Monday, July 30, 2018

Sacrifice (7) Davids Tabernacle

During the time of Samuel, the Philistines conquered Israel and stole the covenant box and took it to Ekron, because they thought that it was a god. However, tumours broke out amongst them, so they wanted to get rid of it (1 Sam 5). They place it on a wagon and hitched up two cows that had just calved (1 Sam 6). The carried it to Beth Shemesh in Israel. Later it was taken Kiriath Jearim, a town in Judah where Caleb had settled. It remained there for twenty years (1 Sam 7:1-2).

When David became King, he brought the covenant box to Jerusalem and placed it in a tent there.

They brought the covenant box of God and placed it inside the tent David had pitched for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings in God’s presence (1 Chron 16:1).
The tabernacle of the Lord remained at Gibeon, where it had been since the victories of Joshua.
David left Asaph and his associates before the covenant box of the LORD to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements...
David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place in Gibeon (1 Chron 16:37-39).
God does not seem to have told David to take this action, but he split the tabernacle role. The covenant box was in Jerusalem. The Holy of Holies and the altars remained in Gibeon.

The reason for this is given in Chronicles. David had sinned by counting his “fighting men”. He was given a choice of judgment and had chosen a plague. When it struck, he realised that he deserved the judgment, not the people, and pleaded with God to stop it. David saw an angel with a sword standing over Jerusalem. When the angel sheathed his sword, David knew that God had heard his prayer.

The tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD (1 Chron 21:29-30).
It seems that David kept the tabernacle of the Lord in Gibeon, because he was afraid of the angel of judgment..

Interestingly, God continue to meet with people in the Tent of the Meeting at Gibeon.

Now David had brought up the covenant box of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the LORD; so Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there. Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it. That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you (2 Chron 1:4-7).
The bronze altar was still at Gibeon. Solomon went there when he became king and God spoke to him about his role. Solomon chose the gift of wisdom. It seems that God still wanted to meet with people in the Tent of the Meeting.

I wonder if David got it wrong. He had a marvellous relationship with God and loved to worship, but towards the end of his life, things turned sour. God never told him to build a temple, because he was happy living in a tent, but David decided to do it anyway. The temple was built in a way that supported worship and the offering of sacrifices. It was not specifically designed to make it easy to meet with God and hear him speak.


the tabernacle of Moses was designed for meeting with God. Offering sacrifices was a secondary purpose.


The Jerusalem temple was designed for offering sacrifices. Meeting with God became less practical.

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