Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms, which is a collection of prayers, petition and praise bound up within psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters eighty-seven through ninety of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find three distinct authors writing the words which are found within these chapters. The eighty-seventh and eighty-eighth chapters of the book of Psalms were written for the sons of Korah, while the eighty-eighth chapter was a psalm for the sons of Korah written by Heman the Ezrahite. The eighty-ninth chapter of this Old Testament book of the Psalms was written by another Ezrahite—namely, Ethan the Ezrahite. Both Ethan the Ezrahite, as well as Heman the Ezrahite were mentioned in the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings when describing the wisdom which the LORD had given Solomon. Consider if you will the words which are found within the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings beginning to read with and from the twenty-ninth verse of the chapter: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darna, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:29-34). It is with these words were come to understand these two individuals who would both have psalms they wrote placed within the Old Testament book of the Psalms. When and as the book of the Psalms was being compiled and put together, the words which these men wrote and sang before the LORD would find their place within the book along with other authors such as David, Asaph, Moses, and Solomon. These two individuals would find their words placed within the holy canon of Scripture, and would find their words being included and part of a beautiful compilation of psalms of praise, prayer, petition, worship, intercession and adoration within the book of the Psalms. It’s actually quite interesting and unique to read and consider the words which are found within these psalms—particularly those which were written by Heman the Ezrahite, and Ethan the Ezrahite—for the words which they wrote not only seemed to speak of David the son of Jesse and king of Israel in the past tense, but they also seem to speak from a place of distress, destruction, devastation, and desolation. The words found within these chapters are truly unique and truly captivating when you take the time to think about and consider them, as these words were not only words of worship before the LORD, but were also the unburdening of the heart and soul of these two Ezrahites.
When I consider the words which are found within these chapters I can’t help but turn and direct my attention to the opening verses of the eighty-seventh chapter. It is within these chapters we encounter a powerful declaration concerning Jerusalem. If you begin reading the words which are found within the opening verses you will find the author of this psalm emphatically declaring that the foundation of the LORD is in the holy mountains. What’s more, is that you will go on to read how the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Taking this a step further you will find the author of this particular psalm declaring how glorious things are spoken concerning Jerusalem which is the city of David, the city of the Great King. In fact, if you turn your attention back to the forty-sixth chapter of this Old Testament book of Psalms you will find another one of the psalms written for the sons of Korah, and within this psalm you will find a powerful declaration concerning the city of Jerusalem—and not only the city of Jerusalem, but the city of God who is our Lord. As you begin reading with and from the opening verse of this chapter you will find the author of it boldly and confidently speaking of the greatness and strength of the LORD our God, and how we can place our trust and our confidence completely and utterly in Him. Consider if you will the words which are found in this particular chapter beginning to read with and from the opening verse of the chapter:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be c arrived into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:1-11).
I have to admit that I absolutely love the psalms which were written for the sons of Korah, for the language that is found and contained within these psalms is language that not only speaks to the city of the great King and the city of our God, but it also speaks to the holy mountain of the LORD—the mountain where His Temple and His sanctuary are. For the sons of Korah there was no place like the mountain of the LORD—that holy hill which the LORD chose above all others to place His name, to place His presence, to place His glory, to palace His honor, and to place His might and power. I continue to be absolutely astonished and amazed at the words which were written for the sons of Korah, for the words found within the psalms written for them highlight the mountain of the LORD, which is not only the mountain of government, but also the mountain of glory. When we speak about the mountain of the LORD which ultimately was chosen by the LORD from the time of Abraham, it’s important for us to recognize and understand that the mountain of the LORD was both the place of the glory of the living God as represented and manifested with and through His sacred and holy Temple, as well as the place of the government of the living God as represented by the throne of David. The mountain of the hill of the LORD which would be in the midst of the city of Jerusalem would be that mountain which the LORD would choose for and unto Himself as the place where He would establish His authority and His kingdom upon the earth, as well as the place He would establish His presence among the nations of the earth. We know from the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy that the LORD came down upon Horeb in the midst of the wilderness, and yet despite the fact that the LORD would indeed come down upon that mountain with a great demonstration and manifestation of His glory and His presence, He would not choose that mountain unto Himself. With this in mind I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle which was sent unto the churches of Galatia, as well as the words which are found within the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches in Galatia, as well as the words which were written unto the Hebrews towards the end and conclusion of that epistle:
“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the o me by a bond maid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which not is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bear East not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (Galatians 4:21-31).
“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a t rum pet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, and if So much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye reused not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:18-29).
Within the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the churches of Galatia, as well as the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews we encounter the awesome reality that there is a clear and distinct difference between Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai and Jerusalem which is found in the midst of the nation and kingdom of Israel. In all reality, the words found within these two passages of Scripture not only point to Horeb which is found in the midst of Sinai, but also Moriah which is found in the midst of Jerusalem. It would be at Horeb in the midst of the wilderness the LORD would come down in the midst of a great fire with thick clouds, darkness and smote with lightnings and thunderings and the sound of a trumpet being heard by the entire congregation of the children of Israel. It would be in the midst of this manifestation of the glory and presence of the living God atop Horeb in the midst of the wilderness where the LORD would not only give the Law of Moses, but would also give the pattern of the Tabernacle. It’s truly something remarkable to consider Horeb in the midst of the wilderness of Sinai, for both the glory and the government of the living God would be manifested in that place. If and as you read the narrative of the children and congregation of the children of Israel at Horeb in the midst of the wilderness—not only will you find the LORD giving the congregation and children of Israel His government as evidence and manifested through the Law given unto Moses, but the LORD would also give the congregation His glory as evidenced and manifested through the Tabernacle of Moses. It would be through the Law given unto Moses the government of the LORD would be manifested and evidenced in the midst of the children of Israel, while it would be through the pattern of the Tabernacle the glory of the LORD would be evidence, as the Tabernacle would not only be the place where the priest and Levites would offer the gifts and sacrifices of the people, but also the place where the glory of the LORD would dwell and be found in the midst of. It would be at Horeb in the midst of the wilderness where the LORD would manifest Himself before, unto and in the midst of the children of Israel, and it would be in the midst of that manifestation of His glory and presence the LORD would first appear before and in the sight of the children of Israel, and next transition from atop the mountain into the midst of the people as evidenced through the Tabernacle. If there is one thing we must understand about the Tabernacle and the mountain, it’s that while the glory and divine presence of the LORD would be manifested upon and atop Horeb in the wilderness, His glory and presence would not remain atop the mountain, for He would eventually dwell among them in their midst through the Tabernacle. Consider if you will the narrative that is found in the Old Testament book of Exodus—not only concerning the glory and presence of the LORD coming down upon the mountain, but also the giving of the Law and the pattern of the Tabernacle, as well as the glory of the LORD filling the Tabernacle. Consider if you will the following passages which are taken directly from the Old Testament book of Exodus concerning the glory of the LORD coming down upon Horeb, the giving of the Law, the giving of the pattern of the Tabernacle, as well as the glory coming down from the mountain and entering into the Tabernacle which would stand in the midst of the people of God:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes. And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the Mount shall e surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exeeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered Him by a voice. And the LORd came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount: and Moses went up. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people lest they break through unto the LORD, to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them” (Exodus 19:9-25).
“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gages: for in six days the LORD made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou sh alt not kill. >Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” (Exodus 20:1-17).
“And all the people saw the thunderings, and Lightning’s, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice therein thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered therein” (Exodus 20:18-26).
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, and a blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fin linen, and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil, and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it” (Exodus 25:1-9).
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of URI, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understand, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; the tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the test I know, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, and the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, and the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, and the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do” (Exodus 31:1-11).
“And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars. And he spread abroad the tent of the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent above upon it; as the LORD commanded Moses. And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above the ark: and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the estimate; as the LORD commanded Moses. And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the vail. And he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD; as the LORD had commanded Moses. And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward. And he lighted the lamps before the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses. And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail: and he burnt sweet incense therein; as the LORD commanded Moses. And he set up the hanging at the door of the tabernacle. And he put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the meat offering; as the LORD commanded Moses. And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal. And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat: When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the LORD commanded Moses. And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work” (Exodus 40: 17-33).
“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode therein, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night , in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:34-38).
GENESIS 22! 2 CHRONICLES 3! ISAIAH 2:1-5! THE LORD CHOSE THE MOUNTAIN OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD BEFORE HE EVEN CAME DOWN UPON HOREB! THE MOUNTAIN OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD WAS CHOSEN EVEN BEFORE DAVID, AND WAS CHOSEN DURING THE TIME OF ABRAHAM! THE LORD CAME DOWN UPON HOREB, YET THE LORD WOULD NEVER CHOOSE HOREB! THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD WOULD NOT ONLY BE THE PLACE OF GLORY, BUT ALSO THE PLACE OF GOVERNMENT! 1 CHRONICLES 21! 1 CHRONICLES 22! THE TESTING OF ABRAHAM, THE SACRIFICE OF DAVID! With the words found in the passages just presented unto you it is quite clear and obvious that when the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob delivered and redeemed the children of Israel out of their slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt He brought them unto Horeb in the midst of the Sinai wilderness. It was there at Horeb where Yahweh—the eternal I AM who revealed Himself unto Moses at that very mountain through the burning bush which was not consumed by the fire—would reveal Himself unto the congregation of Israel. It would be there at Horeb in the midst of the wilderness where the eternal and living God would enter into covenant with the children of Israel through the manifestation of His glory and presence upon the mountain, as well as through the giving of the Law. The Law would be the central theme and the central focal point of the living and eternal God revealing Himself unto the congregation of the children of Israel there in the wilderness, for it would be the Law that would be one of the distinctive features that would set apart and separate the children of Israel from all the other nations of the earth. Even the apostle Paul mentioned and spoke of this in the epistle which was written unto the Roman saints. Within this particular epistle the apostle Paul would speak of the people and nation of Israel and how unto them was given the promises, unto them was given the covenants, unto them was given circumcision, and unto them was given the Law. It would be these distinct realities that would set apart and separate the children of Israel from the various nations of the earth, and would truly make them into a people that were peculiar, consecrated, sanctified and holy unto the LORD. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the unbelievable promises that were given unto the children of Israel—promises that began when Abram was called forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans and brought unto the land which the LORD would sware unto the descendants which would come after him.
What we must recognize and realize concerning Horeb in the midst of the wilderness is that it would be there at that mountain the eternal and living God would reveal Himself unto the congregation of Israel by descending upon the mountain. The LORD would come down before and in the sight of all the people of Israel in thick clouds and in darkness, as the fire would altogether be on a smoke because of the consuming fire of God’s presence that would be upon it. That mountain in the midst of the wilderness would quake, would tremble and would shake under the tremendous weight of the divine presence and glory of the living God, and would do so in the sight of all the people of Israel. What’s more, is that as the LORD appeared unto and made Himself visible unto the congregation of the children of Israel there at the mountain, there would be thunders and lightnings that would flash in the midst of the great storm and darkness that covered the mountain. All of this would be accompanied by the sound of a trumpet that would wax exceedingly louder and louder the more the eternal God spoke unto Moses from the midst of the thick darkness. It is necessary that we understand this particular reality, for the LORD would descend upon the mountain before and in the sight of the congregation of Israel first and foremost to make Himself known unto them as they would not only see the direct manifestation of his presence upon the mountain, but would also hear Him speaking unto Moses from atop the mountain in the midst of the thick darkness. With that being said, we must realize that it was in that place of revelation the LORD would give the children and congregation of Israel His Law—that series of commandments, statutes, decrees and precepts which they were to walk in and obey as His people in the midst of the earth. The Law which was given unto the congregation of the children of Israel would be one of the manifestations that would set the people of Israel apart from the various other nations and peoples of the earth, as they would be a peculiar people which were holy unto the LORD as a kingdom of priests within the earth. In addition to this, the LORD didn’t merely give the children of Israel the Law from the top of the mountain, but the LORD would also give them the pattern of the Tabernacle and the sacrificial system which would be a part of the psyche and makeup of the people of Israel all the way up to the time the second Jewish Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D. by the Romans after they invaded Judaea, destroyed Jerusalem, and decimated Herod’s Temple in the midst of the city. For generations the people of Israel would engage in this sacrificial system in the midst of the earth as they would bring their gifts and their offerings to be offered upon the altar before and unto the LORD by the priests of the LORD.
With all of this being said, however, it’s imperative and necessary that we recognize the fact that although the LORD would lead and bring the congregation of the children of Israel unto Horeb in the midst of the wilderness where He would reveal Himself unto them, would give unto them His Law, and would give unto them the pattern of the Tabernacle, the LORD would never choose Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai as the place of His name, the place of His presence, the place of His glory, and the place of His great strength and power. Oh it is true that the eternal God descended upon the mountain there in the midst of the wilderness, however, it would be in His descending upon the mountain that He would give the congregation of Israel the Law and the pattern of the Tabernacle. That pattern of the Tabernacle would be given that a sanctuary might be present among the children of Israel that the divine glory and presence of the LORD might descend even further from the top of Horeb in the wilderness to the Tabernacle itself, as the LORD would dwell in between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies atop the Mercy Seat. One of the greatest purposes and designs of the Tabernacle was that the living and eternal God might d well in the midst of His people, for wherever the pillar of fire stopped in the wilderness, or wherever the pillar of cloud would stop in the wilderness—it would be there in that place the congregation and children of Israel were to set up their camp with the Tabernacle of the congregation being established in the very center of the camp. It would be that Tabernacle set up in the very center and in the midst of the children of Israel that would be a truly wonderful and powerful picture of the LORD desiring to dwell in the midst of His people. Through the Tabernacle the divine glory and presence of the LORD would come down from atop the mountain, and although there would be no more thunders, nor lightnings, nor thick darkness, nor even the sound of a trumpet waxing louder and louder, the divine glory would fill the Tabernacle. Time and time again you will read of the glory of the LORD appearing in the midst of the people there at the Tabernacle of the Congregation as the LORD would not only speak directly unto His people, but would also chasten and discipline them for their rebellion, for their treachery, and for their wickedness. Even with this reality being true, it’s absolutely necessary that we understand the awesome reality that despite the LORD descending upon the mountain in the midst of the wilderness, He would not choose that mountain, nor that place for His eternal name, nor as the place of His presence. Scripture makes it very clear that Jerusalem—the city of David, the city of God, and the city of the Great King—would be chosen as that place of His great name. That which makes this reality all the more intriguing is when you consider the fact that even before Jerusalem was captured during the days of David, the LORD Himself had specifically chosen that place, and had done so from the days and time of Abraham.Lest you consider and think for a moment this isn’t the case, I invite you to consider the words which are found within the twenty-second chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis beginning to read with and from the first verse:
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and GET THEE INTO THE LAND OF MORIAH; and offer him there for a burnt offering UPON ONE OF THE MOUNTAINS WHICH I WILL TELL THE OF. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which god had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, AND SAW THE PLACE AFAR OFF. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. AND THEY CAME TO THE PLACE WHICH GOD HAD TOLD HIM OF; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his sons. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, l ay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh: as it is said to this day, IN THE MOUNT OF THE LORD IT SHALL BE SHALL BE SEEN. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gates of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-Sheba” (Genesis 22:1-19).
The words which we find within this particular passage of Scripture are particularly powerful, for with the words contained in this chapter we encounter and come face to face with that mountain and that place the LORD would show unto Abraham where he would offer up his one and only son Isaac whom he loved. It would be there in the land of Moriah upon one of the mountains the LORD would show Abraham he would offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering and sacrifice before and unto the LORD. You cannot read this passage and not come face to face with the reality that there was something very peculiar and something very special about this place, for within this passage we find the language of the sovereignty and providence of the LORD, as we not only read of “one of the mountains which I will tell thee of,” but we also read of “the place which God had told him of.” Taking this a step further you will read the words found in this passage of Scripture, and when reading of the name of the LORD that would be ascribed in that place—the name, Jehovah-Jireh—you will find the declaration that “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” Please don’t miss and lose sight of this declaration, for this concept of “the mount of the LORD” would emerge again during the days of David the son of Jesse king of Israel, as well as during the days of Solomon his son who would succeed him as king and sit upon the throne in Israel. If you turn and direct your attention to the twenty-first chapter of the Old Testament book of First Chronicles you will find this particular place once more being specifically referenced as a place where David king of Israel would be instructed of the LORD to go to a very specific place in order that he might offer a burnt offering and sacrifice before and unto the LORD. As you read the words found in the twenty-first chapter of this Old Testament book it is necessary and imperative that we understand that Moriah and one of the mountains therein would be chosen by the LORD during the days of Abraham, but it would again be chosen during the days of David—first as the place whereby David would present an offering and sacrifice before and unto the living God. It would be there in the ancient land of Moriah in one of the mountains therein that David would build an altar unto the LORD after purchasing the location of the altar, and everything that would be needed for the sacrifice and offering before and unto the LORD. If you begin reading with and from the fifteenth verse of the twenty-first chapter you will encounter David being instructed by Gad the seer to go unto the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, for it would be in that place he would offer a burnt offering and sacrifice unto the LORD. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand this, for it would be here where the LORD would answer and respond to David by fire coming down from heaven—a manifestation which would take place again during the days of Solomon king of Israel at the dedication of the Temple of the LORD. Consider if you will the words which are found in the twenty-first chapter of the book of First Chronicles, as well as in the third chapter of the book of Second Chronicles:
“And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? Even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep,w hat have they done? Let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: Thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the palace six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David build there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the wheat thereof. At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 21:15-30).
“Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the palace that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And he ban to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign” (2 Chronicles 3:1-2).
These two passages must be read in conjunction and connection with each other, for they are intrinsically linked and connected to each other. It is within these two passages where we encounter the fact that not only the land of Moriah (which would later become Jerusalem and the city of the Great King), but also one of the mountains there in the midst of that land would be specifically chosen by the living and eternal God. What we must recognize and understand is that not only the land of Moriah, but also one of the mountains in the midst of the land itself would be specifically chosen by the eternal God as the place where He would place His name, and as the place where He would place His presence. It’s actually quite remarkable and astounding to think about the fact that even before the land would be given unto the descendants of Abraham, even before the descendants of Abraham would enter into the land of Canaan to conquer and subdue it, and even before Jerusalem would be captured and taken during the days of David the king of Israel, the land of Moriah and one of the mountains therein would be specifically chosen and set apart as holy and set apart unto the LORD. For generations and centuries the land of Moriah, and one of the mountains therein would be specifically chosen by the eternal God as the place where He would place His name, where He would place His glory, and where He would set up His holy Temple in the midst of His people—and not only in the midst of His people, but also in the midst of the nations of the earth. It’s interesting to note that in the twenty-first chapter of the book of First Chronicles we only know that David was instructed to go unto the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite to build an altar unto the LORD, and there upon that altar offer a burnt offering and sacrifice unto the LORD that the plague might be stayed in the midst of the city. It isn’t until we come to the third chapter of the book of Second Chronicles that we learn the true nature, the true identity, and the true location of this threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebuite, as we read how Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the palace that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. Please don’t miss and lose sight of what is found within this passage, for not only does the author of the book of Second Chronicles link the place where the Temple of the LORD would be built to mount Moriah and to Abraham when he offered his one and only son Isaac before the LORD, but the author also directly links this mountain of Moriah to David Solomon’s father when David built an altar before the LORD, when David offered a sacrifice upon the altar he had built, and how the LORD answered and responded to David with fire from heaven. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the words and language which are found within this third chapter, for the very Temple and sanctuary which Solomon would build before and unto the LORD would not only be linked to the mount of the LORD which Abraham offered his son Isaac upon the altar before and unto the LORD, but it would also be linked to the place where David himself would build an altar and offer a sacrifice before and unto the LORD.
With this knowledge of mount Moriah being directly linked to both Abraham and David, it is necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that this place would be specifically chosen and hand-picked by the LORD as the place where He would establish His name, and as the place where He would establish His throne. It would be here in mount Moriah—here in the midst of Jerusalem which was the city of the Great King—the LORD would not only establish the throne of David, but would also set up the Temple of Solomon. It would be here in the land of Moriah, and here in mount Moriah the eternal God would establish His glory and His government, as through the throne of David His government would be established, and through the Temple of Solomon His glory would be manifested in the midst of the land. We cannot and must not miss this, for after David saw how the LORD had answered him by fire, he realized and recognized that place was the place of the house of the LORD, and the place where the LORD would place His name, and the place where He would place His glory and His presence. The mount of the LORD would initially be chosen during the days of Abraham when the LORD would lead him to a very specific mountain in the land of Moriah where he would offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering upon the altar, and this mount would be chosen a second time during the days of David when he built an altar and offered a burnt sacrifice before and unto the LORD on mount Moriah where the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite was. In the third chapter of the book of Second chronicles we discover that Solomon built the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah where the LORD had not only appeared unto Abraham centuries earlier, but also where the LORD had appeared unto David his father. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely tremendous reality, for the LORD had specifically chosen, consecrated and set apart mount Moriah as the place where His name and His presence would be found. It is with this in mind I invite you to not only consider the language that is found in the twenty-second chapter of the book of First Chronicles, but also the words which are found in the fifth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles after the Temple and house of the LORD had been built in mount Moriah in the place where the LORD appeared unto Abraham, as well as David. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these three specific passages concerning the house of the LORD, and the LORD manifesting Himself in that place—in the place He appeared unto Abraham, in the place he appeared unto David, and in the place he would respond and answer by fire from heaven:
“Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel. And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hers wrought stones to build the house of God. And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight; also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. And David said, Solomon my own is young and tender, and the house that is to be builder for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel. And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever. Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee. Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work. Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee” (1 Chronicles 22:1-16).
“Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the palace that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign” (2 Chronicles 3:1-2).
“Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God. Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priest and the Levites bring up. Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims” (2 Chronicles 5:1-7)
“It came to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priest could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14).
“Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever. And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORd said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of his loins, he shall build the. House for my name. The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And in it I have put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORd, that he made with the children of Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:1-11).
“But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: that thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou nearest, forgive” (2 Chronicles 6:18-21).
“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD. And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD,w high David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood” (2 Chronicles 7:1-6).
It is quite clear from each of these passages that the living and eternal God chose this particular mountain during the days of Abraham as the place where He would place His name, and where His house and sanctuary would be manifested in the midst of the earth. Even before the children of Israel would enter into the land of Canaan the LORD would already sanctify and separate mount Moriah as the place where He would provide, and it would be during the days of Abraham this mount of the LORD would be designated as the place where the LORD would provide. We must recognize and understand this, for this particular mountain would be chosen first and foremost during the days of Abraham when the LORD tempted and tested him to sacrifice his one and only son Isaac, and secondly during the days of David king of Israel when he would offer a sacrifice and burnt offering before and unto the LORD. It would be there in that place the LORD would hear David and would answer him with fire coming down from heaven. David recognized that place to be the house of the LORD, and recognized that in that place should be the altar of burnt offering for the people of Israel. This must be clearly understood when considering the mountain of the LORD, for although the LORD did indeed and did in fact come down upon Horeb in the midst of the wilderness, He did not and would not choose Horeb as the place of His name, nor as the place for His sanctuary, presence and glory. The LORD would in all reality move His people forth from the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness and would dwell among them through and in the midst of the Tabernacle. The mount of the LORD in the city of Jerusalem, however, would be some thing that would be completely different, as the mountain of the LORD would be that place where the LORD would place His name, where the LORD would place His glory, and where the LORD would place His holy sanctuary. It was this reality that was highlighted within the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as within this poetic book we find a great affection and affinity—not only for the city of Jerusalem as the place of the throne of David, but also as the place of the Temple of Solomon. Jerusalem would be the seat of the glory of the living God as evidenced through the Temple of Solomon, and it would be the seat of the government of the living God as evidenced through the throne of David. Oh that we would recognize and understand this when reading the words found within the book of the Psalms, for the LORD would indeed choose the mountain of the LORD in the midst of Jerusalem to be the place where He would place His name, the place where He would. Manifest His glory, and the place of quietness and rest for His people.