Now if you are a very good Bible scholar or at least are familiar with scripture particularly the Old Testament you will hardly come across any physical built structure that known as David’s Tabernacle. What would readily come to mind when think of Tabernacle is that of Moses.
Yet we find a prophecy in Amos that mentions about a Davidic Tabernacle in vs 11, 12
“On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom,
And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,”
Says the Lord who does this thing.
David desired that the Ark of the Covenant had been missing from Jerusalem under Saul’s rule be returned back to the Holy city. Moses’ tabernacle was set up in Gibeon, but David wanted to bring the presence of the Lord to the capital of Israel and Judah. He had people construct a cart that would transport the Ark back to Israel. En route one of David’s men touched the Ark as it was shaking on the cart and he fell over dead. Frightened of the Ark’s power David and his men took it to the nearest house which was the home of a Gentile named Obed-edom.
The man’s name Obed-edom means, “Servant of Edom”. Edom is another name for Esau, showing us that this man was actually a descendent of Jacob’s brother Esau. For the next 3 months, blessings are evident in the house of Obed-edom, which becomes noticeable away from his home. David heared of the good fortune, jealousy arose within and he desired that God would bless him too with such goodness. I can imagine the look on Obed-edom’s face when they came for the Ark…
This prompts David to take the Ark out of Obed-edom’s house after seeking the right counsel. He brought it up to Jerusalem, this time with priests carrying it, as Moses had been instructed.
David placed the Ark in a tabernacle that he pitches for it. 1 Chronicles 15:1 describes this “tabernacle” to be a tent.
“David built houses for himself in the City of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it.”
David was not concerned about placing the Ark in the Holy of Holies, in the tabernacle at Gibeon. He made no effort in that regard. Instead, he leaves it in Jerusalem, expecting the same blessings and prosperity that it brought while in the house of Obed-edom would also be seen in Jerusalem.
Davis had learned that God’s blessings were not on the tabernacle, but on the Ark. The Tabernacle was nothing without the Ark. He had seen that God would bless all who approached it, even an unworthy Gentile. This was a picture of our Lord Jesus.
Years after that the Davidic throne was thrown down in the captivity under Babylon and the Gentiles ruled over the Jews. Amos then sees a time when the Davidic throne would be restored and its occupant rule over the Gentiles in restored Israel. This prophecy looked to have begun to be fulfilled in the return of the captivity from Babylon but with a closer it is obvious that the vision was beyond a national restoration but a spiritual restoration in Christ. There are many Old Testament prophecies that follow this same pattern. Paul the Apostle was good expositing such in his letters. Without understanding this one will find himself looking at national Israel of today instead of the Israel of God, the body of Christ.
In Acts 15, the Apostle James speaks to the assembled apostles and preachers at the council in Jerusalem. The council was held so that the Jewish apostles could settle what the acceptable doctrine was for the new Gentile converts regarding the observance of Jewish law.
In his speech, James quotes text from the same book of Amos and placed Amos’ prophecy in New Testament times and not far off in some future timeframe. I want you to notice how quotes that vs 12 of Amos 9
So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.” (Acts 15:17)
James sees that the finished work of Jesus and inauguration of the new covenant was beyond natural Israel but also included the gentiles. It was an inclusion that did not come as a result of the observance of the Mosaic laws.
Under the Old Covenant, God was feared and placed at a distance. Only the high priest ever saw the ark while it was in the tabernacle, and that only once per year. David was reaching forward to a better covenant built upon better promises, when all of God’s people can go boldly into the presence of the Lord and embrace the mercy seat of heaven, covered by the blood of the precious, spotless Lamb.
This restoration was to bring man back to that garden relationship where separation did not exist. The enmity, the wall of separation called the Law was pulled down so that all would embrace the unconditional love of the Father.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2)
This is the true worship that Jesus spoke about. Religion tries to worship a god that it knows not about. This worship involves no distance and entertains no room for fear, guilt and condemnation. His indwelling presence in us is the fulfillment of that rebuilt temple. It is not about a physical structure or pattern of worship. It is about us being the eternal residence of the Godhead.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)
Just as in David’s tabernacle, the blessings are not on the tent, but on the Ark in the tent. Jesus is the Ark personified in the finished work. The blessings that we experience are not because of us but because of our Jesus in us! Therefore, His blessings are not dependent on how good we are or how consecrated we may be, but rather they are dependent on how good Jesus is.