by Pastor Andrew Morgridge
It’s the beginning of a new year, and with New Year comes new or modified resolutions that are never kept. What you need are good values and the right attitude to please God and to maintain the steady flow of God’s blessings. Getting blessed by God like we all know is small thing for the Lord. God said in the book of Haggi, “the silver is mine and the gold is mine.”(Haggi 2:8) He said in Psalms 24:1 “the earth and the fullness thereof are mine; everything belongs to me.” In Psalms 50, He went on to say, “If I was hungry, I will not tell you, because the whole earth, and the innumerable cattle on a thousand hills, belongs to me”. God created everything for you and I, and so getting blessed by the Lord is a simple thing. Psalms 35:27 says, “Let my friends, the righteous continually say, the Lord taketh pleasure in the prosperity of his servants.” God blesses continually, but I dare say, maintaining that blessing has always been a problem for the sons of God.
Right from the beginning, God gave and said to Adam, “all these things are yours.” But in Genesis 3, we see an Adam who had everything, lose them due to lack of simple obedience. If your life is not characterised by good values and attitudes, you are going to lose the blessings of God. And that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want to bless you, because you’ll find in Psalms 132, divided into different segments, with many blessings listed at the end of it by God; but until the conditions from verse 1 – 8 are fulfilled, the blessings cannot be accessed.
David set a standard in the Bible; if we can key in, we will have physical and spiritual blessing. In Acts 15:16, you find a curious prophecy, (reference) Amos 9:11 – 12.
Acts 15:16-17 KJV “After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
Attached to the resurrection of David’s temple is an addendum, ‘that others may be drawn to the Lord.’ In Amos 9, he mentioned Edom, those who have been estranged from God, that they may come back when God sets up the tabernacle of David again. That signifies the end time revival, the last quickening work; but who is ready for that work? God, of a surety says He has a remnant. What you find in Psalms 132 are the events that led to the establishment of David’s temple. It is a small thing to have a building called temple, but without the Ark, it is useless. Temple worship and the resurrection of David’s temple, has to do with the return of the Ark (the presence of God) and in verse 8 David said, “Lord, come and enter into the place prepared for you, don’t just come along, bring along the Ark.”
Many temples have been built, why the temple of David? Moses’ temple was built according to the pattern seen in heaven; Solomon’s Temple was grandeurs, very elaborate, so fine it became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. There was the Zerubabel’s Temple, which was not so fine but also built at the commandment of the Lord. That was the same temple Herod refurbished, and changed its specifications the way an unbeliever will do things. That was the temple Jesus cleared two times, and as He cleared, He mentioned a particular attitude prophesied about Him; He said, “The zeal of the Lord has consumed me.”(John 2:17; Psalm 69:9). That is an attitude worth emulating.
Different kinds of temples have been built, why is God so interested in David’s temple? It was humble in outlook – the kind of tent people use for parties, yet, as far as God was concerned, it was the most glorious temple which He yearned for so much that He said, “I am going to do it myself.” As long as you are yielded, and you are the individual temples He is looking for.
In Psalms 132, there are 6 main divisions that can be used as subtopics to explain what transpired that led to the writing of the Psalm.
David’s Distress and Oath; from versus 2 – 7 we see the 8-fold vow of David, he said, “I will not come
into my house, I will not go to sleep, even if I am standing and sleeping, I will not sleep.” It was that serious. He continued: “I will not rest, I will inquire, until I find a place for God (and that requires searching); until I build Him a dwelling place, then I will go into his Tabernacle, I will worship at his footstool.” Verses 1 – 5 and 8 form the core of attitudes and values, while the rest are blessings and conditions for the blessings. How is it that we don’t display David’s values and attitudes to the things of God but we want to come into His tabernacle and worship?
Rick Joyner in The vision of Harvests, 1988, prophesied concerning the condition of this church age we are in today. That in the moving from the Christian city to the city of God, character upgrade which is the building up of values and attitudes is an essential aspect of getting there. When God told the Israelites to leave Egypt and move to the Promised Land, He didn’t tell them He was taking them to the Promised Land; He said, “Let my people go so that they can worship me.” In the process of worshipping God, that was where He began to give them instructions, to unlearn all the nasty attitudes they had picked up in Egypt. That is exactly where we are today as we see more and more prophecies of the end fulfilling. Neal Frisby once said, ‘a time will come when we get to the time curve that leads to eternity, where you can only see as far as your front; this is the time when God’s presence (the Ark) is needed the most – for guidance and for protection.
The Seventh and Eighth Vow; “I will go into the tabernacle, I will worship.” This is what is prevalent in the land today — people go to church, but they don’t go to pick up values. They just go to church, sing and dance and when they get a big contract, they give tithes and go home. God had nothing good to say about the Laodicean church. Every other church in Revelation 2 and 3 had commendations and condemnations but everything about Laodicea is problems (condemnations). This is the generation of Christians that laughs the most; they laugh to altar-calls and laugh back, no seriousness! The Bible says unless we do it right, worship most times is unacceptable, it is a only waste of time.
Psalm 137:1-9 KJV “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? …”
Since the Bible says, “Let my meditations, my songs, my offerings be acceptable in thy sight” Doesn’t that imply that some services are unacceptable, that people sing the songs of God in a strange land? I use the word strange land because God is not there. God gave a promise in Psalms 22:3, He said “God dwells among the praises of Israel”, so if God is not there it means it is a strange land. For worship to be acceptable, it must be done in accordance with knowledge and how positively your attitudes and values have been changed overtime. In other words, if the attitude that David manifested in Psalms 132:1- 5 is missing, then forget then forget worship, because it will not be acceptable.
Example 1: Cain’s Worship (Genesis 4:3-5)
Gen 4:3-5 NASU “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.”
Both Cain and Abel knew what to do in terms of worship and offering sacrifices to God because they were taught by their father. Abel did not have a special knowledge about it, and even if he did, it was because he waited on God. But Cain did not bother; he did exactly what he was pleased with. All the altars that were built were built to specification, with un-hewn rocks (rocks that had never been used by humans), put them together in a particular form; and what was offered was according to what God had said. For instance, if for a particular offering, you are supposed to sacrifice a turtle dove but you decide, I don’t want turtle dove, after all I have cow, so that’s what I’ll use – that was what Cain did. He was saying to God, “I am not going to follow your instructions; I got something better than this small lamb”. Instructions are important in worship, if you don’t do it the way God wants it, then don’t worship, because it will be a waste of time. Cain displayed his will and choice, not what God asked for; and of course, God rejected him and his offering.
Example 2: Nadab and Abihu’s Worship (Leviticus 10)
Leviticus 10 talks about Nadab and Abihu, who woke up one night after a drunken spree. They had been dedicated that day, because God had said “separate unto me these people to handle worship, to handle sacrifices”; so they were happy, they went on a drinking spree to celebrate their ordination. By the time they came back, they were drunk and began to offer strange sacrifice unto God, even though God gave specific times when to do oblation. The next thing, God killed them, because they didn’t follow instructions. He anointed them in the morning; He killed them in the night. He went on to show what un-serious attitude will do to people, telling Moses that never again should wine touch the mouth of a priest. Today, we may say we are not drunk on wine, but we get drunk with so many things – money, lust, power, position and they cloud our senses to God’s instructions. Once you step into the place dedicated for God, everything is worship, but because of drunkenness, people don’t live in obedience, not knowing that true worship is actually reverence of God.
Example 3: Uzziah’s Worship (2 Chronicles 26:16)
Uzziah’s worship was unacceptable to God. In 2 Chronicles 26:16, the Bible says, “… as long as he listened to Zechariah the prophet, he prospered.” God built cities through him, he was an inventor; God blessed him with a lot of wisdom, but he clouded his imagination of who the King was and he said I will become a priest; he forgot that priests were not only dedicated people, but God chose them by lineage. So he went on to burn incense before the Lord (he offered worship and sacrifice), and though eighty valiant men and priests withstood him from doing it, he pushed them aside, burnt incense and God struck him with leprosy instantly. Sustaining God’s blessing is only possible as you apply knowledge and allow it to change your values and attitudes towards the things of God.
Three Characteristics of Acceptable Worship Found In John 4:23-24
Verse 23: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers… (that means there are fake worshippers, those who are worshipping God where God is not there, strange land, Babylon) … shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”
(All that was noted about the tabernacle of David according to historians, is 24-hour worship and the presence of the Shekinah glory 24 hours a day; it was a blazing light that shone on top of the temple and was seen miles away. Bible says nobody will see God and live, but in the time of David, they saw the glory of God, they didn’t die because they had good attitude and values, and they enjoyed the blessings that go with presence of God and His Ark, for in the time of David everybody had wealth – they contributed over 1 Trillion Dollars towards the Temple built by Solomon.
Verse 24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
1. Worship the father; if there is no father-child relationship, forget worship. Salvation that is not backed by relationship, is not worship, you are wasting your time. They that worship the father, there is a relationship attached to it, which is sonship. If you are not been built up to be a son, you are not living in the house of your father, then forget it. He said those that worship the Father, (not Jehovah Jireh, the God that giveth; or Jehovah Rapha the God that heals), but those who worship the God the Father. The Bible says that the thoughts of the wicked are abomination unto God, how much more their prayers, but He loves the words of the pure. so you must make it right before you pray, before you give an offering, before you worship. You can’t divorce instructions from worship.
2. In spirit; God is spirit so you must be in the spirit of the worship. That means two things: first, to worship from the heart; and secondly being in alignment with the spirit of God. In other words, your thoughts, your actions, your attitudes and desires have not driven away the Holy Spirit. When your attitude is right, then you can worship. The Holy Spirit had left Saul and an evil spirit had entered him, what manner of worship will he give from that moment? Unacceptable worship of course!
Ephesians 4:30 says “don’t grieve the Holy Spirit by which you have been sealed unto the day of redemption.” If you grieve the Holy Spirit, He steps aside.
Verses 31-32 tells how not to grieve the Holy Spirit: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:30-32 KJV).
If you are not displaying the attributes mentioned here, don’t bother worshipping God. Let’s have a solid foundation for God to raise the tabernacle of David in you, so that you can be the instrument He is looking for to draw Gentiles onto Himself.
3. In truth; that means everything must be done according to the word of God, John 17:17 says “sanctify them by your word, your word is truth.” God sets specific sacrifices for specific feasts; don’t change the things He has listed because of your attitude.
Vows 1 – 5 (Back To David)
What motivated verses 1 – 5? What were the underlying reasons behind his comments and vows?
1. David placed a very high premium on God. He reverenced God beyond description. He prayed in Psalm 42:1-2: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
People today pray “Lord, preserve my life, don’t let me die”, but David prayed, “when shall I die and come and see you?” In Psalms 27 he said, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”, but he had a house. From eyewitness accounts it is said that David loved the presence of God so much that he would go AWOL for days, weeks and months, and he would be alone with God. It was at such an instance that Absalom said “I will take over the throne of this man, he doesn’t come to give judgment, but he is somewhere worshipping God”, and he began to sway the mind of the people against David. Here was a King who didn’t bother about the position of King, but was more interested in dwelling in the house of God, beholding His face and enquiring at His table. We must be like-minded.
David reverenced God beyond description; he sought for the presence of God beyond understanding, so much more that at the tender age when he was faced with Goliath, he fought not because of anything but because Goliath defied the name of God (1 Samuel 17:45). We must likewise develop that kind of sense of responsibility.
2. David placed a very high premium on the feelings of God. Acts 13:16 says, “I rejected Saul, I have found in David a man after my own heart, (after my emotions, because the heart is where emotions are displayed) who will follow all my will (who will make me happy). ‘Will’ in Greek is Thelema which also means activating, provoking somebody to be happy, to pleasure by obedience. Carrying out my will is not just the obedience, it gives God pleasure. God was saying, “This man cares for my emotions, that is man that I want, that is the man I will place in this place of authority. I am going to remove Saul who cared only about his own emotions, who cared about the people’s feelings, not about the way I feel.”
3. The value that you put on a thing determines your commitment towards the execution. 1 Chronicles 29 helps understand this better. In today’s calculation, going by the price of gold, David spent close to $14 billion of his own money. The total calculation for the money given to build the temple of Solomon was about $1.5 trillion. When he was attributing the things he gave, he said “I gave willingly”, not just me, he was people-centered, because everybody in the time of David were people of substance. Everybody gave because of their attitude towards the temple of God and the Ark.
Pat Robbison in the book Principles of the kingdom of God gave a true example. He said there is a farming community in Chile where they didn’t have money to give in the house of God or to take care of their pastor, but they had good values and attitudes in their spirit, such that but in terms of food and clothing, the pastor never lacked anything, they were always giving. When famine struck Chile, it didn’t touch the community. Can you beat that? In a place of idol worship, God set up an example for the people around to see that He sustains blessings. David was a very humble man, he never displayed wealth like his son Solomon In the time when he was fleeing and Shimmei insulted him, his general wanted cut off Shimmei’s head like a dog’s, but David would not allow him to do it. He said, “how do you know that God will not turn Shimmei’s curses into a blessing for me?”
Do you see the kind of values that God needs to see before He raises up again a tabernacle of David? How do you see life? Your outlook about life determines your level of responsibility and commitment to the things of God. Is your life one big ball or a place of service to God? David regarded time with God than even kingship duties.
Psalm 132:6-8 “Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood. We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.”
They said they found the Ark at Ephratah, for the Ark was not seen for a long time. How can the nation Israel be without the Ark? How can you survive without the Holy Spirit? According to the commentary of Jimmy Swaggart, nobody had seen the Ark for about 70 years. David had to go look and finally found it in Baal of Judah, an uncircumcised environment, because associated to Baal is evil worship. Do you have the dedication to maintain the presence of God? Maintaining the joy of the Lord is with the presence of God standing right beside you. No wonder Saul behaved like a madman, in his time there was no Ark, and it took David to find it and began to move it home (2 Samuel 6:1-6). It led to God striking Uzza dead because they were moving the Ark without instruction; they were worshipping without instruction. For this Obededom received blessings form God when the Ark was kept in his home, because he was a true worshipper. Uzza’s David made to be afraid of God, and God dealt with him at the threshing floor – the place where harvests are separated; and that is where we are in prophecy (Matthew 13:47-50).
In John 4:34 the disciples brought food, and called Jesus to eat but He told them, “I have meat to eat and I have already eaten. My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Then he said, “Go out, look at the harvest, it is ripe. Pray that the Lord will send you into the harvest field so that I can have joy, I can have after my heart.” In prophecy, we are at that point where we are doing the will of God and moving towards finishing it. If there is any other generation that the harvest is so ripe, it is this one but all we care about is meat, and money. If you are wondering where you are in prophecy, you are at the threshing floor, where the wheat is separated from the shaft and the harvest is garnered home. God used the killing of Uzzah to demand for good values and reverence for God; because Uzzah did not reverence God when he touched the Ark of God and God struck him to lay an example, to know the importance of reverencing God with good values and good attitudes. David made the mistake but he corrected it.
The Mistake: 1 Chronicles 13:1-3
David consulted with the captains but he did not consult the Levites/Priests who would have given him sound advice (1 Chronicles 15:1-15).
What is in the Ark anyway – the gold-plated mercy seat and the carved cherubim (angels) will be watching you 24 hours a day; signifying the eyes of the Lord, running to and fro seeking to be strong on the behalf of those who are upright in heart. Not only that, inside the Ark you’ll find the miraculous that you will need on a daily basis – the rod of Aaron that budded, signifying God supporting you when there is contention. Also there is the Manna in the Ark: God’s provision, the food they scorned, they preferred go back in bondage under Satan to eat what they liked. How do you see the blessings of God – not always enough or do you thank God for what He gives you? Inside the Ark, you’ll also find God’s spoken word in written form, the Commandments.
God told them to never forget what happened at Horeb when they were taught the fear of God, when He gave them His spoken word. Today, you have the Bible, how has it translated your life to bring forth values and attitudes that show the fear of God? If the Word of God doesn’t make a spiritual impact on your life to lead to the fear of God, then you can’t worship, and the Ark of God cannot stay in your house. This is what David displayed in this episode of looking for and bringing the Ark.
Three temples existed; the temple of Moses, it was legalistic, God showed it to him; outer court, inner court, holy of holies, how to approach God, different kinds of sanctification, different kinds of meanings to the three quarters. He then went on to build the temple of David; this is temple that people could approach, instead of three they were two divisions and the glory of God was there for all. In the first Temple, you only came, no worship, specific people handled worship, David’s temple was a temple of worship. People worshipped, the priest sang songs 24 hours, non-stop sacrifices unto God. The one following was temple of lukewarmness; the temple of Zerubabel which He condemned in Malachi. Contemptible offerings, people who had no values, didn’t esteem God, who didn’t honour Him, they bring offerings to God, divorce their wives and they come before God to worship, but God rejected it, despite its beauty. God packed His bag and went away, and for 400 years, there was no prophet, no “thus Saith the Lord”–that’s the life without God (the Ark). It was one war after the other, till the time of Jesus when the Romans were their over lords.
Maintaining your joy is in getting the temple of David built up in you, because in every other temple there was hindrance to the real presence of God except in David’s. When the people had opportunity to display good attitudes and values learnt from David in 1 Chronicles 28, they all rallied around to build the temple and they gave willingly. So they must have been worshipping God like Obededom and they were getting blessed, that was why I could conclude they had access to that temple, freely. After that there was the temple of Herod, refurbished but not built to specifications, and what was found inside; avarice, merchandise, competition and that is what you are seeing today in Christendom among God’s children and God says after this temple is destroyed, another one will be built, it is the temple of David, that would be restored. David had a correctible spirit, what kind of spirit is in you?