The Davidic tabernacle became a reality after the Ark of the Covenant was returned by the Philistines (see 1 Sam:6 ff) after they suffered from the plague of mice and boils at the different cities where the Ark was stationed while it had been in their possession. After some intermediate stopovers, the ark arrived in Jerusalem where David had a tent/covering dwelling prepared. This became the new home for the Ark which never returned to Shilo, even while the Mosaic tabernacle was still functioning with its ritual sacrifices and offerings in Shilo without The Ark of the Covenant (where was God’s presence?). The Davidic Tabernacle was different in that the emphasis was on the accessibility, worship, and praise of God, and the introduction of musical worship. This was in contrast to the Mosaic Tabernacle with all the religious furnishings of the brazen altar, bronze laver, the menorah, table of shewbread and the altar of incense, which still had its focus and emphasis on all of the commands and traditions of the Law.
And yet again we need to ask, which Tabernacle? David erected two tents or tabernacles: the Priestly Tabernacle, and the Royal tent. When we look at the anointing of David, his first anointing was in private as an insignificant shepherd boy, and in the company of his family (1 Sam.16:13). The second anointing was in the city of Hebron, being proclaimed as the King of Judah (2 Sam.2:4-11). The third anointing was in Hebron where all the elders of Israel made a covenant with David and anointed him as their King over all of Israel (2 Sam 5:3-5). God made a covenant with David that his house and kingdom would endure forever, that his throne would be established forever (2 Sam 7:16?). This proves the claim of kingship without a doubt.
Also, David is spoken of as being in the priestly order of Melchisedek (Ps 110). We can see David during his life functioning (acting as) in priestly roles by entering the holy place for bread and the sword of Goliath, dancing and worshipping before the ark in a linen ephod: a priestly garment (2 Sam 6:14, and 1 Chron 15:27), preparing a new tabernacle for the Ark, offering Burnt and Peace offerings before the Lord (2 Sam 6:17), and blessing people in the name of the Lord (2 Sam 6:18). Then there is also the reference in the NT which recognises David as a prophet (Acts 2:29-32) where he is quoted to foretell the resurrection of the Christ, and of course all of the prophetic psalms attributed to him. According to these points, we accept that David performed in all three offices: prophet, priest and king (order of Melchisedek). When we accept this fact, we see David as a foreshadowing of Christ and His redemptive work. This then establishes the morphing of both the kingly and priestly tabernacles, not only for David but also for the believers today, where we too are set free to function as prophet, priest and king. For the first time since Moses, the priestly/prophetic and kingly roles were brought together, reigning and ruling side by side with the congregation. The emphasis of the spiritual was placed on praise and worship in spirit and truth, and the power and authority was recognised as belonging with the believer. This then replaced the bondage of mosaic laws, condemnation and rituals. All with the freedom we can experience through Christ. A place where anybody could, and can, come and worship God in freedom and truth. Thus the Tabernacle of David is a foreshadowing of the new temple where, since the cross, we are the building stones and where God is within us and we are recreated to our full glory.
Leave A Comment