For the next 57 years, Judah is without the sound of praise and worship filling the land.
Finally, we have a seventh and final king in the lineage of David who has the vision and sees the necessity, as well as the point of the ministry of praise and worship for the land of Israel.
Josiah takes the throne as Hezekiah’s great-grandson. The stories of his great-grandfather’s incredible experiences are no doubt still being told in the land. However, Josiah sits on the throne for 18 years before he is made aware of coming judgment on the House of Israel because of their sins. He calls for national repentance. He has already been destroying all the remnant of the idols and false worship that has plagued Judah. Now he reappoints the ministry of praise and worship. Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, Naphtali and Benjamin join in the praise and worship, and only for the second time in Judah’s history do we see some kind of reunification for the purpose of ministry to the Lord.
The remaining 12 years of Josiah’s reign prosper as they did in David’s time. It is a sad commentary to think that the incredible miracles that were on display for the nation somehow did not sink into the heads of successive kings and rulers throughout the centuries. Josiah’s son and grandson ruled for only a short time following their father’s and grandfather’s death. The prophecies of judgment against Judah quickly began to unfold in the absence of the presence of the Lord in the praise and worship, and Judah was carried away into captivity in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. So it is for people today, and nations today who lose sight of the need for a continual presence of the Lord in the land.
Let me take a break here and describe, if I can, the significant differences between David’s Tabernacle and the Tabernacle of Moses.
David’s Tabernacle was one tiny portion of Moses’ Tabernacle. Moses’ Tabernacle consisted of the Outer Court, the Altar of Sacrifice and the Laver. That designated the place of salvation, redemption and a beginning to the restoration of relationship.
From the Outer Court, one would enter the Holy Place where the Altar of Incense, the Table of Showbread and the Golden Candlestick. This was designated as the place where one would move on from redemption and the cleansing of the sins of the past to the developing of a real relationship with God. The Golden Candlestick represented a people on fire with passion for the Lord.
They stood before the Holy of Holies which housed the Ark of the Covenant. Because of the temporary nature of the redemptive process, and the fact that Messiah had not yet come, a thick veil covered the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies. That Ark represented the marriage covenant that God was desirous of having with His people.
With very few exceptions throughout history, Israel never grasped the fact that they could actually have an intimate relationship with the Lord on the same level that Adam and Eve once knew. Enoch was an exception. Noah was an exception. Abraham was an exception. Moses never fully grasped it but walked in it to the degree that he was able to follow the pattern God gave him to build the Tabernacle as a living photograph of that relationship and the coming Messiah.
As David sat on the hillsides watching his sheep, he played on his harp and began to sing what he was hearing come out of Heaven. The more he played and the more he became enveloped in the presence of the Lord, the greater the degree of understanding of God’s plan and purposes unfolded before him.
Prophecy began to flow in the midst of his praise and worship. The presence of the Lord so encompassed him that everyone around him knew that there was something radically different about this young man. When he played, he didn’t entertain: he ministered to the Lord. It became the focus of his whole existence.
Thus, when Saul was rejected by the Lord as king because of his usurpation of the duties intended for Samuel as priest and prophet, and he attempted to offer burnt sacrifices in Samuel’s stead, evil spirits began to plague and torment him. He heard about David and the prophetic anointing he had when he played his harp. David was called for, and sure enough, when he played, the evil spirits fled and Saul had peace.
What David experienced during those times so lodged in his spirit that a determination grew in the core of his being to show Israel what kind of relationship with God could be available to them.
With Saul’s death in battle, the elders of the tribe of Judah immediately crowned him King. Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, took the throne over the remaining ten tribes. He was, however, not the strong military leader that his father was. Without taking time to get into all the details of his leadership and the folly of his reign, his weakness as a leader affected Israel’s military leaders. With David as King of Judah and the strength that he displayed, they effected a coup and removed him as King. The elders of all the tribes got together and anointed David to become king over the entire nation. He had been King of Judah for seven years. He is now 37 years of age.
Now David had the ability to accomplish something that had been in his spirit during the previous twenty years. He set out to recover the Ark of the Covenant which had languished among the Philistines for many years.
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Blessings on you!
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