Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Which Tabernacle are you in?
"So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. Then he distributed to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins. And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel."
1 Chronicles 16:1-4 (NKJV)
Following on from my thoughts about Blueprints and Game plans, I have been contemplating the differences between the Tabernacle of Moses and the Tabernacle of David. The Tabernacle of Moses was given as a blueprint to Moses when he was on Mount Sinai. The Tabernacle of Moses was the pattern and place of worship for God's people until the Ark of the Covenant was plundered by the Philistines. When the Ark was finally retrieved it was not returned to the Tabernacle of Moses on Mount Gibeon but spent time in priest's houses before being taken by David into the Tabernacle he had erected for it on Mount Zion.
If The Tabernacle of Moses is God's blueprint for worship, then the Tabernacle of David is God's game plan for worship! We are in the Church age where God is restoring Tabernacle of David worship (see Acts 15:16-17). The Tabernacle of Moses speaks of worship under the Law. It had many items of furniture that had to be accessed by the priests in a particular order to enter into God's presence (e.g first was the altar where sacrifices were offered and then the priest went to the Brazen Laver to wash). The Tabernacle of David, however, was a simple tent with only the Ark of the Covenant (God's manifest presence) in the middle.
In the Tabernacle of Moses only the High Priest could enter in before the Ark of the Covenant but in the Tabernacle of David all the priests could freely go before the Ark with expressive worship in song and probably dance too (not seen in the Tabernacle of Moses). Now, it must be understood that the Tabernacle of David did not do away with the truths about worship expressed in the Tabernacle of Moses, indeed the Tabernacle of Moses actually brought those truths into fulness and full liberty (just as Christ fulfilled the Law and brought us into grace).
The Bible teaches us that the Law is like a school teacher leading us into maturity in Christ (Galatians 3:24). We're not meant to remain in the restrictions of the blueprint but we are to move onto the freedom there is in His grace game plan! In worship this means we are not to follow the Tabernacle of Moses rigidly as a model of worship, religiously going step by step into God's presence. We are to enter the freedom of worship expressed in the Tabernacle of David where all of the truths of the Tabernacle of Moses are given a freedom in His Spirit. Being filled with His Spirit gives us wisdom to know His will (Ephesians 5:17-18)l and His way of worship. It is significant that after King Solomon had asked God for wisdom at Gibeon (before the Tabernacle of Moses) his first step of wisdom was to go and sacrifice to God at the Tabernacle of David on Mount Zion (1 Kings 3:15).
Let us enter wisely by the Spirit into the kind of free worship that the Tabernacle of David speaks of. It was here that many of the Psalms spontaneously came forth as new and spiritual songs. Let us burst forth into new spiritual songs as His priests in the freedom of worship brought to us by Christ!
Take me past the outer courts, into Your Holy place,
Not by clever method but by Your loving embrace,
Lead me past the brazen altar with the sacrifice of praise,
Not by rigid order but by grace my hands I raise.
"Lord, I ask for Your wisdom to worship you in Spirit and in Truth, to worship You freely like in the Tabernacle of David. Lead me on into free, dynamic and powerfully prophetic worship. Amen."