David’s Tent, Why the Name?
By Jason Hershey
David’s Tent… Where did it all begin?
For David it all began as a young boy with a bottom-of-the-barrel job – shepherding. This difficult “lot in life” didn’t phase him though. The glory of the Lord far eclipsed the fatigue or monotony of the job. He was far too impressed with the Lord to let life’s hardships hinder his worship. Harp in hand, on the hills of Bethlehem, David would make God’s heart swell with joy with every note of love from his soul!
Meanwhile, it seems God was jealous to find a home. Generations earlier in Deuteronomy 18, the children of Israel were instructed to look for the place that God desired to dwell; yet the Ark of the Covenant (a.k.a. the Ark of His Presence) had been all over the place. God had brought the tribes of Israel into their inheritance, yet the Ark of His Presence wandered to and fro, from places like Ashdod and Gath to Beth-Shemesh and Baal-Judah. King Saul’s heart soured into disobedience and God was looking for a new king. No doubt God was looking for someone who would have the nerve to make His Presence the central-most point of their his administration, without ever neglecting righteous and justice. He finds David and sends His prophet, Samuel to anoint this worshiping young shepherd and the rest is History.
David becomes king and he delivers what God had hoped for – big time. He finds the place that God desired to dwell, conquered the land from the Jebusites, and moved his palace there from Hebron. And, then came the crowning achievement of David’s life (pun intended!): David brings the Ark of the Covenant there – into Jerusalem! God is finally home!
David danced before the Lord as the procession of Levites brought the Presence of God into the place where he desired to dwell. I can only imagine the anticipation of heaven as Jerusalem finally became home for the Ark. The earth would never be the same. Jerusalem, the city of all cities, was finally founded.
David put the Ark under a tent he had pitched for it and, as an explosion of devotion, he commissioned 4,288 musicians and singers to minister to the Lord continually around the Ark, night and day. This 24/7/365 worship tent went on for the length of his reign in Jerusalem, 33 years; and it prepared the way for Solomon’s temple.
God knew that He was already central in David’s heart, and now David was making Him central in His nation also. I’ve often imagined David saying to the Lord:
“You anointed me king, but I declare You are!”
With this act of establishing a tent of worship of God in his capital city, I believe David’s heart was to have this worship tent be a perpetual coronation of the One that anointed him.
“O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.”
— David, Psalm 22:3
It’s no coincidence that these were the golden years of Israel’s history. This king with the heart of a priest did what he did as an overflow of His devotion to God. And his devotion is the inspiration behind “Davids Tent DC.” But why did David do it? Why should we? Check in with my next article: David’s Tent DC, Why Worship?