Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Keeping It Simple

"On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen down." Amos 9:11 (NIV).

To celebrate his coronation as Israel's king, David brought the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Abinadab in Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem. Next, he pitched a simple tent to house the Ark (2 Sam. 6:17), not a reconstructed tabernacle. Gone were all the trappings, and now the Ark sat visible to all, surrounded by worshipers 24/7.

Some of the Psalms were written specifically for use there. No longer confined to the Holy of Holies, David or anyone else could get as near as they desired, without touching the Ark. From that close proximity David could write:

"Keep me as the apple of your eye: hide me in the shadow of your wings." Psalm 17:8

God doesn't have wings, but the Cherubim on the Mercy Seat did. David could snuggle up close enough to feel their wings overshadowing effect. It appears that God didn't mind being sprung out of the confines of the Holy of Holies, and being out among the people. Once settled in his own home David had second thoughts.

"Here I am, living in a palace of cedar while the ark of God remains in a tent." 2 Sam. 7:2

David desired to build God a proper house and his advisor, Nathan the prophet agreed. Later that night, God weighed in on the idea. God asked Nathan when or from whom had He'd ever requested a "house of cedar" (2 Sam. 7:7). God was interested in building David's house, not His own (2 Sam. 7:11). David was flabbergasted.

"Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign Lord you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant." (2 Sam. 7:18-19).

Ultimately David's son Solomon built the temple. Prohibited by God from building it himself (1 Chron. 22:8) David stockpiled material and money for its construction. The question is why? Why did David, after years of enjoying unhindered access to the manifest presence of God, plan to put Him back in a box?

The bible never tells us but my suspicion is that David realized that none of his offspring possessed his zeal for God. During David's reign the Israelites saw their king perform more than lip service to God. David was a lover of God and passionate worshiper, his son's weren't. Amos records that David's tabernacle had fallen. Good thing the Ark wasn't in it when it collapsed.

Solomon surrounded the House of God with temples dedicated to the gods of the foreign wives and concubines he's accumulated. I wonder how God felt about that? Did it break His heart to share His special place, the Holy of Holies with two large graven images of Cherubim, something specifically prohibited? These weren't the Cherubim on the Mercy Seat. One look around Jerusalem would tell you that God was no longer Israel's One and Only.

Speaking through Amos God said He'd raise up David's simple tent, not the original tabernacle nor the temple. He wanted to be back outside around the people so He came in the person of Jesus. Totally approachable, instead of dying, people were healed, restored and even raised from the dead when they encountered Christ. All the barriers were removed, so much so, that we are now actually IN HIM! Can't get any closer than that.

How about you? What's your position with God? Do you prefer up-close, personal contact or do you feel safer keeping Him at a distance? How did David's tabernacle foreshadow the freedom to approach and access God we can now enjoy? How do you personally take advantage of this?

1 comment:

  1. Mary: I see God as being close to me, whatever the event/activity in which I am involved. I see the altar as a place that anyone can go to any time he or she has a need. When I have serious needs, I go to the altar. I also go up when someone else is there and God directs me to.