To understand the significance of what David did in establishing the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem we need to do a bit of theological excavation. Our journey takes us back to Exodus. The verses below are the result of the tabernacle first being set up and close out the book of Exodus.
34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. Exodus 40:34–38 (NKJV)
Here we see the fire and cloud and Yahweh’s glory filling the tabernacle. The Ark of the Covenant within the tabernacle was His resting place on earth. Prior to the tabernacle being built according to exacting specifications, the cloud or pillar of fire went before or behind the people of Israel but not in their midst. There was a significant shift when the tabernacle was established.
In fact, in Exodus 33:3, 5 Yahweh is clear that if He were to come into their midst they would be consumed because they were sinful. We also see that Moses met with Yahweh outside the camp in Exodus 33:7-9 and that the cloud of His glory descended when Moses went to meet with Him.
9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. Exodus 33:9 (NKJV)
His glory descended and lifted but once the tabernacle was set up His presence was there between the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. In fact in giving the instructions for making the Ark of the Covenant Yahweh told Moses that He would hover over the ark and meet with him there.
21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. 22 And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. Exodus 25:21-22 (NKJV)
Having done some theological excavation we need to look at what happened When David set up the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem. I referenced the verse below in my last post.
7 On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the Lord: 1 Chronicles 16:4–7 (NKJV)
The psalm David gave is repeated in the Psalms as Psalm 105. We can look at this a couple of ways. One way is to see this as David writing out a song to honour the occasion. Another way is to see this psalm being prophetically released through David as the result of the Ark of the Covenant coming to a resting place in Jerusalem and David receiving a prophetic release, the Psalm. I obviously favour this latter view and think it is the correct one.
David received a prophetic release as a result of being in the presence of the ark, hence his instructions in 1 Chronicles 25 pairing worship with prophecy before the Ark of the Covenant. David knew from his own experience and that of others what happened in worship before the ark. Consider the first few verses of Psalm 105 and compare it to what happened with the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost.
1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to Him, sing Psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 3 Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! 4 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore! 5 Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, Psalm 105:1-5 (NKJV)
11 Cretans and Arabs – we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. Acts 2:11 (NKJV)
There was a prophetic release and a glorifying of God at Pentecost and then a prophetic understanding by Peter of fulfilled prophecy. We will look at some further examples in my next post. For now it is important to see the connection between a prophetic release and worshipping before Him.