Honestly, the Bible used to be to me the most boring book on the planet. I was like, ‘Make it easy or something God because this is so dull.’ I didn’t read the Bible cover to cover till I was 25 but after that I devoured it. The truth is God put His grace on me to read it and since then duty has turned to delight.
One of the things I love about the Bible is how hidden things are in it. Ha – that used to be the very thing I disliked about it. But the Bible is full of gems and jewels and mysteries waiting to be discovered when we read it with the help of the Holy Spirit. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2) One of my favourite secrets in the Bible is the story and significance of the Tabernacle of David.
4000 years ago King David of Israel had a revelation. He had an encounter with God that caused him to act in a way that made some question his sanity. “I have become a stranger to my mother’s sons because zeal for your house has consumed me.” (Psalm 69:8) In other words, ‘…even my own family thinks I’m crazy because zeal to be in your presence has consumed my life.’ Psalm 132 records David’s response to his encounter with God:
“Lord remember David and all his afflictions; how he swore to the Lord, and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob: “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house or go up to the comfort of my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” (verses 1-5)
As a response, David made a vow that he would give all the energy of his life into the pursuit of one reality, having God dwell in the midst of His people, having the presence of God tangibly live amongst His people.
So David took 288 prophetic singers and 4000 musicians and he brought the Ark of the Covenant, the resting place of God’s presence, to Jerusalem and set the singers and musicians before the Ark to worship God 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (1 Chronicles 23 and 25)
Why? Because David had a revelation that in heaven there was unceasing worship in the presence of God. King David was the first one to ever pray, “On earth as it is in heaven.” In other words, he said to himself, “if we replicate the worship that is going on in heaven then we create an atmosphere where God is free to move and dwell amongst us.”
David took 4288 signers and musicians, paid them out of the national budget and commissioned them to do nothing except stand/sit in a tent and worship God as their full time occupation. Their wage bill comes to around 214 million dollars a year on a wage of 50,000 a year (quite a moderate wage by modern Aussie standards). That’s 214 million dollars away from the army, away from city building, away from so many other things. From a worldly point of view we look at that and say, “What a waste, you’re crazy David.” But when we get a revelation of the beauty, worth and majesty of God and the incredible blessing of His presence amongst us we must conclude, “214 million is a drop in the bucket (Australia’s GDP in 2017 was 1.7 trillion dollars).” It’s a drop in the bucket. It’s small change in comparison to the overwhelming blessing of playing a part in fulfilling the desire of God’s heart and the deepest desire of every human heart (Haggai 2:7). The establishment of David’s tabernacle in Jerusalem ushered in a season of unprecedented national peace and prosperity for ancient Israel.
And here’s the incredible part about this story and the part that is relevant to you and me right now. There is a little prophecy in the book of Amos that says this, “On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen down and repair its damages I will raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does this thing.” (Amos 9:11, also quoted in Acts 15:16) And right now all across the world God is raising up Houses of Prayer in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David – families of believers who have set themselves to offer up unceasing worship and praise and prayer to God unto the breaking in of His glory and His presence coming to rest on particular geographic regions. The amazing thing is that this is happening sovereignly. It’s not happening because a group of people are coordinating it across the globe. I’ve heard testimonies of houses of prayer being started on remote islands in the Pacific where there’s no electricity and birthed in forgotten, isolated parts of China. The Holy Spirit visits pastors and leaders and just tells them to do it. It’s happening everywhere, it’s an explosion across the planet in our time. God is rebuilding the Tabernacle of David (Amos 9:11), using it to call His church as a House of Prayer for all nations (Matthew 21:13) and preparing His people as a Bride fit for the soon coming-to-dwell of His Son.
Joel Ratcliffe (8 October 2018)