The David’s Tent Story pt. 9 – The Ache of time

The David’s Tent Story pt. 9 – The Ache of time

          There is a certain ache that comes with extended periods of waiting. From time to time, I travel away from my family to teach. The first day that I’m away, it’s no big deal, but by the end of the week, I miss Kimberlee and the kids so much that I’m aching to get back home. The more time that goes by the more heartache it causes. Have you perhaps dreamed for many years for a loved one to be saved? Or maybe you have longed for a spouse, for children, for a particular job or even for a home of your own, but you’re still in a rental, single, working at the five-and-dime and without children. You want to be homesteading, but you are still living in an apartment. If you think that’s hard, think about longing and waiting for five generations for your dream to come true. After Nashon’s generation died, Salmon’s generation did finally enter the Promised Land. All the tribes settled into their allotted areas, and everyone had their spot. But God did not yet have His. Sadly, the One who was the Source of all the victories, as Israel took possession of the land bit by bit, was now the only one left out. We can see that it was high on God’s list of priorities to be brought into the place of His habitation, but five generations passed, and He was still waiting. For God, the ache of time would have set in. All of the events of the books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth transpired. Salmon married Rahab, the woman who dropped the scarlet rope from her house in Jericho. They had a son named Boaz, who married Ruth from Moab. Boaz and Ruth had a child named Obed. Obed had a son named Jesse, and he was the father of David, the little shepherd boy. All of this came and went, and God was yet to be in His desired home. During those many years the Ark of the Covenant — God’s Presence manifest on the earth — had a storied history with the people of Israel. It traveled across the Jordan River in front of the Israelites as they moved into the Promised Land. It was out front and led the circling of Jericho until the walls of that famous city fell down. Joshua fell on his face before it when Israel was defeated in their second battle (this one at Ai) because of Achan’s sin. After they finally took Ai, the Ark again took center stage as the people of Israel renewed their covenant with God on Mt. Ebal. It’s hard for me to use the pronoun it when referring to the Ark, because the Ark was the very embodiment of the Presence of God Himself with Israel. The Ark was God’s Presence with them. The Ark was important, but after Mt. Ebal, we hear little of it until the events of Judges 20, where we find it in Bethel with Phinehas the priest, grandson of Aaron. After virtual silence about the Ark in a great part of the book of Judges, it comes booming back into the biblical narrative in 1 Samuel with the young boy Samuel living in the Temple with the Ark during the ministry of Eli. Eli’s sons were wicked, and the Ark was taken into battle as more of a good-luck charm rather than in the fear of the Lord. The Israelites thought they would automatically win if they just took the Ark along, but this time they did not. The Philistines defeated Israel and stole the Ark. God was now not only homeless; He was also kidnapped. The Philistines transferred the Ark from Ebenezer to Ashdod, and there the Philistine lords put it in the same room with the idol they served. His name was Dagon. But God Almighty didn’t make a good roommate for a demonic ruler. The statue of Dagon fell over a couple of nights consecutively and eventually broke into pieces, and the Philistine lords were forced to gather to try to decide what to do with this Ark thing. They now sent the Ark on to a place called Gath, but there tumors broke out on the bodies of the people, and the place was attacked by a severe panic. A plague of rodents also began ravaging the local fields, so the people of Gath, in turn, sent the Ark on to Ekron. After all of this, the people of Ekron wanted nothing to do with the Ark, and a great panic fell over their city. Again, the Philistine lords held council and decided to send the Ark back to Israel. The men among them who hadn’t died were struck with tumors, and the hand of the Lord was clearly against them. The Philistines had tolerated this constant tumor-filled, rat-infested panic attack for seven months now. It seems that God didn’t like being homeless and held hostage. Next the Philistine lords sent the Ark back on a cart with five gold tumors and five gold mice as a guilt offering. Two cows pulled the Ark to an Israelite field near Beth-Shemesh. The people rejoiced, but God struck seventy of them down simply because they had looked upon the Ark. The men of Beth-Shemesh contacted the men of Kiriath-Jearim, and they came and took the Ark off their hands. They took it to the house of a man named Abinadab who lived on a hill, and they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of it. And there the Ark remained for the next twenty years. During the reign of Saul, the Ark “went at that time with the people” (1 Samuel 14:18). We have no further explanation. But the Ark certainly had not yet found a place to rest. Saul sent for it during battle. We don’t know all the places the Ark went in those days. Somehow, though, it ended up back at Abinadab’s house in Kiriath-Jearim. The Ark of God remained homeless, moving around from place to place, from the time Israel crossed the Jordan until David — five generations. By this time, all of the people were homesteading in their Promised Land, but God was still homeless. Saul was now king, and he reigned for the next forty-two years. The people of Israel had rejected God as their King, and at their request He had delegated the supreme authority over the land to an earthly king. God, who teaches us to honor authority, also honors authority Himself. If He delegates authority, He then honors that decision and chooses to work through those to whom He has given the authority. This is why Jesus had to come to earth as a man, because God had given man authority over the earth. Jesus worked within that authority structure (Genesis 1:28-30). God will not violate His own nature and character by breaking His word. This is also why Jesus can’t just come and take over your life with His sheer power without your permission. He has chosen, instead, to win us with His mercy. When we are overwhelmed with His kindness, we invite Him onto the throne of our hearts and lives.

Jesus, You’ve given me the authority to decide who will rule my life. I choose You and Your desires, even over my own.

The David’s Tent Story pt. 9 – The Ache of time

The David’s Tent Story pt. 8 – Location!

Salmon was a child of the wilderness. As a young boy, he would have heard the instructions of Moses, “Honor your father and your mother” firsthand, straight from the horse’s mouth. Yet you have to wonder if Salmon and his peers were all secretly keeping a tally of whose dads were dying: “One more down, five to go!” The generation of children growing up in the wilderness would have known the words of the Lord. When the ten bad spies brought back a bad report and a cry of complaining arose from Israel, God gave them quite an indictment on unbelief and told them two key things would have to happen before they could go into the Promised Land: 1) Forty years would pass (Numbers 14:33) and 2) The generation that was twenty years old and older would all have to die — all, that is, except for the two good spies — Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:29). If Salmon and his friends were even half as human as we are — let’s be honest — could you imagine the chatter among them? Setting: On the edge of the wilderness, nearing the end of forty years in the desert. Salmon’s Friend #1: “Have you heard? Nahshon’s not doing well.” Salmon’s Friend #2: “Hasn’t he been on his last leg for a while?” Salmon’s Friend #1: “Yep, I don’t know how he can keep hanging on for too much longer.” Salmon’s Friend #2: “I can’t wait to get into the Promised Land! We are down to five old dudes left. I mean, come on, let’s get on with this!” Salmon’s Friend #1: “Bro, that’s not cool, man. Honor your father and mother.” Salmon’s Friend #3: “Zip it, guys. That’s enough. Here comes Salmon. Nahshon’s his abba you know.” Nahshon was chosen by God to lead the tribe of Judah through the forty years in the desert (Numbers 1). He was part of the generation of unbelief that had to die before Israel could enter the land of milk and honey, and his first assignment as leader was the census during year two of the forty wilderness years. He was to count the men of his tribe who were twenty years old and older and able to serve in the army. One of two things happened: Either Nahshon cooked the books, or his tribe was, in fact, the largest, packing a whopping 74,600 men. According to Jewish tradition, 3 Nahshon jumped on his horse, convinced of what Moses was about to do at the Red Sea. He rode straight ahead into the water moments before Moses lifted up his staff and parted it. Therefore he would have been the first one to cross over. This tradition has earned Nahshon the credit of his name, which means “initiator.” During the forty wilderness years, Nahshon, along with his son Salmon, lived straight east of God. Seriously! God’s manifest presence lived there. The Ark of the Covenant, also called the Ark of the Presence, was in the innermost chamber of the Tabernacle called the Holy of Holies. The twelve tribes of Israel would camp in a big circle with the Tabernacle in the middle. The tribe of Judah, led by Nahshon, camped on the east side of that circle, and the Tabernacle was where God lived. Since one could only enter the Tabernacle by the Eastern Gate, in a very real sense Nahshon lived at God’s front door. Most importantly, Nahshon was the great-great-greatgrandfather of David, ancestor to Jesus. Nahshon and Salmon, father and son, would have been there to hear Moses deliver live the instructions recorded in Deuteronomy 12. Moses addressed all Israel, but gave specific instructions to Salmon and his generation to seek the place that God wanted to live when they eventually entered into the land of their inheritance. We know now that God had chosen Jerusalem, in the land allotted to the tribe of Judah (Nashon and Salmon’s tribe) to be the place of His desire. I wonder if Salmon and Nahshon had any idea that God had chosen their tribe as the place of His dwelling. “What? You want to live with my family?” “You bet, Nahshon. No more living as my frontdoor neighbor. I’m moving in!” Moses instructed: You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way. But you shall SEEK THE PLACE that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. T H E R E Y O U S H A L L G O , and T H E R E YOU SHALL BRING your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. And THERE YOU SHALL EAT before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you. You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the Lord your God is giving you. But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, then to THE PLACE THAT THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL CHOOSE, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the Lord. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, but AT THE PLACE THAT THE LORD WILL CHOOSE in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you. Deuteronomy 12:4-14, Emphasis Mine Salmon would have hung on every word coming from Moses’ mouth. Moses was prophesying about the reality of them actually going into the Promised Land, and he was giving them instructions about where and how to worship, even before they got there. Nahshon’s unbelieving generation may have rolled their eyes once again and said, “There you go again, Moses, getting everyone’s hopes up,” but Salmon was of a new wave of young dudes who were daring to believe in the promises of God. Salmon and his generation were no doubt dreaming of conquering the land, moving into their new homes and settling into the rest of their inheritance. And they weren’t the only ones dreaming. As God spoke through Moses in Deuteronomy 12, it seems that He, too, was dreaming — dreaming of the place where He desired to dwell, the place of His habitation. God clearly had a place that He desired, and Salmon and his generation were to look for that place and only worship there. God owns the whole world, and if He wants a certain place for Himself, He certainly holds eminent domain. Location! Location! Location! Is God a real estate agent? Evidently, location matters to Him.

The David’s Tent Story pt. 9 – The Ache of time

The David’s Story pt. 7 – A Temporary Home

          Living with Dick and Barbara for the next couple of months was a priceless experience. One of the rules of the house was that we men had to be up at 5 a.m. to “awaken the dawn” for two hours each morning in prayer, Bible study and worship. I had landed myself in a spiritual boot camp. Let’s face it, a mature prayer life really often comes down to two things: 1) Time carved out and 2) the alarm clock. At the time, Dick and Barbara were in their late seventies. They are people of intercession, untainted by unbelief and as wild in faith as mountain lions. I joke that if you are really still and listen carefully anywhere inside the Beltway in the middle of the night, you will hear Dick Simmons howling his intercessions unto the Lord. Barbara is famous for a strict forty-day water-only fast that started the beginning of August, 2001. The day she broke the fast, her fortieth day, was September 11, 2001. Since the Simmons lived just a block from the Capitol, many credit Barbara’s fast with giving grace to the selfless acts of the heroes onboard United Airlines Flight 93 to take it down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania rather than hitting the Capitol dome. Could it be that her tent of prayer was a canopy of spiritual protection over the Capitol? These were the wild folks who took us in and trained us in a lifestyle of intercessory prayer. Ron Boehme, in his “Renew America” blog, once wrote that homelessness is not a problem of the lack of finances or occupation. He explained that it’s actually a problem of relationship. I’ve heard it said, “Every problem in the world is a problem of relationship.” When a person is homeless, is there no one who loves them enough to take them in? I hope we love Jesus enough to take Him in. Since that homeless day we spent in 2009 until the present, our family has yet to have a home of our own in D.C., and friendships have always been the solution. We are now in the fifth location where wonderful Christians have opened their hearts and doors to us at reduced rents (and sometimes rent free), to allow us to exist in this expensive city. Praise God! Every solution is one of relationship. Being on the receiving end of such caring has created a deep gratitude in me and has made me even more zealous for God to be received in our nation like never before. We must find a home for Jesus. We must value Him above all else.

Come, Lord Jesus! Find Your home in me.

The David’s Tent Story pt. 9 – The Ache of time

The David’s Tent Story pt. 6 – Homeless, but Not by Choice

          Many choose homelessness, but I didn’t. And, as I found out later, neither does God. In January of 2009, I had to move all my existence into storage. I had just gone through an emotionally-shell-shocking death-of-a-vision experience. The ministry that we had pioneered in Washington, D.C. for the past three and a half years had ended in a screeching train wreck. Many authors write books on their great successes, answered prayers and miracles. I am beginning this one with a confession of utter failure. We wrecked big-time. Kimberlee and I packed up the kids and headed out of town to seek the Lord, and when I say, “out of town,” I mean “out of town.” We ended up at the furthest American point away from D.C. — Kona, Hawaii. 2 Still, as we traveled in that season, God reconfirmed His call on our lives to continue to pray for America in Washington, D.C. We were gripped by this call. Somehow we simply had to get back to our nation’s capital. A call is different than some lofty vision. We can dream up a lot of great things we might do for the Lord, but that’s completely different then when He calls you. A call is holy and from the Lord. And if you’ve made Jesus Lord of your life, you have no choice but to obey His call. So after only three weeks in Kona, we headed back to D.C. God had called us to be intercessors for America from there, and we simply had to obey. But can you imagine how disheartening it was to be flying back to a city that was supposed to be home for us, when we no longer had a home there? All of our belongings were in storage, and we didn’t have enough monthly income to pass any rent requirements, even for the smallest places. Nobody would rent to us. Here I was, with a wife and two young boys in tow (and a third child on the way), and all I could offer them was a storage unit. While I should have been filled with excitement to be returning to D.C., the feelings of defeat that assailed me were almost overwhelming. What were we doing flying back “home,” when we didn’t actually have a home? It was an Abrahamic moment. “This Land is your inheritance, BUT you’ll be living in a tent.” In our case, the only tent we had was a minivan. A wonderful friend who had kept our minivan while we were gone picked us up at Dulles Airport. We drove into D.C. and dropped him off where he needed to go, and then we didn’t know what to do next. I decided to drive to Capitol Hill. There I found a place to park and began to wait on the Lord in prayer. The two boys were passed out sleeping in their car seats after the red-eye flight from Kona, and Kimberlee, pregnant with our third, was sleeping in the passenger seat. What were we to do? For a while, I sat at the steering wheel staring out the windows with a glaze over my eyes. The half-million to million-dollar townhouses towered around me like the walls of Jericho, and there I was homeless. I felt confident that we were in the city where we were supposed to live, but the driving question was: “Where are we going to sleep tonight?” I was preparing my heart to spend the night in the van. I pulled out my Bible and began to read out loud, quietly enough not to disturb Kimberlee and the boys, and as I did, revelation began to pour into my soul. God also had a place where He desired to dwell. For generations He had been homeless, as He waited for someone to bring the Ark of His Presence into the city of Jerusalem. And now, He was again homeless — billions of times over — as He longed to dwell in the hearts of men and women everywhere. As I pondered all of this, there was an immediate heart connect, a heart connect that can only be experienced by two who have shared a similar pain. Suddenly, a quietness filled my soul. Knowing that God knew my situation soothed my anxiety. He could relate with me. At the same time, mixed with this quietness of soul came a strange ache. It was an ache for God to be welcomed into the very heart of my nation with the same degree of welcome King David gave Him in Jerusalem. I had often asked God to give me His heart. That day He had given me His peace, but it had come with a bit of His brokenheartedness. I dare you, double-dog dare you, to try homelessness for even one day. I’m talking about true homelessness, without any other options, not just moving out of your house for a night. Now I know that very few of you will take me up on that dare, actually giving everything away and putting yourself in those shoes, but try to stretch your heart into that place and imagine what it would be like. Some of you may have actually been in those shoes before. Let’s all try to get our hearts into that place for a moment here. Now, read Psalms 132 out loud. I believe that the revelation of it will change your perspective on life. From that day forward, I deeply wanted to be a home for Jesus, and I wanted to spur my nation to become a resting place for Him as well. I waited and prayed, and the hours passed. Then, suddenly the silence was broken by a phone call. It was from Dick Simmons, a spiritual father, mentor and general of intercession who lived on Capitol Hill. He was inviting us to stay with him and his wife Barbara. Dick and Barbara lived in a condo directly behind the Supreme Court, with a straight line of sight to the Capitol Building, and they had some vacant rooms. After eight hours of sitting in our van on the street, we suddenly had a place to stay. But those eight hours had been important, for they shifted my focus in life. I was now fixated on finding a resting place for the Lord.

1 “Lord, remember David
And all his afflictions;
2 How he swore to the Lord,
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of my bed;
4 I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
5 Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
We found it in the fields of the woods.
7 Let us go into His tabernacle;
Let us worship at His footstool.
8 Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your saints shout for joy.
10 For Your servant David’s sake,
Do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.
11 The Lord has sworn in truth to David;
He will not turn from it:
“I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.
12 If your sons will keep My covenant
And My testimony which I shall teach them,
Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.”
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
14 “This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”

Psalm 132:1-14, NKJV


The David’s Tent Story pt. 9 – The Ache of time

The David’s Tent Story pt. 5 – The “Why” Behind the Book

God has been up to some beautiful things in Washington, D.C., and all over this country. This book is a testimony of the past, but it is also a prophecy to the future.

In the fall of 2012, God assembled one hundred and sixty-six different worship teams and believers from all fifty states to worship 24/7 for forty days in the pattern of David’s Tabernacle on the White House Ellipse in Washington, D.C. Worshippers signed up for two-hour watches, to keep a song to the Lord going unbroken, like a relay race, around the clock. This took place in a tent literally in view of the First Family’s back porch.

In 2013, the song crescendoed a bit more. God sent one hundred and ninety-four different wor- ship teams for forty-two days or, as we called it, “The Thousand-Hour Love Song.” It became clear that year that this was not a one-time event but was destined to become part of the culture of America.

The song continued to build into the third year. In 2014, two hundred and twenty-five worship teams gathered for fifty continuous days of worship, prayer and proclamation of the Bible. “Ezra’s Platform” was added for the continual reading of the Bible as a prayer for the healing for our land. During that time, the Bible was proclaimed cover to cover four and a half times. Another tent was added that year for people to gather and pray for our country, its leadership, and one another in humble petition behind the scenes, without microphones.

In unprecedented unity, the worshippers who have participated in these events have been diverse in age, denomination, ethnicity and musical style, yet all with the same heart to simply enthrone Jesus on their praises. This was all orchestrated by God alone. None of it was staged for the world to see, but these diverse people were gathered by Jesus for His own pleasure. The restoration of the fallen Tent of David is truly a work of God.

I believe this book will be an answer for the hundreds of thousands of you who have been praying and seeking God for a way to somehow express your love for Him and your desperation for Him to turn all of our hearts back again (1 Kings 18:37). It’s been my deepest honor to be able to see the prayers of so many answered already. May we all be encouraged that Jesus is coming, riding on a swift cloud. He’s coming to save America. Let us all run into His tent and find His salvation.

I have good news for you: God has a great plan for America. He has called us to exemplify, on the worldwide stage, what it looks like for a nation to turn back to Him and then go as a tidal wave to preach this same good news to the ends of the earth — all for His glory. America, it is time to step into our destiny. Let’s partner with the Lord and respond to His invitation.

Finally, this book will be to provoke America and the world to bring an offering to the Lord, simply be- cause He’s worthy. A friend told me that the words “He is worthy” just wouldn’t be motivation enough to mobilize a nation, that I needed a stronger motivator, but everything within me rebelled against that thought. I know there is a remnant out there (and it is not small anymore) that knows that Jesus really is worthy of it all, and that’s all the motivation they need to pour out their whole lives at His feet. If you are reading this book, I have no doubt that you are one of them. Thank you for your devotion to Jesus. -Jason Hershey Washington, D.C.

This post is an excerpt from the book David’s Tent – Jesus is Worthy of A Nation’s Praise by Jason Hershey
To support the ministry by buying a copy of the book go here

The David’s Tent Story pt. 9 – The Ache of time

The David’s Tent Story pt. 4 – A Worthy Response

September 11, 2001 has become old news for many. Children have grown up and become adults and don’t even remember that day. Life has continued, and much has transpired since 9/11, yet God is still beckoning to America: “Come to Me.” Our great God is One who would grow a rose of mercy out of the ashes of 9/11, isn’t He? I’ve wondered if, in the very numbers — NINE, ELEVEN — isn’t to be found that very beckoning from God, pulled forth from the book of Amos, for Amos 9:11 says: “On that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen down.”

In the years since 9/11, I’ve gotten married to my wonderful wife Kimberlee and we have had five children, all born in Washington, D.C. Led by the Holy Spirit, with a bleeding heart for America, we’ve planted a YWAM community in Washington that’s been focused on intercession for the whole of the nation. Many now know us as the Washington House of Prayer. One of the constant questions of my calling is: “How do I stand in the gap and make intercession for America today?” The purpose of this book is to invite you to join in the journey of prayer that’s led me to the conclusion that we must, as a nation, come together to launch a 24/7/365 lamp of worship and prayer in our nation’s capital, with the same devotion and love for the Lord that King David expressed in his tabernacle of praise, other- wise known as David’s Tent. This book is to evoke a national response from the churches of America and the world to take ownership of David’s Tent in the same way, knowing that we can only do so when there is an overflow from a life reoriented around Jesus and His priorities. But here’s the revolution: Over time, as I’ve gotten to know the Lord more and more, the motivation has completely changed. It’s no longer merely the questions of how we should properly respond to bad tidings, but it’s now the much deeper question of how do we respond to the unending oceans of love that are emanating from the heart of God toward us?

The call contained in this book has become, more and more, not just a response to any particular crisis of our generation, but more of a response to the love and glory of God. This book is to evoke a reaction of praise to the Lord Jesus, just as we can’t help but say, “That’s an amazing sunset!” whenever we see one. The single greatest crisis that our generation has to grapple with, as with every generation that has gone before or will come after us, is this: How do we properly respond to the love and glory of Jesus?

This post is an excerpt from the book David’s Tent – Jesus is Worthy of A Nation’s Praise by Jason Hershey
To support the ministry by buying a copy of the book go here