The Scriptures say that David was a man after God’s own heart. David took the Ark of the Covenant and did something unprecedented by establishing what we call the Tabernacle of David. When he did this, something amazing was revealed about the heart of David—and about why his desire to dwell in the place of God’s presence is so significant for us as Christian believers today.
We talk about the first and second Temple, and we question whether there will be a third Temple, but David never saw any of that. He only knew the tent that God established with Moses in the wilderness and was moved from place to place.
In the beginning when the people of Israel entered the Land, the tent of meetings, which housed the Ark of the Covenant and all of the elements of worship, was established in Shiloh and was there for more than 390 years. But in the war with the Philistines, the Ark was removed and separated from this tent.
Now when David goes to take back the Ark, he does something pretty radical. Instead of taking the Ark back to Gibeon and returning it to the tent of meetings, David builds his own tent in Jerusalem and places the Ark in the tent which he had built.
As far as we’ve known up to this point, the Ark of the Covenant—the presence of God, can only dwell in the Holy of Holies. Although there was no scriptural precedence for this, obviously the Lord was with him and we see a whole new way of worship being established.
300 years later Amos prophesied that this tabernacle of David will be rebuilt in the end time when God is restoring Israel. The symbolism of it is that all mankind may seek God, which James quotes as proof that anyone—even the Gentiles—may enter into the presence of God and worship Him.
- Psalm 27:4-9. “That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
- 2 Chronicles 1:3-6. “David…had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.”
- 2 Chronicles 1:13. “Solomon went…to Jerusalem, and he reigned over Israel.”
- 1 Chronicles 13:1-14. “David did not take the ark with him to the city of David.”
- 1 Chronicles 15:1. “David…prepared a place for the ark of God.”
- 1 Chronicles 15:2. “No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites.”
- 1 Chronicles 15:12-14. “The priests and the Levites consecrated themselves.”
- 1 Chronicles 15:25-28. “Because God was helping the Levites.”
- 1 Chronicles 16:1-7. “They brought in the ark…and placed it inside the tent.”
- 1 Chronicles 16:37-42. “To minister before the ark continually.”
- Amos 9:11-15. “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David.”
- Acts 15:12-21. “God…taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name.”
- “When we see David’s heart, we understand that he was not interested so much in the sacrificial precedent of what had taken place in the tent, but he was driven to worship God with music, with song and to introduce a whole new way of worship.”
- “It seems so radical to me, that David would feel the freedom to take the very presence of God—we know that’s what the Ark of the Covenant represented—and separate it from everything else and bring it up to his own tent. I’m not sure where the rule book was for this. It would have struck the fear of God in my heart to have even come up with some kind of an idea like this!”
- “According to the prophecy of Amos, the tent of David will be rebuilt. And the symbolism of it is that all mankind may seek God. There is no Holy of Holies in the tent of David, so now anyone may enter into the presence of God and worship Him.”
- God confirms His will and His purpose by two witnesses: by the moving of the Holy Spirit, and by the written word of God.
- Whatever we believe God is doing, we must always remember to look for the witness and confirmation of it.
- Although what David did was radical and unprecedented, it created a scriptural precedence for the unprecedented event which would happen over a thousand years later.
- Through David—who is a type of the coming Messiah—God confirmed His plan to include the Gentiles in salvation. What an amazing God we have, what an amazing Bible and what an amazing salvation!