Defining The Tabernacle of David – Word Study

  
Born and bred in an urban city, tent is not a common sight for me. Since the topic is about the Tabernacle of David, I feel the need to understand tabernacle better. I am no Hebrew and Greek scholar but the lexicon is usually a good starting point.

I will start from the New Testament since there is only one verse with the mention of Tabernacle of David. The Greek word for Tabernacle in Acts 15:16 is Skene (σκηνη, Strong’s Number: 4633). Skene is defined as a “tent, tabernacle (made of green boughs, or skins or other materials)”, and also “the movable temple of God after the pattern of which the temple at Jerusalem was built”. In Acts 7:43-44, skene was the Tabernacle of Moses. In Rev 13:6; 15:5 and 21:3, skene is used in the context of after the judgments. There is no difference in words used for the Tabernacle of Moses and Tabernacle of David.

The Old Testament Hebrew has more vocabulary for tabernacle than Greek and English.

The word ‘ohel (אהל, Strong’s Number: 0168) is frequently used for the Tabernacle of Moses in Exodus. ‘ohel means a nomad’s tent, a dwelling, home and habitation. Even though it is nomadic and mobile, it functions as a long-term dwelling, a home. The Tabernacle of Moses withstood 40 years of wilderness wandering and entered the Promised Land! It was definitely highly durable and permanent.

A different Hebrew word is used for Tabernacle of David in Amos 9:11, which is the key Old Testament verse. The Hebrew word for tabernacle in Amos 9:11 is Cukkah (יככה Strong’s No: 05521). Cukkah is a booth, “a rude or temporary shelter”. The Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths (Lev 23:33-43) uses the same Hebrew word, Cukkah. The people of Israel are commended to build temporary booths or tabernacles and live under the Cukkah during the seven days of the feast. The Feast of Tabernacles is mentioned in Zec 14, which wrote about The Day of the Lord, which is commonly interpreted as the final Judgment Day. The passage of Zec 14:16-21 prophesied that the Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated after the Day of the Lord. Even though Cukkah is temporary in its physical nature, God has a long-term purpose for Cukkah.

Here lies the paradox. The extremely durable Tabernacle of Moses was not required after Jesus established the New Covenant but the rude temporary Cukkah of David has a purpose beyond its durability. Interestingly, ‘ohel is used in Isa 16:5 for the Tabernacle of David in the context of final judgment by the One, referring to the Messiah.

Physically, the Cukkah being a temporary tent requires restoration over time, especially for the Day of the Lord. Yet, is the restoration just the physical tent? Since it is meant to be temporary, restoration of the physical tent will be challenging and replacing it might be a better solution. If the restoration work is not only referring to the physical tent, what does it then refer to? We can only restore what we know. The definition of the Tabernacle of David that is to be restored is not found in a word study. So a Biblical study is needed to understand this.

 

A side note: The Tabernacle built by Moses was not called the Tabernacle of Moses in the Bible but the Tabernacle of the Lord. I will use the Tabernacle of Moses as most of us understand this phrase but thought I will point out that only the Tabernacle of David was named after the builder in the Bible.

Crowder – Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)
Lift your head weary sinner the river’s just ahead
Down the path of forgiveness salvation’s waiting there
You built a mighty fortress 10,000 burdens high
Love is here to lift you up, here to lift you high

If you’re lost and wandering
Come stumbling in like a prodigal child
See the walls start crumbling
Let the gates of glory open wide

All who’ve strayed and walked away, unspeakable things you’ve done
Fix your eyes on the mountain, let the past be dead and gone
Come all saints and sinners, you can’t outrun God
Whatever you’ve done can’t overcome the power of the blood

If you’re lost and wrecked again
Come stumbling in like a prodigal child
See the walls start crumbling
Let the gates of glory be open wide

This song hit me when I first listened to it. First drawn by the grungy banjo to a rhythm that lifts my spirit. So many times I feel so drained that I want to give up, not able to see when refreshment is going to come. Such an apt reminder of the river of God is just up ahead. I am so guilty of the 10,000 burdens high fortress that locks me in from outside aid. It is time for love to lift me up, up beyond this fortress and burdens.

The concept of outrunning God sounds absurd but in human’s foolishness, I do find myself trying to run away from God as I am not willing to submit to His ways. Like a cat chasing its own tail, our running is almost on the spot and never get far. Time to yield to God’s ways!

Love the fresh perception about overcoming. We always talk about overcoming evil and sin, but often times I am trapped due to my weaknesses. A shift in focus that the power of Jesus’ blood cannot be overcome definitely changes the power and authority of the blood during times of weakness.

So let us all stumble back into God’s presence like a prodigal child and let the gates of glory be open wide!!

JESUS’ PASSION WEEK DEVOTION – DAY 6/6 – The Resurrection

This week’s devotion of the Passion Week from Jesus’ Perspective. The devotions are written as first person, from Jesus’ perspective, like His personal journal of his thoughts and words gathered through Scriptures as the scenes of the Passion Week unfolds.

There are a number of references to the Song of Songs to get a peep into Jesus’ love for His people. As there are many symbolism used in Song of Songs, the list below helps to explain some of them that are found in the verses quotation in this week’s devotions.

  • Shulamite symbolizes Israel and the Church
  • The Beloved symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom King
  • Spikenard symbolizes worship
  • Myrrh symbolizes death

This devotion emphasizes more on the heart and the spirit, rather than knowledge.

  • Take time to read the devotion slowly to allow the scriptures and events to go deep into you, beyond your mind.
  • It helps to read it several times, asking the Holy Spirit to bring you deeper.
  • Highlight the portions that jump out at you and write down your thoughts under “Personal Reflection” and also put into writing the response or even commitment that you want to make before God.

Day 6 – The Resurrection

Read Luke 24:1-53; John 20:1-25

The ladies come to my tomb early on Sunday morning. I have descended to the lowest and gained victory over death! This temple I have rebuilt in three days. Here is Mary Magdalene weeping, the least of the women that many looked down but the one who is forgiven much loves much (Luke 7:47). Mary! Now that you have recognised me, do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God’ (John 20:17).

Who is she who looks forth as the morning,
Fair as the moon, clear as the sun,
Awesome as an army with banners?” – SOS 6:10

My disciples you have assembled behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. Your hearts are hardened and do not believe the testimonies of those who saw me at the tomb (Mark 16:14). I have to come to you this every night for I love you and you mistaken me as a spirit. Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts (Luke 24:38)? Peace be with you. You recognise my pierced hands and side. I eat a piece of broiled fish that you provide as a proof that I am not a spirit but body. You have seen the resurrection of Lazarus. I AM the way, the truth and the life. Blessed are they who do not see my resurrected body, and yet believe. Remember, PEACE be with you.

My breath is the Holy Spirit. Receive my breath of life. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained. Your mind is now opened to understand the Scriptures. All things written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. I am the Christ. I will suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and this repentance for forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in my name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are my witnesses of these things.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.
– Song of Songs 8:6

It is time for me to return to my Abba, to sit on His right hand and intercede for you. I bless you my beloved and I will return for you. Wait, wait in the city of Jerusalem for the outpouring of power from heaven. I know you are going to be empowered to do greater things than me on earth.

JESUS’ PASSION WEEK DEVOTION – DAY 5/6 – The Cross

This week’s devotion of the Passion Week from Jesus’ Perspective. The devotions are written as first person, from Jesus’ perspective, like His personal journal of his thoughts and words gathered through Scriptures as the scenes of the Passion Week unfolds.

There are a number of references to the Song of Songs to get a peep into Jesus’ love for His people. As there are many symbolism used in Song of Songs, the list below helps to explain some of them that are found in the verses quotation in this week’s devotions.

  • Shulamite symbolizes Israel and the Church
  • The Beloved symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom King
  • Spikenard symbolizes worship
  • Myrrh symbolizes death

This devotion emphasizes more on the heart and the spirit, rather than knowledge.

  • Take time to read the devotion slowly to allow the scriptures and events to go deep into you, beyond your mind.
  • It helps to read it several times, asking the Holy Spirit to bring you deeper.
  • Highlight the portions that jump out at you and write down your thoughts under “Personal Reflection” and also put into writing the response or even commitment that you want to make before God.

Day 5 – The Cross

Read Luke 22:54-23:56; John 18:12-19:37

The high priest and council of elders of Israel cannot find any false witnesses against me. Even the two false witnesses speak correctly that I am going to tear down the temple of God and rebuild it within three days. You do not believe me when I confess that I am Christ, the Son of God, the King of the Jews and call it blasphemy. I feel your spat on my face and the pain of you hitting me with your hands. I know each one of you for I created you. The trial has found me guiltless and you want me to take the place of Barabbas. Yes, I will take the place of Barabbas on the cross. I will take the place of you. It is for this reason that I have come.

O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah,
Lovely as Jerusalem,
Awesome as an army with banners! – Song of Songs 6:4

The cross is heavy for my broken body. Bless you Simon of Cyrene for carrying the cross and walking with me. O daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children for greater evil will fall upon them (Luke 23:28-31).

I can feel the nails going through my hands and feet. The weight of the world is felt on my physical shoulders when the weight of my body is on the nails as they hoist my cross up. “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). All the reviling, the blasphemy and jeering I put aside for my mind is set on doing Abba’s will. Some women were crying and amongst them, Mary my mother. My beloved disciple John is with her. I know John will take good care of her. Each breath I take is filled with excruciating pain but I know the end of this. “If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). I have allowed this temple of my body to be destroyed in a day and I will rebuild it in three days. I will go down to the lowest place for the keys of hades and death so that they will have no hold over my people!

After three hours of darkness, the ninth hour has come. Darkness looms so heavily upon me. All that I need to do on earth is done. Now the weight of the world has come upon my spirit. “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?) Abba, into Your hands I commit my spirit.

It is finished.

JESUS’ PASSION WEEK DEVOTION – DAY 4/6 – The Garden of Gethsemane

This week’s devotion of the Passion Week from Jesus’ Perspective. The devotions are written as first person, from Jesus’ perspective, like His personal journal of his thoughts and words gathered through Scriptures as the scenes of the Passion Week unfolds.

There are a number of references to the Song of Songs to get a peep into Jesus’ love for His people. As there are many symbolism used in Song of Songs, the list below helps to explain some of them that are found in the verses quotation in this week’s devotions.

  • Shulamite symbolizes Israel and the Church
  • The Beloved symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom King
  • Spikenard symbolizes worship
  • Myrrh symbolizes death

This devotion emphasizes more on the heart and the spirit, rather than knowledge.

  • Take time to read the devotion slowly to allow the scriptures and events to go deep into you, beyond your mind.
  • It helps to read it several times, asking the Holy Spirit to bring you deeper.
  • Highlight the portions that jump out at you and write down your thoughts under “Personal Reflection” and also put into writing the response or even commitment that you want to make before God.

Day 4 – The Garden of Gethsemane

Read Luke 22:39-53 & John 18:1-11.

Gethsemane, another familiar place that feels so different today. I need time alone with my Abba. My beloved disciples sit and wait while I go further. Peter, James and John, stay nearer and watch with me for my soul is extremely sorrowful, to the point of death. Abba! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine. My heart is even heavier when I find the three sleeping when I ask them to keep watch and stay vigilent for just an hour. Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! Back to Abba I go. Abba, if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done. Sweat like blood flows down as I agonize before my Abba. Once again, when I step out, my three are sleeping after my chiding just a while ago! Abba, for the third time I come to you with the same prayer. I submit for these people need me. Seal it and bring it to pass. For the third time, Peter, James and John, you are still sleeping and resting. It is time.

Shulamite
I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.”
– SOS 5:2b

Judas is among the crowd coming towards us with their clubs and swords. Judas, O Judas, you call me rabbi and give me a kiss. My friend, why do you come to me with a kiss of betrayal? My invitation to you is not just to my kingship, but also to my death and sacrifice. Instead of being with me in my death, you have chosen to be on the other side. The crowd takes me like a prisoner, a convict. Peter, I have allowed them to take me and this is the cup from Abba that I have to drink, so keep your sword. I love the high priest servant, Malchus, and your cutting of his ear is not going to change what is to come. I heal Malchus so that he can know me.

Shulamite
I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock. – SOS 5:5

Abba, my diciples are safe as written in Your Word that none that You give me will be lost, except for the betrayer. They have all run away and hide. They are fearful.

JESUS’ PASSION WEEK DEVOTION – DAY 3/6 – The Passover Meal

This week’s devotion of the Passion Week from Jesus’ Perspective. The devotions are written as first person, from Jesus’ perspective, like His personal journal of his thoughts and words gathered through Scriptures as the scenes of the Passion Week unfolds.

There are a number of references to the Song of Songs to get a peep into Jesus’ love for His people. As there are many symbolism used in Song of Songs, the list below helps to explain some of them that are found in the verses quotation in this week’s devotions.

  • Shulamite symbolizes Israel and the Church
  • The Beloved symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom King
  • Spikenard symbolizes worship
  • Myrrh symbolizes death

This devotion emphasizes more on the heart and the spirit, rather than knowledge.

  • Take time to read the devotion slowly to allow the scriptures and events to go deep into you, beyond your mind.
  • It helps to read it several times, asking the Holy Spirit to bring you deeper.
  • Highlight the portions that jump out at you and write down your thoughts under “Personal Reflection” and also put into writing the response or even commitment that you want to make before God.

Day 3 – The Passover Meal

Read: Luke 22:7-38; John 13:1-30, 17:1-26

(The Beloved To His Friends)

Eat, O friends!
Drink, yes, drink deeply,
O beloved ones!” – SOS 5:1b

This day of Passover is finally here. With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Today the lamb is to be slaughtered. Remember me. Remember me. This matzah, the unleavened bread, will be a reminder of my body. It is without leaven and pricked with holes, just like my body is sinless and is broken for you. This cup of wine is a sign of my new covenant with you for I will fulfill the requirements of the old. By partaking of the wine in my remembrance, you are sharing in my suffering and my victory. You are mine.

Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,
With me from Lebanon.
Look from the top of Amana,
From the top of Senir and Hermon,
From the lions’ dens,
From the mountains of the leopards
.” – SOS 4:8

Here we are in the upper room all set and ready. This is the last Passover with my twelve disciples who have followed me the last three years. It troubles me deeply that Judas is going to betray me. I have extended my full love and grace over Judas regardless of his stealing and wandering heart. I have washed his feet with the same love as I have for the other eleven after we came into this room. I have bared my heart to him. He has no remorse when I prophesy that he is my betrayer. My end is determined with or without his betrayal. Yet he has chosen the thirty pieces of silver over me. I will not stop him and he has to do what he set out to do. Peter you will deny me trice. Remember this, I have not once stopped loving you despite your weaknesses. I have prayed for you. I have loved my own and loved you to the end (John 13:1b).

Know that I have given you a kingdom, just as My Abba has bestowed one upon me (Luke 29:22). This kingdom is different from that of the world. I have set an example that servitude and humility is the way to greatness. I served you and washed your feet even though I am the greatest. In this way, there is no competition for the first or best.

Abba, I pray that “they all may be one, as You, Abba, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” – John 17:20-23.

JESUS’ PASSION WEEK DEVOTION – DAY 2/6 – Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

This week’s devotion of the Passion Week from Jesus’ Perspective. The devotions are written as first person, from Jesus’ perspective, like His personal journal of his thoughts and words gathered through Scriptures as the scenes of the Passion Week unfolds.

There are a number of references to the Song of Songs to get a peep into Jesus’ love for His people. As there are many symbolism used in Song of Songs, the list below helps to explain some of them that are found in the verses quotation in this week’s devotions.

  • Shulamite symbolizes Israel and the Church
  • The Beloved symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom King
  • Spikenard symbolizes worship
  • Myrrh symbolizes death

This devotion emphasizes more on the heart and the spirit, rather than knowledge.

  • Take time to read the devotion slowly to allow the scriptures and events to go deep into you, beyond your mind.
  • It helps to read it several times, asking the Holy Spirit to bring you deeper.
  • Highlight the portions that jump out at you and write down your thoughts under “Personal Reflection” and also put into writing the response or even commitment that you want to make before God.

 

Day 2 – Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Read Luke 19:28-44 & John 12:12-19

The day has come for me to enter into Jerusalem. This familiar holy city is where I will finish my mission on earth. My Abba’s plan and purpose for me will be completed soon. Looking at the backs of the two disciples running off to prepare the room and get ready the donkey, the time has come to fulfil Abba’s Word through Prophet Zechariah (Zec 9:9).

O Jerusalem, my beautiful holy city, you feel so different today. As this young colt struts down Mt Olives into the city with me on its back, the people wave palm branches in great celebration shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest”. Here is a welcome to their king whom they do not know. I am coming for you my holy city. You will be mine, wholly mine. You will see my beauty and kingdom come. You cannot see my kingdom in your flesh, but only in the spirit.

I have to silence the Pharisees objections to this welcome. This is due to me, in my city. The stones in my city will cry out if the people choose not to. My heart is wrenched by your blindness. The pride of your religion I will tear down, and none of the stones in this temple will be left unturned because you do not know the time of my visitation, rejecting me in my own city.

Shulamite to the Beloved

Until the day breaks
And the shadows flee away,
Turn, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle
Or a young stag
Upon the mountains of Bether
(meaning separation). – SOS 2:17

I work miracles. I heal the sick. I chase out demons. I clean up the temple of vendors that exploit worshippers. I teach in my temple. I reveal my heart and power to you. You should have recognised me. I am going to the lowest pit before I ascend to the highest throne. You will treat me like the prophets and all who are sent to you. I am not only a prophet but the Son of God. Soon, at least you my disciples will understand when you see me gloried.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” – Mt 23:37-38.

 

 

Jesus’ Passion Week Devotion – Day 1/6 – Jesus Among Friends

This week’s devotion of the Passion Week from Jesus’ Perspective. The devotions are written as first person, from Jesus’ perspective, like His personal journal of his thoughts and words gathered through Scriptures as the scenes of the Passion Week unfolds.

There are a number of references to the Song of Songs to get a peep into Jesus’ love for His people. As there are many symbolism used in Song of Songs, the list below helps to explain some of them that are found in the verses quotation in this week’s devotions.

  • Shulamite symbolizes Israel and the Church
  • The Beloved symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom King
  • Spikenard symbolizes worship
  • Myrrh symbolizes death

This devotion emphasizes more on the heart and the spirit, rather than knowledge.

  • Take time to read the devotion slowly to allow the scriptures and events to go deep into you, beyond your mind.
  • It helps to read it several times, asking the Holy Spirit to bring you deeper.
  • Highlight the portions that jump out at you and write down your thoughts under “Personal Reflection” and also put into writing the response or even commitment that you want to make before God.

Day 1 – Jesus Among Friends

Read and meditate on John 12:1-11

Supper with my dear friend Lazarus at Bethany brings much comfort to me. As usual, Martha serves us a great feast as a good host. It blesses my heart to see Lazarus, my dear friend, who went through death’s hell as a sign for what I am about to do. Those who witness your resurrection bear witness of me. People still come to your home to verify for themselves your coming back to life and some are here when they know that I am also in the house. This is a foretaste of what is to come. Mary, who always loves to sit by my feet knows that this visit is different. She is at my feet again. But this time the smell of spikenard fills the room as she anoints my feet and uses her hair to wipe them. Such extravagant and fragrant worship that blesses my heart!

I have to silence Judas’ response to Mary. She understands something that you Judas do not – my impending death. King Solomon writes, “Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases” and no one should stop Mary. This is Mary’s expression of love. This is a preparation for my burial, my sacrifice. She will not have any other opportunity to do so after this.

“While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.
A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts.
” SOS 1:12-13

I will pour out way beyond the worth of this spikenard. What is a year’s wage compared to the world’s eternal wages of sin? I will pour out my glory, my life and my all. My body would be broken like this spikenard jar. My blood will flow just as the spikenard. In my breaking, the fragrance of Life in my blood will flow as a perpetual sacrifice before the throne of God. You cannot fully comprehend it now but one day, my disciples will lay your lives when your eyes are opened.

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” (Song of Songs 2:1-2)

James and Peter, my invitation for you to follow me is still open and I know that you will follow me to the end (John 1:39). I pray the same for all the other disciples too. You will rise up and follow me to the end despite me going to the lowest place for the victory.

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” SOS 1:10 & 13

True Strength

strength

We judge by what we see.
Strength is the ability to pin opponent under
– at least in this world.

What if the truth is reversed?
The strongest is the one who is willing to be pinned under,
because he IS stronger.

The victory won is not by putting another under.
It is the power to go from under to the highest,
within just three days.

The power to turn the most cruel scars into beauty.
That in his rising up to heights of glory,
brings many faithful ones with him.

Inspired by Isaiah 42:1-9,18-25; 49:1-7; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12 (The Servant Songs)