Summary: This sermon looks at the practice of worship
Choosing What’s Most Important
2 Kings 17: 35-39
Jealous of David’s growing power, influence and popularity, King Saul sought to have him killed. David went into hiding. But when Saul died, he could finally stop running and was anointed King of Israel. The following 7 ½ years, the nation was divided between the people supporting David and those supporting Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, for kingship. http://www.generationword.com/jerusalem101-photos/city-of-david/city-david-image-2.jpg Finally, all 12 Israelite tribes came to recognize David as King. David had been ruling from Hebron which was in his tribal area and caused jealousy from the other tribes about why the capital should be located in his tribe’s lands. To resolve this, David decided to capture the city of Jebus, rename it Jerusalem and establish it as the capital of the reunited nation. This was a significant attempt to bring healing to the nation and unite it. It wasn’t the perfect site as it had deep valleys on each side, was only 13 acres on the ridge, which afforded little area for agriculture and the Gihon Spring at the base of the ridge could only support a limited population. In addition, Jerusalem was far from the international trade routes and it was off the beaten path of most of the main roads in Judah. But the city was defensible on either side and it did have a water source. http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/images/AncientJerusalemMap.jpg But what made this city significant for David is that it sat on the tribal boundaries of both the tribes of Judah to the south and the ten tribes of the North who backed Saul’s son. This allowed David to honor Judah who was the first to proclaim him king and win the heart of the northern tribes who were loyal to Saul’s family.
http://www.foi.org/media/filer/2012/06/27/ptab-large.jpg Now the most significant and holy space in Israel was the tabernacle. This was Israel’s worship tent that travelled wherever they went in the wilderness. http://www.jesuswalk.com/david/maps/philistine-defeat-2sam-5-1800x1170x300.jpg It eventually settled at Shiloh, and then was moved to Gibeon only a few miles north of Jerusalem. https://924jeremiah.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/5-ark-place1.jpg In the tabernacle was the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant containing the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments on them resided. David moved the Ark to Jerusalem. It was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold and ornately decorated. The Ark was considered to be God’s footstool from which he ruled the earth. http://steinarts.com/mediac/400_0/media/Ark~finished~copy.JPG
David left the Tabernacle at Gibeon with the intent to build the Temple in Jerusalem. David said, “the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands.” 1 Chronicles 22:5 While the plans of the Temple were those of David and the materials were amassed by him, he was not the man God chose to build it. Instead, God chose his son Solomon who spared no expense in building the temple. http://www.templeinstitute.org/gallery_images/first_temple_gallery.jpg It was decorated with gold and marble. In today’s values, the gold and silver used in the Temple would have been worth more than $178 billion dollars! In addition, there were great quantities of bronze, cedar, iron, and precious stones used. The total cost of the Temple has been estimated at more than half a billion dollars. http://christinprophecy.org/wp-content/uploads/Jerusalem.jpg The whole complex counting all of the buildings and courtyard was the largest temple ever built by man. It took 150,000 laborers 7 years to complete it and was said to be so magnificent that people travelled from all over the world to see it. But the Temple was not meant to be a marvel for the world, it was an expression of God’s greatness and glory and meant to be the dwelling place of God.
God was very clear that the Temple was to be built on Mt. Moriah. http://www.generationword.com/jerusalem101-photos/ophel/city-david-image-labeled-1.jpg But why this place? This was the sight where the Lord instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham was about to lower the knife, God stopped him and provided a ram for sacrifice instead. And now nearly 1,000 years later, God led Solomon to build the Temple where the sacrifices of Israel were to be made. God confirmed this choice when at the Temple’s dedication worship service, He sent down fire to consume the sacrifices of Solomon. The priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant, and all the worship items from the Tabernacle. A cloud descended on the building and God filled the temple. Jerusalem became known as the Holy City and the Temple was the holiest place on earth. Some 800 years later, it was here in Jerusalem that God’s only son was sacrificed for the sins of the world. Thus, the city became the holiest place for Christians as well.
http://www.templeinstitute.org/gallery_images/first_temple_gallery.jpg The temple was “God’s house”, the site of God’s presence. Tommy Coombs, president of Maranatha! Music was converted in the early days of the Jesus Movement. He tells travelling in his youth with his guitar, singing secular songs and smoking dope. All the while, he was looking for God. One day someone invited him to attend a service at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. According to Tommy, when he walked into that service and heard the music of the Jesus People, he said immediately, "Here is where God dwells—here I will find God." And that is what the people of Israel said of the Temple, “Here is where I will find God for His presence resides in this place. This is why they came with awe to worship God.