The Tabernacle of David and Silence? Or Loud Rejoicing?

     PSA 4:4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. [5] Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD.
     PSA 46:10] "Cease striving [ KJV Be still ] and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." [11] The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
     In the last weeks we have presented the principle of being quiet and still before the Lord and listening prayer rather that the continuous “talking kind of prayer”. We all know those people that dominate a conversation and very seldom listen to our ideas and opinions. We feel that they are rude and difficult to fellowship with because their words are all that are important.
     If we apply that politeness to prayer we could understand that to continually talk before the Lord and not even try to listen for what He would say is rude. If prayer is fellowship with God then silence is courteous.
     The question we are presenting in this paper is this; Is always being silent the only way to fellowship with God and to present yourself to God? The answer is a definite NO! In this application there is a great difference between praise, thanksgiving, worship, rejoicing before the Lord and acknowledging Who He Is and reverent prayer. These are two different realms and each holds a very important place. Balance is the key word.
     It may be possible to always sing, rejoice before the Lord and praise with loud music and dancing and never correct your life in accordance with God’s word. It is possible to not even know that your life needs radical adjustment. It is those silent times of quiet prayer that we realize there are defects and barriers in our life that are preventing us from advancing into God. It is as we intently listen for the still small voice of God that we are actually seeking God for Himself and not just for what we can get from Him. Barrenness of “life” may be more effectively corrected in silence than in loud praising.
     If we simply listed ALL the scriptures dealing with loud praise and worship with exuberant rejoicing before the Lord we would discover there are many, many more scriptures dealing with loud worship and praise than being still and silent before the Lord.
     ISA 62:1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. [2] And the nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.
     We are admonished to not keep silent and remain quiet until the church is all that she is meant to be. Therefore, we should understand that always being silent before the Lord will not continue forever. My understanding is that this time of quiet listening and silent prayer is for the purpose of personal sanctification, cleansing and a time for the discipline of the Lord to correct offensive things in our lives. When there are no more things in our lives ( for the time being) that God has a controversy with, our “kinds of prayer” should resume. However, in every prayer time there should be a quiet time of listening so that God has an opportunity to speak and correct us and direct us in new areas of prayer.
     The silent and quiet time of “communion” with God is also to turn us from self to God as our center. We depart from our individual views, our feelings, our personal interests and begin to reflect upon Who He is. However, in the quietness it is nearly impossible not to be much absorbed in “self-reflection” and the barriers that separate us from God. After a time of cleansing, correction and adjustment we can become very aware of JUST ourselves. To continue in self-evaluation after that point will not be beneficial to spiritual life. While self-evaluation is helpful in the beginning it will not be helpful once the cleansing is accomplished . From that point onward it could be damaging to our prayer life. After all our goal was to come to a higher level of prayer beyond just self-interest.
     EPH 6:18 With all [ kinds of ]prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, [19] and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
     For example; The incense that was to continually raise up before God day and night was made of four different elements and was to be a perfumers mixture of precise proportions. It was burnt in four different ways. It should be obvious that silence in prayer will not accomplish all these goals and fulfill all kinds of prayer.  
      But what about the scriptures that insist upon loud praising, worship, dancing, thanksgiving, music, rejoicing and loud noise with multiple instruments? Are these still valid today? The answer of course is certainly YES! Then how do we balance this admonition for all kinds of prayer with loud rejoicing?
     Before the Ark of the Covenant and the manifest Presence of God was established upon Mt. Zion the priests and people were to sanctify themselves. After their “sanctification” and the proper order was determined the Ark was brought up. This is our goal for our assembly. To prepare a place and then invite the manifest Presence and Glory of God to dwell here. Not in a building but in His sanctified people. If Israel would have continued to sanctify themselves month after month they would never have brought the Ark up.
     The question that always plagues us is which comes first the exuberant praise or do we wait on the manifested Presence first. I’m not sure there is only one order. When God’s manifest Presence comes we can’t help praising and worshiping. On the other hand without exuberant worship and praise the Presence of God has no place to dwell. God dwells in the praises of His people. Without praise there is no dwelling place for God prepared. David FIRST prepared the place for the Ark and then went down to bring it up.
     1CHRON 15:16 Then David spoke to the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their relatives the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.
     1CHRON 15:25 So it was David, with the elders of Israel and the captains over thousands, who went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-edom with joy. [26] And it came about because God was helping the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.
     To understand “this new move of God” we should not ignore the preparation that preceded it because it was begun “according to the word of the Lord”. If God restores the Tabernacle of David as it was in the days of old it certainly means with loud praise and worship and rejoicing with all kinds of instruments and SACRIFICES. To ignore the sacrifices is NOT to restore it as in the days of old.
     The true sacrifice and the true worship is essential to bringing back the Presence and Glory of God to DWELL in His people. There is a tremendous difference between the visitation of God and the dwelling of God where God’s manifested Presence remains after the hype is gone.
     Worship that is mechanical and according to the “letter” that we have devised as “normal” is not worship at all. Worship must begin in the heart and must rise up out of a revelation of Who He is. We could say true worship must be up out of the spirit and flow out of reality or “truth”. Worship in spirit and in truth is quickly acknowledged by the Father.
     The true “sacrifice” is still according to the revelation given to David. PSA 51:16] For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. [17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. We could say that true sacrifice begins with sincere repentance.
     The time of silent prayer and quiet meditation upon the righteousness of God and His holiness results in a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart. To worship in spirit and truth requires that our spirit becomes active and that God reveals truth to us. To always pray or praise out of the soul does not activate the spirit of man to worship. Unless God deals with man and his sin and weaknesses, man will not worship in truth because his life is still too much of a lie. Self-evaluation then has a valuable place in preparation for cleansing and revealing the lies and hypocrisy within us.
      Worship means to express in some measure what you know and what you feel out of the
depths of your being. We can’t truly worship Him whom we don’t know! Worship is also the manifestation of love. If we love Him we keep His commandments. For that reason there is worship in obedience. We might say that worship is responding to God in some appropriate manner that is Biblical but not routine or mechanical. Worship also refers to the act of obeisance and reverence for God, paying homage to His great person. To worship also has the implication of serving God.
     Since there is no definitions or directions of how to worship the God of heaven we must determine what is proper from the way scripture describes worship. We see it is not confined to praise or any of the other words. It has to do with man acknowledging God, His nature, His grace, His mercy, His ways and His claim upon us. His claim upon us must result in deeds done in obedience. To experientially acknowledge God is to acknowledge that He is worthy of all worship and praise that it is possible to give Him and that the highest praise and worship will be totally inadequate.   
     The most common form of praise, worship, thanksgiving and rejoicing given in scripture is the audible form and comes from our mouth but rising up out of the heart. This type of audible worship in music and song and the offering up of words as sacrifice probably began and reached it’s zenith in the Tabernacle of David. If this is what is literally restored as in the days of old then we should be open to return to this kind of expressive and demonstrative rejoicing before the Lord. It is time to cast off our sack cloth of mourning and rejoice in God Who has selected us to be His worshipers. Since the Holy Spirit has been sent to lead us into ALL truth and TEACH us ALL things we should ask Him to direct us to those things that please the Father and makes Jesus’ heart glad. Whatever it takes to glorify Christ with our mouth and actions.
     Once we are firmly established in God and His character and His purpose there is still so much prayer ground to experience. If we put this dimension in the Tabernacle of Moses we would say that once we have come through the process from the first veil [ the gate ] to the Showbread in the Holy Place we have just entered the realm of the Incense Altar. There is still the whole function of the incense in all it’s applications. Until the priests were fully cleansed, clothed, anointed and the Lampstand lite and the Showbread set out, no incense could be offered day and night before the Presence of God. In other words there was a lot of preparation that preceded the Incense Offering. We might refer to the Incense as “the sacrifice”. HEB 13:15] Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
     There was continual praise and worship, day and night, before the Ark of His Presence in the Tabernacle of David. There was continual Incense burnt on the Altar of Incense day and night before the Ark of His Presence. Under the New Covenant there is to be a continual offering up the sacrifice of praise to God, with overflowing gratitude and worship always giving thanks to His name..
     COL 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, [7] having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
     1 TIM 4:4] For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; [5] for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
     HEB 12:28] Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; [29] for our God is a consuming fire.
     HEB 13:15] Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. [16] And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
     It is obvious from the Psalms that David spent many quiet and reflective times in the presence of God so we understand that there was not continual noise before the Presence but there was continual praise and worship. I can’t imagine David sitting before the Lord singing to Him that dwells between the Cherubim while the Levites blew the trumpets and banged on the cymbals. The ministry to God had to be a combination of all kinds of worship and praise and thanksgiving. Their voice, instruments and bodies in dancing were all employed in the adoration and praise.
     Through the Psalms we see the variety of methods used in worshiping God.
(1) They lifted their voices (2) They sang with all their might (3) Some sang with high piercing notes. (4) Some sang deep and low (5) They danced before the Lord (6) They blew loud sounding trumpets. (7) They crashed large cymbals of brass. (8) They played stringed instruments. (9) They shouted high praises to God. (10) They rejoiced greatly before the Lord. (11) They shouted for joy. (12) They blessed the Lord at all times.  
     David summed it up with “Let everything that is within me bless the Lord!” 1CH 16:4 And he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, even to celebrate and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: [5] Asaph the chief, and second to him Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, with musical instruments, harps, lyres; also Asaph played loud-sounding cymbals, [6] and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests blew trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.
     1CHRON 16:7 Then on that day David first assigned Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the LORD. [8] Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. [9] Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. [10] Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. [11] Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. [12] Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth, [13] O seed of Israel His servant, Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!
     There is a definite Bible way to praise and worship God but the Bible way is often offensive to the overly sensitive and the ignorant. If we confuse the quietness and silence of one kind of prayer with the exuberant praise and worship of the Bible way we will not invite the manifested Presence of God.
     I can see all kinds of prayer, praise, worship, correction, discipline and teaching demonstrated in the Tabernacle of David and revealed in the Psalms. David was just as bold to ask God to teach him His ways as he was to seek a clean heart and be washed with His word. David was just as bold to declare whom God was to himself as he was to declare whom God was to Israel. David was also bold to declare whom God was to his enemies and to the enemies of Israel.
     The Bible way of praise and worship declares (1) When to worship; At all times (2) Where to worship ; In Zion, in the Sanctuary, in the homes, in the gates , everywhere. (3) How to worship; With everything that is within me and anything I can put in my hand. (4) Why we should worship ; Because He is God and it is He who created us.
     To sum up; We may be approaching a new time of outward sincere prayer and praise and an inward worship, with understanding, with revelation and a new dimension of prayer that reflects the new inward strength of being cleansed, washed, having a clear conscious and a new faith to pray in harmony with God’s will and God’s way!