THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID (part 1)
It is very interesting how James refers to an obscure verse of scripture in the OT when he is addressing the Council at Jerusalem in (Acts 15:13-18) about accepting Gentiles into the fellowship of the Church. This scripture is found in (Amos 9:11) which reads "In that day I will restore the fallen house (tent) of David. I will repair it's damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore it's former glory." Here we have a theme concerning the Tabernacle or (tent) of David erected in Zion, which is quoted from the OT by a NT writer, and applied to the Church, which was just being formed in those days. Therefore when we do the same, we are on solid ground. The whole story of how David brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem is recorded in (2 Samuel chapter 6, and 1 Chronicles chapters 13-16). This is quite a story in itself, about why David felt to erect a simple tent to house the Ark, while the official Tabernacle of Moses was still in operation not far away, complete with the priests offering sacrifices as prescribed in the law, and all the time the Holiest Place was empty! Then when we consider that this event would be brought to our NT in reference to the Church, really should cause us to think through the whole way we "do church"!
When we read (1 Chronicles 16:37-39, and 21:29-30) we can see clearly that David had forsaken the old traditional way of worship, established by Moses, for a new way given to him by God. In the tent, or tabernacle, there was no Holy Place to conceal the ark of the covenant, which represented the "Presence of God". But instead it was open for all to see and enjoy, and not reserved for the high priest once a year. Remember at the time of Jesus being crucified, the Tabernacle of Moses had been shifted to become the Temple built by Solomon, and the heavy curtain that concealed the Holy Place was ripped in two from top to bottom by God. This happened at the very moment His Son was dying for our redemption on the Cross of Calvary. The timing of this event was very significant, and marked a complete change in the way God expects us to worship Him, in my opinion.
Tabernacles are movable, but temples are not, and can only be destroyed! That's what happened to the temple that was standing at the time, only 70 years later. Jesus referred to His body as the Temple that would be destroyed but rebuilt in 3 days (John 2:19-22). Today the Church, which is His body on earth, composed of people who have been "born again" into the family of God, are referred to as His Temple or dwelling place by Paul in (Eph 2:21-22). The question we must face is, are we a picture of the Tabernacle of David, or the Tabernacle of Moses? We will pursue this topic further in part 2 later.