A Place for the King: The Biblical Foundation for Worshiping Jesus
- Friday, July 29, 2005
Human beings would never be able to take back this planet in their own strength. Only in the context of their relationship with Him and the dominion that flows from His throne was the power of God ever going to touch earth. Hence, His deep desire to teach them about worship.
Stage 4: The Boundaries Grow
Worship is expanded under David's monarchy.
David's reign saw both the boundaries of worship and the boundaries of territorial land expand in an unprecedented manner. David had a heart for worship and taught his people a great deal about praising the Lord out loud. He wrote many of the Psalms, which ultimately became the early Christian Church's handbook for worship. Under David's leadership, the use of instruments and choirs was expanded. These things were not new in the worship of Israel, but they began to be systematized and structured in a way that reveals the important place worship occupied in the nation's life.
David also built a second Tabernacle. No one knows what happened to the first one; it may have fallen into disrepair during the reign of Saul. Passionate to see God's presence established in the midst of the people, David made a place for the Tabernacle in the heart of the nation. Although it was his desire to build a Temple, the Lord fulfilled that through his son, Solomon—and, just as He had done with the Tabernacle, God filled the Temple with His glory (see 1 Kings 8).
Tragically, however, because of the sins of the people, the Temple of Solomon was destroyed. And with that loss, Israel entered the years of exile.
It is important to underscore that under David's leadership, there was a correlation between the expansion of Israel's territorial boundaries and the expansion of the boundaries of its worship. As their worship grew, so did their dominion. The same holds true for the Church today: It expands in dominion in direct proportion to its worship. Indeed, I firmly believe that worship is the key to evangelism.
Stage 5: Victory over Darkness
God's own Son comes and "tabernacles" among us.
Jesus Christ epitomizes and personifies both the Tabernacle and the Temple where the glory of God dwells: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
The word translated here as "dwelt" is the Greek word skenoo, which could equally be translated "tabernacled." Similarly, Jesus refers to Himself as the temple in John 2:19: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
Everywhere Jesus goes, He proclaims that the Kingdom of God is present because He, the King is there. For the first time since Adam, there is a sinless man on the planet, and Jesus overcomes where Adam failed. He is here to establish a new breed of human beings—"a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). These are the people whom God will use to reclaim the planet, and the way they will do that is through their worship.
For the same reason as the Temple of Solomon was destroyed, so Jesus—the living Temple of God's glory—is destroyed on the cross: because of the sins of the people. Yet the Bible tells us that if Satan had had any inkling of God's plan, he never would have wanted to see the crucifixion take place:
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