So David now has the Ark of the Covenant in a tent at Jerusalem? Why is this important and what happened next? David made a radical decision to follow his heart. We know from what Yahweh taught through Moses that the priesthood was Levitical and everlasting. In referring to Aaron’s sons this is what Yahweh said.
15 “You shall anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.” Exodus 40:15 (NKJV)
The priesthood came through Levi, Moses and Aaron were both in this lineage, and what is described above was still happening when Jesus was born. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as a descendant of Levi was ministering before Yahweh in the temple when the angel appeared to him and announced the birth of John the Baptist. The exception to all of this was during the reign of David in Jerusalem, a 33 year period, the same number of years Jesus walked the earth. The subsequent transition following David’s exception, which is the subject of the book of Hebrews, is when Jesus as the new high priest forever replaced the Levitical priesthood.
Though he was not a priest David established open worship before the Ark in a tent. The picture below is a good illustration of what David established.
The only way for David to have open worship before the Ark was live for 33 years in another age, the age of grace. He and others had no authority to minister before the Ark. So what did David establish?
4 And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel: 5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, and Obed-Edom: Jeiel with stringed instruments and harps, but Asaph made music with cymbals; 6 Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests regularly blew the trumpets before the ark of the covenant of God. 1 Chronicles 16:4-6 (NKJV)
37 So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required; 38 and Obed-Edom with his sixty-eight brethren, including Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah, to be gatekeepers; 39 and Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place that was at Gibeon, 40 to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the Law of the LORD which He commanded Israel; 1 Chronicles 16:37-40 (NKJV)
The above verses establish that there was continual worship going on before the Ark while the evening and morning sacrifices continued at the Tabernacle of Moses at Gibeon. The word translated ‘regularly’ in verse 37 is translated as continually in the NASB and that is the normal usage and more literal meaning of the word. Further support for the different functions at the two different locations is found in Psalm 84:1 if it is read in a literal translation. It says,
1 To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! Psalm 84:1 (NKJV)
What is lost in the NKJV and most others is that the Hebrew refers not to a tabernacle or dwelling place. It is plural, as seen in the NASB.
1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! Psalm 84:1 (NASB)
So while both places, Gibeon and Jerusalem, were described as lovely and as the dwelling places of Yahweh, the animal sacrifices happened at Gibeon and the passionate worship in Jerusalem before the Ark.
What most of us may not be aware of is the fruit of the worship before the Ark at Jerusalem. This is where most of our Psalms came from and why so many of them were prophetic, they were delivered/written in the context of anointed worship! This is what we are called to, to come deeply into His presence, encounter Him and release His words.