1 Chronicles 16:1. And they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.
What is the meaning of life? Why did God create us?
Some would say that these big questions are impossible to answer. But what if they’re not? What if the Bible provides the answers to life’s biggest questions?
The Bible tells the story of man and God meeting here on Earth. The creator meeting his creation. The Worthy meeting the worshiper. First in a garden temple, and then, after sin entered, in a tent called the Tabernacle. It was there in the center of this tent, at the ark of the covenant, on the mercy seat that God would meet man.
Exodus 25:21-22. 21 And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22 There I will meet with you.
For over 500 years one man (the High Priest), on one day a year (the Day of Atonement), entered into the one place (the Tabernacle), and there he met the one true God at the mercy seat. And always with the blood of the sacrificial goat to be sprinkled on the seat, atoning for the sins of the people for one more year.
But when David became king over Israel there was a big problem. The Ark was not in the Tabernacle. Years earlier, the Ark had been captured and taken away by the Philistines (it’s complicated). But then, after 20 years, David had the ark brought back into Jerusalem with a great celebration.
And here’s where the story gets amazing. David didn’t return the Ark to its home in the Tabernacle of Moses. He took it to his house in Jerusalem. There he pitched a tent for it in his own back yard.
Now any time David wanted to he could walk into the presence of the Lord and sit under the shadow of his wings. No blood sacrifices. No ritual cleansing. No veil of separation. No holy days. No purity laws. No high priest. Nothing to stop him.
But wait there’s more.
Then King David employed musicians to praise, and sing, and dance, and play instruments before the Lord. You can read all about it in 1 Chronicles 16.
David would forever transform how Israel worshiped God. David’s tent transformed worship from “please accept me” to “thank you for accepting me.” From endless bloody sacrifices to an endless sacrifice of praise.
Can you see how David’s tent pictures our union with Christ? David’s tent is grace not law. The law forbade David from entering the Tabernacle, especially the Holy of Holies where God dwelt. But David went boldly into the presence of God in his backyard tent. He stood, sat, sang, danced, clapped, played, and wrote countless psalms before the Mercy Seat. And he invited the people to join him. The whole congregation of Israel worshiped God at this little tent. All without the continual shedding of blood. All without repeated cleansing. All without fear. Just perpetual praise and thanksgiving, awe and wonder.
What boldness. What reliance on the acceptance of God. What faith in God’s matchless grace.
“To live is Christ” has made us, God’s church, the tent of David. God’s presence now dwelling in us and through us. Our lives now lived boldly before God as living sacrifices to the praise of his glorious grace. This is the meaning of life. This is why we were created. To live passionately in God’s presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.
Do you see your life as praise to God or penance to God?
You in Christ
In Christ you are perpetually in God’s presence. How can this remove your fear today?
Christ in you
How can you live “inside the tent” before God today?
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