Zion

I believe God is preparing His people for the days ahead.  I see change a’comin.  At the early inception of the church, in Acts 15:16 James says, “ After this I will return and rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up…”  I puzzled over these verses for years.  I still don’t understand much, but somehow the church was associated with the rebuilding of David’s tabernacle.  If you look into it, there were some unique things about that particular tabernacle.

The tabernacle of Moses was still in operation
The priesthood was still functioning
The sacrifices were still being offered
But the ark was not in the holy of holies



David’s tabernacle contained the Ark of the Covenant
(nothing more).

This is very meaningful!  Many things were changed while the ark rested in that little insignificant tent in the city of David, also known as Zion.  Worship and praise were changed significantly by direct order of King David.

Once more Worship and praise are springing forth out of Zion!  Hearts are being healed and the prayer of Jesus is being answered as we draw near to the Lord and allow His Spirit to purge and purify us into that glorious oneness. "…I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into oneness, that the world may know that You did send Me, and did love them, even as You did love Me." (Jn. 17:23)

JUST WHAT IS ZION?

The history about Zion is a fascinating one, worthy of studying for yourselves.  I am not going to attempt to give “the whole story” here but hopefully it will incite you to look further into this and see application in your own life today.   Zion was a enemy stronghold or fortress in Jerusalem that was held by the Jebusites (see II Sam. 5:6-10 and I Chron. 11:4-9).  Joab and the mighty men of David took that stronghold.  It was the last remaining position of the enemy in Jerusalem and until David, had never been conquered.

Isn’t that just like our God?  He chooses to dwell right in the middle of what once was the enemy’s stronghold!  It was there that David built his house and it was also there on Mount Zion that David brought the Ark of the Lord and placed it in a tabernacle (small tent).  Through out scripture, Zion is mentioned time and time again as a special place in God’s heart. God loves Zion!   He has never complained about dwelling in tents among His people (II Sam. 7:6ff, and I Chron. 17:5ff).

DAVID GOES AFTER THE ARK


David as you recall eventually returned the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem. But he did not place it on Mt. Moriah (future temple site), but near his house in the city of David, which is called Zion (I Chron. 15:1).   He erected a small insignificant tent, and placed the Ark in there. No Holy Place, no Holy of Holies, just a tent, where he and many others would go and bask, in the presence of the Lord right there before the Ark!  Wow!  Do you realize that all the time the Ark was in Zion, Moses tabernacle (the tabernacle of the Lord) was still at the high place in Gibeon and the sacrifices continued ( I Chron. 16:37-40) ..Double WOW! That is where the Holy Place and Holy of Holies were! But NO ARK!!

THE ARK IN THE TEMPLE?

Of course we know that Solomon's Temple had the Ark in the Holy of Holies again. But at the restoration of the temple after the return from Babylon, there is no mention of the Ark! Then when our Lord Jesus comes to this earth, Herod's Temple has no Ark in the Holy of Holies because the REAL Ark is walking around in Israel!! Hallelujah!

THE WAY IS OPENED

Finally, when the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world, is crucified at Golgotha, THE VEIL IS RENT in the temple from TOP to bottom! So guess what? No more Holy Place and Holy of Holies! Only ONE big room full of gold! The writer of Hebrews refers to this in Heb. 9:7-8 "...But into the second part (the Holy of Holies)...the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing." (NKJV) Praise the Lord! The way has now been made manifest! The veil, which was Jesus flesh, has now been rent..we can NOW enter boldly before the throne of grace! Isn't that good news?! 

DID DAVID KNOW SOMETHING WE MISSED?

Hmmm.  Do you reckon this could be the tabernacle of David that is referred to in Amos 9:11-12 and Acts 15:16?  God Himself said David was a man after His own heart.  Did David know something about God’s heart that most missed?  I think David realized that the one thing we can all do, no matter what our circumstances may be…is to WORSHIP God!   For no matter what condition we may find ourselves, He is still worthy of praise!  David’s life certainly proved that.  No matter what predicament David  found himself in (oftentimes through his own foolish choices), he would eventually cry out to God and return to worship.  Is this not God’s heart?  He called Israel out into the desert that He might feast and enjoy His people.  He has always wanted a people in which He could be their God and have personal and intimate fellowship with them.  But instead of seeking His heart, we establish temples with the precious Ark of the Lord missing.

David had a foretaste of this reality in Zion that we can NOW experience! He could go boldly, as well as many others, before the Ark..no veil hindered him either! That brothers and sisters is Zion! Free access, liberty, and boldness to enter into the presence of the Lord!  This was in Zion, but at the same time, Moses tabernacle was at the high place at Gibeon where daily offerings and sacrifices were being made. What a picture for today! Where would you rather be? Mt. Zion or the high place at Gibeon?

IS DAVID’S TABERNACLE (that had fallen down) BEING REBUILT?

As I travel I am seeing little Zions being built up again.  Yes, just little insignificant “tents” (homes) where lovers of Jesus are gathered in His name to enjoy the Lord and encourage one another.   It is such a blessing being with God's people, basking in the Sonshine of His presence! May the Lord continue to raise up many "Little Zions" where the only focal point is the Ark, the presence and glory of our Lord!  Jesus Himself said HE will build His church. 

I think the church Christ is (still) building may not look like what we call church today.   His church is where He is recognized as preeminent; Christ alone is Head. The church Christ is still building is one in which organization, church structure and hierarchy do not grieve or hinder the Sprit of God from freedom to move and direct as He wishes. Where the only "agenda" is to glorify God and encourage one another in a relational way. It is a place where love can be tested and our "comfort zones" challenged as we interrelate with one another in an informal real world setting.
In summary, the tabernacle of David (with the Ark as the focal point) was where worship was not limited to a set time or certain group, but an open, unveiled entrance into the Lord's presence alone, or with others. God's desrire for fellowship has never changed. He has always wanted to have a people where He could be their God and where they could walk and feast together.  Let’s return to the heart of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father where He can once more be exalted in simplicity, as we worship Him in spirit and reality (truth) …for such the Father seeks (Jn. 4:23-24)

CL 2.06