Acts 15:16-17 — “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: 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.”
To tell you the truth, I can’t remember hearing a sermon on the Tabernacle of David other than my own. I realize that sounds arrogant, which is not my point, but rather to raise awareness to it.
Recently I have been providing a sermon series with my congregation regarding the Tabernacle of Moses (also known as the Wilderness Tabernacle), which was the first place of sacrificial worship for the Hebrew people after their adventures at Mount Sinai.
The central point in the Tabernacle of Moses as I understand it is summed up in this simple verse — Exodus 25:8 — “Then have them make a sanctuary for me that I may dwell among them.”
There’s a great deal of detail in setting up the Wilderness Tabernacle, beginning with the formation and position of the 12 tribes. In the center of that formation is the actual Tabernacle.
Every piece of the Tabernacle itself, every detail, is of great importance, but the ultimate key, the golden key you might say, is the Ark of the Covenant.
Revelation 21:3 says; “And I heard a mighty voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.’”
God’s intention is to have fellowship. In 2nd Corinthians there’s a passage in Chapter 5 starting with verse 11, which speaks about the ministry of reconciliation.
In my opinion, we can’t give what we don’t have.
Let me ask you: Have you ever felt spiritually like you’re in a dry and thirsty land? Or as it’s written in Psalm 42:1 — “As the deer pants for water so my soul pants for you my God.”
The Old Testament book of 2 Samuel Chapter 6 speaks about King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. A pinpoint Scripture would be 6:17a — “They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it.”
One of the first things David did was to assign singers and musicians in place.
This move to bring the Ark that represents the presence of God, to me, is a vital spiritual lesson.
The life lessons of the Wilderness Tabernacle are so we may learn the nature and ways of God, about sacrifice and washing. In the Tabernacle of David, the focus is praise and worship.
Hence, my earlier question about feeling spiritually dry and thirsty. Originally the Psalms were played and sung as songs. I am abundantly grateful to those musicians who have shared modern versions of those songs, for example: “Create In Me a Clean Heart,” “As a Deer Panteth,” “This Is the Day” or “Bless the Lord.”
This is just one article in the season of Lent. So with the Tabernacle of David in mind, allow me to plant this seed: The definition for Tabernacle is “tent” — a temporary shelter. In Biblical use, a tent of meeting or dwelling place of Yahweh.
Matthew 6:6a (NIV) says, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”
The King James Version (KJV) writes it as “enter into the closet.”
Are you familiar with the Jewish prayer shawl (Tallit — Numbers 15:38 & Deuteronomy 22:12)?
For me personally it is a picture of a personal prayer closet or a portable Tabernacle. A private prayer place.
A Scripture that is quickened to my mind is James 4:8a: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Perhaps, if we’re feeling spiritually dry and thirsty, we could enter “His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts, I will enter Your courts with praise.”
Remember to be encouraged with the words of Christ in John 10:10b — “I have come that thy may have life and have it more abundantly.”