2 CHRONICLES 6
6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David [the beloved] to be over my people Israel.
THE origin, history, and destiny of the Israelitish people must be understood before it is possible to comprehend the wonderful things seen in vision by Ezekiel.
Of this, it will be sufficient to present a very condensed view; for the nature of this treatise will preclude anything like a complete exhibition of this topic, which must be sought for in other publications.
Something like three thousand years ago, the Israelitish people were a community of bondmen in Egypt, out of which they were taken by the hand of God, and planted in a land " flowing with milk and honey. Their deliverance was effected and accompanied by " mighty signs and wonders :" so that the history of this people from the very beginning may truly be said to be an extraordinary one.
The Israelites are not like other peoples. The Gentiles have formed themselves into bodies political, and are characterised by diversity of government, evolved chiefly "out of their own mind." It is not so with the Israelitish race. They did not form themselves into a polity: it was God who did so. They did not formulate their own laws, but God gave them statutes and judgments "by the ministration of angels." These, coming from a Divine source, stamp their national organization with a character different altogether from that of other sections of the human family.
Such laws were never framed for any people. They not only bear upon every commercial and social aspect of life, but they comprehend all needful regulations as to food, worship, military enterprise, sanitation, and medicine.
Every contingency and every need was provided for by Him who declared himself to be their Father, and who has placed it on record that they are witnesses unto Him (Isa. xliii. 10).
7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of Yahweh Elohim of Israel.
8 But Yahweh 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:
The "devising of liberal things" is always acceptable to God. We have here a possibility of reaching a high mark in His favour. It is much decried in our day. Spiritual enterprise is quenched by the children of the flesh under various specious pleas. Big ideas and small purses don't go well together. This is the sort of water-hose they turn on. But the fire kindled from the altar cannot be put out.
"Thou didst well that it was in thine heart."
What is in the heart will struggle even through a small purse sometimes. It is not the big purses and small ideas that do the work or give pleasure to God.
Out of David's voluntary scheme for honouring God came a result of recompense which was David's comfort to the day of his death, and in which we have a personal interest by the gospel. David referred to it in his "last words."
"God hath made with me an everlasting covenant, which is all my salvation and all my desire."
This covenant was communicated by the prophet who brought word from God that David was not to build the house.
"Thou shalt not build Me an house: Yahweh will build thee an house . . . thy house and thy kingdom shall continue for ever before Me."
"Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne."
This covenant, though bearing on Solomon, had ultimate reference to Christ, as David's own last words show, and as was plainly declared by Peter on the day of Pentecost. God had promised to Abraham the everlasting establishment of his seed as a great nation in the land of promise. God now opens to view in the covenant made with David the means by which the greater purpose is to be accomplished. The house of David is made the royal house of the nation; a son of David is to be Yahweh's anointed, by whom its whole work is to be done.
And we, brethren, if our faith and obedience are such as to be well pleasing to Him, are this man's brethren and joint-heirs. In him, God had made with us "an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David," as promised (Isa. 55:3); and we look forward to participating with him in the glory and honour and immortality of David's throne in the age he will introduce at his coming. It is a great future, and would be a presumptuous and an insane expectation if it did not rest upon God's own promise by Christ. It does so rest.
11 And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of Yahweh, that he made with the children of Israel.
In the typical Mosaic Tabernacle, the Ark stood in the Nave, or Most Holy Place. It was Yahweh's throne in Israel, on which He was said to sit between the Cherubim.
From thence proceeded all His decrees for peace or war issued through the Prince of the host, the High Priest of Israel. It was a symbol of great significance in its appointed place.
...The Nave and the Ark were beyond the Veil, which represents the flesh (Heb. x. 20). The opening of the nave is therefore equivalent to that which constitutes the nave, being no longer simply holy in the flesh, but most holy in spirit-nature, having passed from flesh to spirit.
The opening of the nave is a wonderful manifestation of power. It implies the descent of him, who is the resurrection and the life; the reorganization of the ashes of the saints, and the restoration to each of them of their identity; and their subsequent transformation into spirit-bodies by the instantaneous operation of the Spirit.
And when this process is complete, to give them a commanding position "in the heaven," that, as the Ark of the Covenant, they may be the depository of almighty power, and prepared for the work of ruling in righteousness all the kingdoms, or heavens, of the world, and retaining undisturbed possession of them for a thousand years.
Thus, the Ark of the Covenant seen in the opened nave, is the Deity in most holy manifestation -- manifested by spirit in Jesus and his Brethren "glorified together." Collectively they form the Ark and Cherubim, the Spirit answering to the manna, the budding almond-rod, and the testimony.
This is evident from the discourses of Jesus as recorded by John. The anointing Spirit, or Christ-Spirit, speaking by Jesus, declared, that he is the bread of life, or true manna; the resurrection, or budding rod; and the covenanted truth, or testimony.
The container of such a power is the chest, or ark thereof; and therefore styled the Ark of the Covenant -- of the New Covenant, the Abrahamic; with a blood-sprinkled propitiatory or mercy seat, even Jesus; and all in him who worshipped in the altar. This is the throne, the Eternal Spirit's throne, to be established as such in Jerusalem, the Mother City of the Kingdom of the Ancient of Days.
40 Now, my Elohim, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
He went before the ark of the Lord, and offered thanks and prayer. We need this lesson.
Performing "devotions" and "saying" prayers has become such a rank abomination in our age - matter of dead formalism and hideous superstition - that we are liable, by reaction, to be carried into the opposite extreme, and to become prayerless and heartless men, and, therefore, such as Elohim cannot regard with any satisfaction.
Of this, we must beware.
Prayer is the most ennobling and the most beautiful act of high reason in the universe, notwithstanding the abominations with which it has become associated. It is the expression of fully developed and instructed intellect.
41 Now therefore arise, O Yahweh Elohim, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Yahweh Elohim, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.