Another kind of Christ – Part 3 – “THE” Tabernacle


In 2 Samuel we see that David has finally found rest from all his enemies (2 Samuel 7:1), and he has a desire to build a permanent place for the ark of the covenant to reside.  It seems like the logical next step.  David desires to honor God but the LORD is not ready for this.

2 Samuel 7:5-7 “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?  For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle.  Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ “ ‘

In other words “David, I’ve not told you to do this, why would you do this?”  This was not a stern rebuke from the LORD, but appears to be a simple statement of fact.

John Gill in his commentary writes – they never were bid to do it, or expostulated with why they did not, or ever reproved for not doing it; therefore why should David think of doing it?  John Gill Commentaries

What an interesting thought.  How often do we presuppose that we should do something for the LORD He has not called us to do?  What is our service to God to consist of?  It should include nothing more than obedience to His Word.  Paul says this is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1).

2 Samuel 7:11b Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house.

The LORD reveals His plan to David.  Can we begin to even grasp the reality of this statement?  From before time began God had a plan to redeem mankind through Christ and David is a recipient of that information and not only that, but it is through his seed that this tabernacle will be built. 

2 Samuel 7:12-13 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 

John Gill again offers great clarity: that is, for a long time. Solomon’s reign was forty years, and the kingdom of Judah continued in his posterity until the Babylonish captivity, and a prince that descended from him was the ruler of the people when they returned: this has its fulfilment more eminently in Christ, who was of his seed, to whom God has given “the throne of his father David”, and who “shall reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32). John Gill Commentaries

We know the temple was built by Solomon; did this end the story?  Was this the only tabernacle being spoken of here?  Was it established forever?   We know Solomon’s temple was destroyed so how is this temple to really be established forever?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes: He (Solomon) built a temple and his action was approved by God.  But this temple was not enough to fulfill the promise.  It was built by the hands of men, and so was doomed for destruction.  The prophecy still awaited fulfillment.  Still the People of God look for a temple built by the Son of David whose kingdom shall endure forever.  The temple at Jerusalem was destroyed more than once, a sign that it was not the temple of God’s promise.  Where then was the true temple?  Christ Himself answers that question by applying the prophecy to His Body.  “The Jews therefore said, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou raise it up in three days?  But He spake of the temple of His body.  When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He spake this: and they believed the word which Jesus had said” (John 2:20).The Cost of Discipleship

Christ is the true tabernacle, the dwelling place in which sinners must enter to receive redemption and forgiveness.  The whole history and prophecies of the Old Testament point to the glory of this truth.  This is a remarkable narrative of Christ and the whole purpose of His coming to earth, “To seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10).

Hebrews 8:1-2 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

But why?

Hebrews 8:12-13 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”  In that He say, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete.  Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another.

These are remarkable statements of truth from the writer of Hebrews; the truth of the gospel in full view with incredible clarity.  Can we see the completeness of Scripture and how it all points to Christ?

Is there a reason for this all?  I ask this question today for those in unbelief? 

Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of man.  To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

If you don’t understand the depths that Christ has gone to rescue sinful man you can never appreciate what it means to be saved.  If this is foolishness you are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18) and my attempt is to appeal to your heart that it has sinned and has fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  If you are a Believer you should be in awe of God and have a better understanding of how the Bible shows itself to be the source of truth. 

Worship Him today, for He is worthy.


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