We saw the Ark of the Lord arrive last time we were together. Today we step back just a little and look at what took place as it was put in the Tent David made.
The Tent that David made is not the Tabernacle that the Israelites took with them in the wilderness. It is unique in itself. It is a place of praise and worship. It did not replace the Tabernacle which was in Gibeon. That was where the showbread, the lampstand, and the altar were located and the ritual sacrifices conducted. The only thing missing from the Tabernacle was the Ark of the Lord. I don’t know if they conducted the yearly sacrifice without it. This separation will eventually end when Solomon builds the Temple but for now there is a difference.
David focused on what was dear to his heart when assigning workers to the Tent. David was a musician and he spoke to God through his music. When pleading his case, when sharing his stories, and when praising God David did it all through music. So it makes sense that he would provide the same for the people when it came to relating to God.
“Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the Ark of the Lord, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel” (verse 4). Prayer and praise were the hallmarks of the Tent David made.
Two types of offerings are mentioned as also being conducted before the Ark at the Tent David set up; burnt offerings and peace offerings. These didn’t replace the daily offerings that were required in the Tabernacle. I believe they were more of freewill offerings, but I could be mistaken. The freewill offering was one of praise and thanks giving which fits in very nicely with David’s ‘theme’ for the Tent.
Something I was curious about are the gifts David gave everyone after the dedication ceremony. I tried looking up the significance of these three items but couldn’t find any commentary on it. So I’m going to speculate.
The first item is a loaf of bread. This is a main staple in the diet of the people. Jesus is also the Bread of Life. Without the foundation (bread) the meal is only a snack.
The second item was a piece of meat. I imagine it was part of the meat that was used in the sacrifices that occurred that day. There were MANY animals that gave their lives for the people that day. It makes sense to use what God has blessed the people with.
The third item threw me for a minute. I didn’t know what a ‘cake of raisins’ was. I was thinking it was a bunch of raisins packed together into a container but when someone said something about raisin bread it hit me. That makes perfect sense but a cake of raisins could be a raisin cake like carrot cake. The featured ingredient. This takes the fruit of the vine and uses it in another wonderful way. Jesus blood is the wine which comes also from the vine and God is the Vinedresser.
These three things made a complete meal for an Israelite. They often set out bread, meat and fruit. All that was missing from what David handed out was something to drink. That would probably have been too difficult to carry home.
So this day David provided for the people’s physical as well as spiritual welfare. The gift of the Ark and the gift of the food. The spiritual gift would last MUCH longer for the people. I pray that they remembered it longer too.
I guess my lesson for today is; don’t let the trappings of the day steal all your focus. Enjoy the time, the activities, and the food but remember the relationship is what it is all about. The presence of God was now back in the midst of the people. They could come before Him again and bring Him their hearts.
Father God, my mind has been on many things today in preparation for tomorrow’s events. Help me remember the relationships more than the activities. Keep my family my focus instead of how to move people through MY processes. Let me enjoy our time together. Let everyone else feel that same way.