(Day 2—Feast of Tabernacles)

Fred Coulter - September 22, 2002

pdficon small - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download

Here is the Ark of the Covenant. With the depiction by Moshe Levine on how it looked. And this was placed within the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle. In this message we are going to trace the history and travels of the Ark of God.

This is going to be a real interesting message as we go along, finding out about the Ark of God, because this is a depiction of God's Throne in heaven above where the cherubim are overshadowing or over-resting the Throne. It's a very, very important thing, and of course the Ark of the Covenant was where God put His presence. As we saw, the high priest could only go in there once a year, and that was on the Day of Atonement. But the Ark of the Covenant made some pretty incredible journeys.

Now let's begin to follow this. Let's come back here to Num. 10, and then we'll follow it through in Deut., Joshua, and 1st & 2nd Sam.

Numbers 10:33: "And they moved three days' journey from the mountain of the LORD. And the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey to look for a resting place for them."

So, the priest would lead with the Ark showing that God was going to lead them, the priests were going to follow where God led them with the pillar of cloud and the fire at night.

Verse 34: "And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day when they set forth out of the camp. And it came to pass when the Ark set out, Moses said, 'Rise up, LORD, and let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.' And when it stopped, he said, 'Return, O LORD, to the many thousands of Israel.'" (vs 33-36).

This was showing the power of God in leading the children of Israel to bring them into the holy land, to lead them through the wilderness, and so forth. Now, there was something special that was done to the Ark of the Covenant.

It's a very interesting and most profound thing for us brethren, when we realize that we have the Spirit of God today, and God writes His laws and commandments in our hearts and mind and inward parts! Very profound to understand that, that Israel did not have this blessing.

Deuteronomy 31:24: "And it came to pass when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this Law in a book until they were finished, then Moses commanded the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, saying, 'Take this Book of the Law… [everything that we have contained in the five books of Moses] …and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, so that it may be there for a witness against you" (vs 24-26).

The Ark of the Covenant was there in the presence of God. The scrolls that were put in the side of the Ark, those scrolls were the original copy of the first five books of Moses! Whenever the priest needed a new copy, those who were in charge of the Ark could go in there, they could take out the scroll that Moses wrote and they could make a copy of it.

We also know the Book of the Covenant was there. We also know in the Ark was an omer of manna and the rod of Aaron that had budded, because with that God showed and established that it was Aaron who was the priest, not any of the Levites or anyone else! It was a witness against them because notice here how God gives them this witness.

Verse 27: "For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the LORD. And how much more after my death?" (vs. 27).

So it was a witness, and they were after his death; they were rebellious after his death. As soon as Joshua and the elders died what did they do? They turned right back to Baalim and Ashtaroth again (Judges 2). 

Verse 28: "Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, so that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them."

God does a lot of things using heaven and earth, as we saw in the introduction, that Christ said that 'heaven and earth will pass away before a jot or tittle will pass from the Law.' We know that as God opens up the book of Jeremiah, he says, 'Hear O heavens, and give ear O earth!'

That would be an interesting study. If you want a good concordance study look up heaven and earth, and look up all the places that God calls heaven and earth as a witness. As He did over here in Deut. 30: 'I call heaven and earth against you that this day…' The Word of God is based upon heaven and earth. IF you don't think the Word of God is applicable today, THEN heaven and earth do not exist, do they? But since they do exist that means that it does apply to us today, does it?

Verse 29: "For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days… [a prophecy for our day today] … because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands."

  • Isn't that what we have done?
  • Isn't that what we are doing?

Even the Ark of God has an application for us today for the lessons that we are to learn!

Joshua 4—let's see where right after they crossed over into the 'promised land,' that it was the Ark of the Covenant and the priest that again, went before the children of Israel.

Joshua 4:14: "On that day… [the day they crossed over into the 'promised land'] …the LORD made Joshua great in the sight of all Israel. And they feared him, even as they feared Moses, all the days of his life. And the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, 'Command the priests who bear the Ark of the Testimony… [it's called the Ark of the Covenant and the Ark of the Testimony] …that they come up out of the Jordan.' Joshua, therefore, commanded the priests saying, 'Come up out of the Jordan' (vs 14-17).

Verse 18: "And it came to pass, when the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD… [so here we have Ark of Testimony, and Ark of Covenant of the LORD] …had come up out of the midst of the Jordan, the soles of the feet of the priests were lifted up to the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and flowed over all its banks as before."

There we have it. When they came into the 'promised land' the priests led the way with the Ark!

In battle the priests were to lead the way, because the children of Israel had to learn this lesson: that whenever there was war, it was God's war! We're going to see a little later on that when they tried to have their own war without God, then something drastic happened to the Ark of the Covenant, which is a profound lesson, and we'll get there in just a little bit. So here's a command that God gave them.

Joshua 6:2: "And the LORD said to Joshua, 'See, I have given Jericho into your hand, and its king, and the mighty men of war. You shall go around the city, all the men of war. Go around the city once. So, you shall do for six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of ram's horns in front of the Ark. And the seventh day you shall go around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall be when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout. The wall of the city shall fall down flat…'" (vs 2-5).

That's how they did it. So, that's exactly what happened. That's what the priests did. They got up and they did this all through that time. This was the lesson so the people would know that:

  • God was the One Who commanded the battle
  • God was the One Who was going to give the victory

We're going to see every time they didn't trust God they ended up in trouble!

We're going to see when they got into the 'promised land' that they put the Ark in Mizpeh, also later called Shiloh.

Judges 20:26: "And all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept, and sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD."

This is when the tribe of Benjamin came to fight against the children of Israel. They were sort of stuck, and should we go fight against them, does God want us to fight against a brother or not? So, they came before the LORD to understand what God wanted. This was the time right after they came into the land, though it's in Judges 20. We find that Phinehas—the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron—was the one who was the priest, there at that time. So, this happened early on; this was not late. In other words, not all of Judges is written in a chronological from beginning to end. It's written in sections, depending where the judges were.

Verse 28: "And Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron stood before it in those days, saying, 'Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I stop? And the LORD said, 'Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.'"

So, that was an unfortunate incident in the lives of the children of Israel. They slew so many that there were not enough men for the women left over, so they allowed other men of Israel to marry the women from the tribe of Benjamin so they could balance out the population at that time.

1-Samuel—here we're going to find, by example, how that whenever it came time where Israel was about to lose everything and turn back on God, that God, in order to keep His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and yes even His promise to the children of Israel, He would raise up a man! Here he raised up a boy, and his name was Samuel. He was given to the service of the LORD when he was very young.

1 Samuel 3:1: "And the child Samuel served the LORD before Eli. And the Word of the LORD was precious in those days. There was no open vision."

The reason there wasn't was because of the sins of the children of Israel, and the sins of Eli and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

Verse 2: "And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was lying down in his place and his eyes began to become dim, that he could not see, And the lamp of God had not yet gone out. And Samuel was lying down in the Temple of the LORD where the Ark of God was" (vs 2-3)."

Samuel was lying down to sleep. Isn't that interesting? Samuel was right there, right close to the Ark!

Verse 4: "That the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, 'Here am I.' And he ran to Eli, and said, 'Here am I, for you called me.' And he said, 'I did not call. Go and lie down again.' And he went to lie down. And the LORD called again, 'Samuel!' And Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, 'Here am I, for you called me.' And he answered, 'I did not call, my son. Go back and lie down'" (vs 4-6).

Verse 7: "And Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the Word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. And the LORD called Samuel again, the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, 'Here am I, for you called me.' And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. And Eli said to Samuel, 'Go and lie down; and it shall be, if One calls you, you shall say, "Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears."' And Samuel went to lie down in his place. And the LORD came and stood, and called as at other times, 'Samuel, Samuel!' Then Samuel answered, 'Speak, for Your servant hears.'" (vs 7-10).

Now sometimes because old men do not do what God desires, God will raise up a very young man. In this case a babe, that out of the mouth of babes the Truth would come. So, this is quite a lesson here. Well then let's see God's message to Samuel. Let's see one thing that is very, very profound and important, which is this: IF the children of Israel disobey God, and IF the priesthood corrupted the way of God at the Temple of God, a great penalty would take place.

Verse 11: "And the LORD said to Samuel, 'Behold, I will do a thing in Israel at which both the ears of everyone who hears it shall tingle. In that day I will confirm to Eli all that which I have spoken concerning his house, and when I begin I will also make an end, for I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity, which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile and he did not restrain them'" (vs 11-13).

For the first time, here's a child—Samuel—and God is telling them why He's going to use him as a child instead of his two sons Hophni and Phinehas.

Verse 14: "And, therefore, I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever,'"

Samuel went down, and he laid down there. Eli wanted to know what it was, so Samuel told him what it was. Eli says, 'God has told you. Don't hide it from me.' So, Samuel told him, and Eli knew, and said: 'It is the LORD, that's the message from the LORD, all right. Let Him do what He seems good.' Now, rather than repent

Isn't it interesting, sometimes people come to accept their sin, and their fate so readily that they refuse to repent! He could have repented. There's no reason why he and his sons could not have repented. You look at how God forgave Manasseh, Ahab and David when they sinned. But here they were so corrupted that they couldn't repent!

Brethren, here's a lesson for us, and a lesson for all ministers and elders: never, never sear your conscience with sin that you will not hear the voice of God, and that you won't repent.

Now verse 19: "And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of His words fall to the ground…. [Samuel is faithful; he didn't let any of the Word of God fall to the ground] …And all Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the Word of the LORD" (vs 19-21).

1-Sam.l 4 is the execution of the punishment against Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. We'll just review this a little bit. They had a battle against the Philistines. What was the command of God whenever there was a battle? That the priests would take the Ark and they would go out before!

However, this also shows something very profound: IF the priests were corrupt, IF they were living in sin they could not use the Ark of the LORD, and God would not be constrained to fulfill His promise to those who sin. Now therein again is another big principle for all of us. If we're living in sin we need to repent, and we cannot expect God to fulfill His promises to us IF we are living in sin. It will never happen! So what happened?

1-Samuel 4:2: "…And they killed about four thousand men of the army in the field. And when the people had come to the camp, the elders of Israel said, 'Why has the LORD beaten us today before the Philistines?….'" (vs 2-3).

Just like today in this nation: Why has this happened? Well, let's call on the name of God! They have a wonderful ecumenical movement, ecumenical meeting with the President leading it in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

  • no repentance
  • no change
  • no coming back to God

Just use His name!

Now look what happened here; so they said: "…Let us bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh to us, so that when it comes among us it may save us out of the hand of our enemies" (v 3). God is not going to save us:

  • IF we're living in sin
  • IF we are going against God

If you come back to God there better be repentance!

When they came back to God there was no repentance. So what they did, they got it, they went out to battle, and the Philistines were just scared to death when that happened, because they knew that God was with them. Whenever the Israelites brought out the Ark of the Covenant, and the priests led the battle, that they always won the battle, but this time they didn't! They lost the battle because of the sins of Eli and his two sons!

Verse 10:" And the Philistines fought, and Israel was beaten, and each one of them fled into his tent. And there was a very great slaughter, for there fell thirty thousand footmen of Israel. And the Ark of God was taken…" (vs 10-11).

IFthe people of God do not respond to God, He leaves, and that's what happened. He even let the Ark of the Covenant—which God said only the Levites should carry—be carried by the Philistines take it as a spoil of war. Then a messenger ran back, 'The Ark of the Covenant was taken!'

"…And Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were slain" (v 11).

Then a messenger went back and brought the news to Eli and he was sitting, and he fell back on a rock and died. So in one day God fulfilled His Word that He would take the life of Phinehas and Hophni, and Eli in the same day!

Verse 22: "…The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God is taken."

Now let's see what happened here, because God is not going to be outdone by any pagan gods, and He's not going to be outdone by any enemy. He did this to punish Israel! He did this to let Israel know that:

  • they are not going to take His name in vain
  • they are not going to rely on Him to fight for them and solve they're problems


  • they are rebelling against Him
  • sinning against Him


  • the priesthood is corrupt

Now let's just take that as a lesson for the Church of God today. When I was out on a Bible study in Spokane, Washington, this summer, it was a very interesting question that was asked: Is God pleased with all the 300 Churches of God now that Worldwide has been split up? With some of them He may be! But with others, they may fall into the category that we see right here, that they're living in sin against God! Know for sure that correction is going to come, and the correction always comes from the enemy!

Now, just like the Worldwide Church of God forsook God, what happened? God withdrew His presence, took it away and scattered the Church! In being scattered:

  • Are we going to learn the lessons?
  • Are we going to come back to God in repentance?
  • Are we going to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and being?
  • Are we going to keep the Word of God?
  • Are we going to keep the Feasts of God?
  • Are we going to let God fight our battles for us?

Those are all the questions we need to ask!

Now even though the enemy comes and does this, the enemy is punished by God. So, here's what happened with the Philistines:

1-Samuel 5:1: "And the Philistines took the Ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. And the Philistines took the Ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon, and set it beside Dagon" (vs 1-2).

Dagon was their god. Who's going to be more powerful? The god of the Philistines—Dagon—or the God of the children of Israel, the LORD?

Verse 3: "And when those of Ashdod arose early on the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen upon his face to the earth before the Ark of the LORD…."

In other words, God just sent an angel and made it [Dagon] bow down before the true God. What did they do? They took Dagon, set him in his place again! The next morning:

Verse 4: "And when they arose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen upon his face to the earth before the Ark of the LORD. And the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands, were cut off upon the threshold. Only the stump of Dagon was left to him."

God had a lesson for the Philistines! We're going to see this! Quite a lesson!

Verse 5: "And neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day."

Whenever this was written, they said even unto this day they don't even step on that threshold anymore.

Verse 6: "And the hand of the LORD was heavy upon the people of Ashdod, and He destroyed them and struck them with hemorrhoids, Ashdod and its borders."

I tell you, that was really something. Now that's painful. Not only did He kill them, but He also gave them hemorrhoids. Of course, at that time there was no Rite-Aid where you could run and buy some Preparation-H or anything to try and relieve your symptoms.

Verse 7: "And the men of Ashdod saw that it was so. And they said, 'The Ark of the God of Israel shall not stay with us, for His hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god.'"

They didn't know what to do. Not only that, He struck them with mice.

Verse 8: "And they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them. And they said, 'What shall we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?' And they answered, 'Let the Ark of the God of Israel be carried around to Gath.' And they carried the Ark of the God of Israel around. And it came to pass after they had carried it around, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction. And He struck the men of the city, both small and great, and hemorrhoids broke forth in them. And it came to pass that they sent the Ark of God to Ekron…." (vs 8-10).

So they sent it from city to city to try and get rid of the plague

"…as the Ark of God came to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, saying, 'They have brought around the Ark of the God of Israel to us in order to kill us and our people.' And they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines, and said, 'Send away the Ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to its own place, so that it does not kill us and our people,' for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city. The hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that did not die were stricken with the hemorrhoids. And the cry of the city went up to heaven" (vs 10-12).

1 Samuel 6:1: "And the Ark of the LORD was in the field of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, 'What shall we do to the Ark of the LORD? Tell us, what shall we send with it to its place?' And they said, 'If you send away the Ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; for you shall certainly send a guilt offering to Him. Then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why His hand is not removed from you'" (vs 1-3)

Verse 4: "And they said, 'What shall be the guilt offering which we shall return to Him?' And they answered, 'Five golden hemorrhoids, and five golden mice, for the number of the lords of the Philistines, for one plague was on you all, and on your lords. And you shall make images of your hemorrhoids and images of your mice, which ravage the land. And you shall give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps He will lighten His hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. And why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had worked awesomely among them, did they not let the people go, and did they not depart? And now make a new cart, and take two milk cows on which there has come no yoke, and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them. And take the Ark of the LORD and lay it upon the cart. And put the jewels of gold, which you return to Him for a trespass offering in a box by its side. And send it away so that it may go. And watch. If it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth Shemesh, He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that struck us. It was a chance that happened to us'" (vs 4-9)

It came there, and it arrived; v 20:"And the men of Beth Shemesh said, 'Who is able to stand before this Holy LORD God? And to whom shall He go up away from us?' And they sent messengers to the people of Kirjath Jearim, saying, 'The Philistines have brought again the Ark of the LORD. Come down and bring it up to yourselves'" (vs 20-21).

1-Samuel 7:1:"And the men of Kirjath Jearim came and brought up the Ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill. And they sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the Ark of the LORD."

The Ark stayed in Kirjath-jearim for 20 years. So now we have something very profound and unusual, which is this: the tabernacle with the altar of burnt offerings, and with the altar of incense, the golden candlestick, and the Holy of Holies was now missing the Ark of the Covenant. It was separated from the rest of the Tabernacle of God for 20 years. God blessed them for the 20 years that it was there.

Verse 3: "And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel saying, 'If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts to the LORD, and serve Him only, that He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.' And the children of Israel put away the Baalim and the Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only" (vs 3-4).

In all of this what does God really want? He wants repentance, keeping His commandments, and a true heart to Him!

  • IF our prayers come up before God, which they do
  • IF they come up to the golden altar in heaven above, which they do
  • IF they come right to God the Father into the Holy of Holies, which they do

THEN we also have to have the same kind of attitude here!

What they did, they offered burnt offerings, the Philistines were subdued, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines, and God raised up Samuel in their sight. Now after all of that, you would think that the children of Israel would continue to obey God! But they didn't! After that was all done, after Samuel judged the children of Israel all his days:

Verse 15: "And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. And he went from year to year in a circuit to Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. And his return was to Ramah, for his house was there. And he judged Israel there. And he built an altar there to the LORD" (vs 15-17).

The children of Israel committed a great sin after that, and even though they did, God continued to work with the children of Israel because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! That's quite a thing! Lots of times God will do things not because the children of Israel deserved it, nor that we necessarily deserve it, but He does things because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And I think we can see that in the land that we live in today, that God has withheld the hand of destruction upon us because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! So likewise when the children of Israel did this… This fits right into the Feast of Tabernacles theme, because when Christ returns to the earth, He is going to be King!

Here the children of Israel desired to have a king. Notice what happens when you put a man between you and God, and you try and have someone else besides Christ and God the Father be your champion and hero! You put a layer between you and God! That's what the children of Israel did, and though God went along and let them have a king, He also told them that there was also going to be a penalty.

Stop and think for just a minute. You go through and you read the history of the Kings and Chronicles. How many kings were faithful to God? Not very many, were they? And of the kings of the ten northern tribes, there was hardly a faithful king in the 230 year history that occurred after the 10 northern tribes left. The only faithful ones were in Judah, and very few indeed.

Let's see what happen. Something happens to people when they see an old man. Remember Samuel served from the day he was a child, old enough to walk into the Tabernacle of God.

1-Samuel 8:1: "And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel."

Then it gives the names of them. However, he also made a mistake in that; the mistake was that his sons didn't follow God as he did. Now that's a profound thing!

Why is it, why does it happen that when you have someone who is faithful to God, his/her children end up being not faithful?

Verse 3. "Yet, his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted judgment."

Now you see, we have the same repeat, don't we, of Eli and his two sons, now with Samuel and his three sons. Even Samuel had a weakness there. But there's also another thing involved, too. Once your children grow up to be adults, you have very little control over them; that is true. They have the right to make their choices like anyone else. To choose what is right, to choose what is wrong. When they choose what is wrong it's very grievous. Samuel probably had blinders on his eyes and wasn't watching.

Verse 4. "And all the elders of Israel gathered themselves and came to Samuel to Ramah. And they said to him, 'Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations'" (vs 4-5). Let's set it up the way the world does!

We applied that to the Church! Let's set it up the way the Catholics do with a hierarchy, huh? We committed the same sin as Samuel!

Verse 6: "But the thing was evil in the eyes of Samuel when they said, 'Give us a king to judge us.' And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, 'Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you…'" (vs 6-7).

Here's another condition that God also does. That if you really want your own way, God is going to give it to you. God is not going to come down and constrain you. God is not going to come down and stop you. So if you insist upon your own way long enough, sooner or later God will give it to you. But know that when He gives it to you a penalty comes with it, just like it is here.

"…for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them" (v 7).

  • Does Christ rule in your life?
  • Is He your King?
  • Is He your High Priest?
  • Is He your Lord and Master and Savior?


  • Are you more willing to follow a man, than follow God?

Anyone who's a teacher, which I am, I don't want you following me because I'm a man. I've got to teach you to follow God! IF I don't teach you to follow God, and establish a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, THEN I am derelict in my duty, and I will have my punishment, as well.

We can learn many lessons out of this. Let's not reject God by putting a man before God, and have the idolatry of a man, as we did in the past, and have the idolatry of an organization, as we did in the past, and say, 'Let us become like the world, or accepted of the world,' as we've done in the past. No! We've been called out of the world! We've been called to serve and to love God! That's the important lesson we can learn here.

Then God gave them a warning. They rejected Him. He said, 'All right, I'll give you a king. They've forsaken Me. They've served other gods. So they do unto you.'

Verse 9: "And now hearken to their voice. Only, you shall surely protest solemnly to them, and show them the kind of king who shall reign over them."

You want a king, you're going to get a king! He's going to take your sons and daughters and make armies. Furthermore, he's going to tax you. I give him a tenth to start with, 

Of course, we know that by the time that Solomon—in order to support all of his expensive habits—it was more than a tenth. He gave them the warning!

Verse 19: "But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, 'No, but we will have a king over us. And we shall be, also we, like all the nations, so that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles'" (vs 19-20).

Heard all words they had. Told them to God. God said, 'Listen to them.' So, they did, and He chose Saul. Quite a thing! Saul was made king.

When that happened, Samuel[transcriber's correction] had another assembly with the people. He told them what it was going to be. He warned them that.

This king is not going to save you as you really think it is. But nevertheless, if you keep the commandments of God, I'll be with the king and I'll be with you. I will give you that concession.

That was only, as we know, because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now then, we have something here very interesting:

1-Samuel 10:24: "And Samuel said to all the people, 'Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people?' And all the people shouted, and said, 'Long live the king!' Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, each to his house" (vs 24-25).

Now then, we have an addition to the book of Deuteronomy that Samuel wrote. Let's come back to Deut. 17, because God wanted the people of Israel to follow the system of judges.

But now that they wanted a king, God said, I'll work with you, and God also laid down some stipulations for the king, which then could have made the system work fairly good, as it did under David. But let's see what he wrote concerning the instructions to the king, now.

Deuteronomy 17:14, "When you come to the land, which the LORD your God gives you, and shall possess it and shall live in it and shall say, "I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me.""

If this would have been written in the book of Deuteronomy at that time, the elders of Israel would not have come to Samuel and said, 'Give us a king.' They would have said 'Look, we know from the book of Deuteronomy that God says that when you want a king, here's what he's to do. So now we want a king.'

It said back there in 1-Sam. 10 that Samuel wrote all these words and put them in the book. And this became part of the Scripture that Samuel wrote. Here are the qualifications that God gave them:

Verse 15: "You shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God shall choose. You shall set a king over you from among your brethren. You may not set a stranger over you who is not your brother."

Remember the daughter of Jezebel was Athaliah, and she then was half Canaanite. Jezebel was the high priestess of Baal and Ashtaroth. She tried to take over the kingship, making herself queen, trying to slay all the descendants of the king. Except she missed one little boy! Look what happened when they broke this rule: set a stranger over you, and not your brother. Here are some things that the king was not to do, which we see that the kings did do! Which we see that Solomon did.

Verse 16: "Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt… [meaning in the way of the gods and armies] …so as to multiply horses because…"

Even David made that mistake, in numbering the people 'to find out how many men of war I have.' Joab kept telling him, 'No, no you don't need to number them. The thing is sin! You shouldn't do that!.'

"…the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.' Nor shall he multiply wives to himself… [which Solomon did] …so that his heart does not turn away.…" (vs 16-17).

Of course, this was in the Word of God in Deuteronomy when Solomon was made king.

"…Nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold to himself…. [which Solomon did] …And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom… [here is what the king was to do] …he shall write for himself a copy of this Law in a book from that which is in the custody of the priests the Levites" (vs. 17-18).

He was to personally sit down and write himself a copy of the first five books of Moses. Now the reason for that was, so that he would know the Law of God and how to administer the kingship. Also, that he would not lift up his heart above the brethren! Let's see that; very important.

Verse 19: "And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this Law and these statutes, to do them so that his heart may not be lifted up above his brethren, and that he does not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel" (vs 19-20).

Even in that, God said, 'All right, if you want a king, here's what he's to do. If he does this I'll prolong his days and I'll prolong the kingdom.' So, God was still willing to work with the children of Israel. Well, we know what happened. Saul rebelled against God and didn't carry out the commandments of God. Then God selected David. When God selected David, He selected a man who was just a youth. Again selecting a youth.

Now let's come back to 1-Sam., and we'll just review. 1-Sam. 15 shows the rebellion of Saul. God gave him the mission to go to the Amalekites and destroy all, young and old, everyone. That's because they had war against Israel all the time, and this was the punishment for them fighting against the children of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt.

You know what happened. The people came to him and said, 'Look at all these good cattle. Look at all these good sheep. Boy we ought to keep those.' Yea, we'll keep those. But God said to destroy them. We'll keep them, and we'll make it right. We'll offer these in offering to the LORD. So, that's what they did.

Samuel came to Saul and said, 'What is this I hear, the bleating of sheep and the mooing of cows in my ears? Did you do what God said? Did you utterly slay everything?'

Saul said, 'The people, the people did it.' Sounds a little bit like the Garden of Eden, doesn't it? Got to blame someone else. But who's in charge here? Saul was!

1-Samuel 15:22: "And Samuel said, 'Does the LORD have as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice! … [even then] …To hearken…[listen to God] …is better than the fat of rams, for rebellion… [going against God's way] …is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king!'" (vs 22-23).

So, Saul had a superficial repentance, saying to Samuel, 'Oh Samuel, come and worship with me, so the people won't think bad of me.' Finally Samuel did and he had to have Agag brought before him. Samuel in his old age took the sword and hacked up Agag.

1-Sam. 16—God says, 'I want a man after My own heart' and He selected David, went and found David. You know the whole story there. David was the youngest, he was the seventh. He was out tending to the sheep and his father didn't even count him worthy to be considered for the new king.

After the six sons of Jesse passed by Samuel, and God kept telling Samuel, 'No, not these.' Samuel passed them by twice, and He said, 'No, not these. Not any of these six.' Samuel said to Jesse, 'Do you have another son?' Yeah, he's out tending the sheep. 'Bring him in, this is the one that God has chosen.' At that time David was anointed

1-Samuel 16:13: "And Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrified him" (vs 13-14).

  • see what happens when there is rebellion
  • see what happens when they go back to other gods

That's exactly what happened to Saul! God blessed David. You know the whole rest of the story there.

There was a day that David was sitting there, and it was not until this time that the Ark was brought again from Kirjath-jearim. Now remember, we read that it stayed there 20 years.

We see again that even though David was well intentioned, he didn't follow the Word of God. What was the instruction that we read back there in Deut. 17? The king was to personally write out the Book of the Law for his own personal copy, and he was to study in it! If David had done that he would have known the will of God, and he would have taken care of the Ark properly, and this mistake would have never happened. Here's the account:

1 Chronicles 13:1: "And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said to all the congregation of Israel, 'If it is good to you, and if it is from the LORD our God…" (vs 1-2).

Notice how he phrased this. He didn't start out with God, he started out with the people. He should have started out with God!

"'…let us send to our brethren, those remaining in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites in their cities and that they may gather together to us. And let us bring again the Ark of our God to us, for we did not inquire at it in the days of Saul.'…. [it just stayed there in Kirjath-jearim] …And all the congregation said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people" (vs 2-4).

Now here is another lesson. Are the majority of people always right? No! It seemed good; it was a good idea, let's do it. Notice what happened:

Verse 5: "And David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even to the entering of Hamath, to bring the Ark of God from Kirjath Jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kirjath Jearim of Judah, to bring up from there the Ark of the LORD God, He who dwells between the cherubs, Whose name is called on it…. [notice what they did]: …And they carried the Ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab. And Uzza and Ahio led the cart. And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with lyres, and with harps, and with drums, and with cymbals, and with silver trumpets" (vs. 5-8).

They were having a tremendous parade, a great joyous celebration in doing it!

Verse 9: "And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the Ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the Ark. And he died there before the LORD" (vs 9-10).

A lot of people have asked: Why did God strike Uzza dead? Well, God did because David didn't do things according to the way that God instructed in His Word!

Verse 11: "And David was displeased because the LORD had broken forth upon Uzza. And he called that place The Breach of Uzza, as it is to this day. And David was afraid of God that day, saying, 'How shall I bring the Ark of God to me?' And David did not bring the Ark to himself in the City of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. And the Ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that he had" (vs 11-14).

Let's make a long story short. David finally got the point.

1 Chronicles 15:1. "And David made houses for himself in the City of David, and prepared a place for the Ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. Then David said…" [hen all else fails, read the book! When all else fails, find out what God has said] …'No one ought to carry the Ark of God except the Levites, for God has chosen them to carry the Ark of God and to minister to Him forever'" (vs 1-2).

So, David gathered Israel together again. He brought the Levites there, and it lists all the names of them.

Verse 12: "And he said to them, 'You are the heads of the fathers of the Levites. Sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, so that you may bring up the Ark of the LORD God of Israel to the place, which I have prepared for it. Now, because you did not do it at the first, … [he's including himself in the you] …the LORD our God broke forth upon us, since we did not seek Him according to the ordinance'" (vs 12-13). There again is another lesson for us!

  • Do we seek things of God the way that He wants us to


  • Do we presume to do it in our way?

IF we presume to do it in our way:

  • Should we be surprised if something happens to us like it happened to David?
  • Like it happened to others who presumed to do the will of God on their own?

Quite a thing!

Verse 14: "And the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves in order to bring up the Ark of the LORD God of Israel. And the children of the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders, with the staves on it, as Moses commanded according to the Word of the LORD" (vs 14-15).

So, they brought it in, and set it into this little tabernacle thing. At this point, the Ark of God was in the house of David, and he appointed Levites to minister unto it. It lists them here in 1-Chron. 16. Then through all that we now have the Ark still separated from the rest of the tabernacle. Over at the rest of the tabernacle, which at this time was in Gibeon, that's then where they had the burnt offerings, where they had the incense offerings, and so forth. David was able to develop a special relationship with God by having the Ark of the Covenant in his house, in a special place that he prepared.

Now let's see how David had it in his mind to build a temple to God, and we'll see that after that it was built the Ark and the rest of the things of the temple all came together again.

2 Samuel 7:1: "And it came to pass when the king dwelt in his house, and when the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies."

Of course, the Millennium is the type of rest! David didn't have to go out and fight and have battles all the time.

Verse 2: "The king said to Nathan the prophet, 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the Ark of God dwells within curtains.' Then Nathan said to the king, 'Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.' And it came to pass that night the Word of the LORD came to Nathan saying, 'Go and tell My servant David, "Thus says the LORD, 'Shall you build Me a house for My dwelling? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up the children out of Egypt until this day, but have walked in a tent, and in a tabernacle'" (vs 2-6).

God was content to do that, because He could have His presence among His people. That's what was more important to God. After all, when you build a house for God, you really only build it of the things that God has already created. Isa. 66 gives us a really good lesson, God says, 'Where's the house that you will build for Me. All these things My hand has made.'

Verse 7: "In all places in which I have walked with all the children of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the tribes of Israel, those whom I commanded to feed My people Israel, saying, 'Why do you not build Me a house of cedars?'…. [God didn't do that] …Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people, over Israel. And I was with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies out of your sight, and have made you a great name like the name of the great ones in the earth"'" (vs 7-9).

Verse 10 is a key important verse concerning Israel in prophecy, because we need to understand at this time David was king over all 12 tribes, and the capital was Jerusalem. He'd given rest round about for all of Israel. Why does He say if it is not a prophecy that Israel, the 10 northern tribes, would be removed?

Verse 10. "Moreover, I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them…"

Were they not already planted during the days of David? Yes, so this is a prophecy for the future! This is also, not only for the physical children of Israel in the future, but this we can carry out to the spiritual children of the Church!

"…so that they may dwell in a place of their own…" (v 10).

That's what we are going to do when we enter into the Kingdom of God, when we live in New Jerusalem.

"…and move no more. Neither shall the sons of wickedness afflict them any more, as before. And even from the time that I commanded judges to be over My people of Israel, so will I cause you to rest from all your enemies. Also, the LORD tells you that He will make you a house" (vs 10-11)—and He did!

He promised that there would always be a king sitting on David's Throne. David was overwhelmed, but there was also a message that came to David because of this. God said, 'You're not going to do it, because you're a man of war. Your son Solomon is going to do it. He is going to build Me a temple, and I will put My presence there.' Here again:

  • God came to the people
  • God did what David wanted done
  • God blessed David

Here is a tremendous lesson for us, brethren! When the temple was built and the kingdom was secure under Solomon, it was kind of a foretaste of the coming Millennial reign of Christ, the 1,000-year reign. Let's see how it started. I think this is a great and important lesson for us. Not only how something starts is important, but how it is finished becomes the most important thing! Let's see the instructions here. I want you to imagine this whole scene here. This is David just before he died:

1-Chronicles 28:2: "And David the king stood up on his feet and said, 'Hear me, my brethren and my people. I had in my heart to build a house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations for the building…. [he knew he wasn't going to build it, but he knew his son Solomon was] …But God said to me, "You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood." However, the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever.… [that was obviously as long as he lived] …For He has chosen Judah to be the ruler, and of the house of Judah the house of my father. And among the sons of my father's house He was pleased to make me king over all Israel. And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons), He has chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. And He said to me, "Solomon your son shall build My house and My courts, for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father"'" (vs 2-6).

God gave all the plans to David! David actually drew all the plans. Everything already to go, you see.

Verse 7, "And I will establish his kingdom forever if… [everything that God does with us always has the condition IF] …he continues resolute in keeping My commandments and My ordinances, as he is today."

What I want you to do as we read these verses and go through it, I want you to think of yourself as these instructions to you, because you and I and all the other brethren are going to be kings and priests to serve Jesus Christ during the Millennium!

  • How are we going to be able to do that?
  • How are we going to be able to do the things that please God?

Well, here we have it!

So, what I want you to do, I want you to listen to these words very, very carefully, and I want you to take them to your heart. I want you to take them as instruction from God so that you can be the kind of king and priest that God wants you to be when Christ returns and you receive eternal life!

Verse 8: "And now in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God, so that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever. And you, Solomon my son, acknowledge the God of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind…" (vs 8-9).

That is the key, brethren. Your relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, with a perfect heart! Not pretentious. Not holding something that you want yourself, but with a willing mind!

"…for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts.…" (v 9).

In the New Testament God is called the heart-knowing God. In Rev. 2, it says, 'I, the Lord, search the heart, and I search the reigns.' So we have the same thing here!

"…If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever…. [unfortunately, maybe that's what happened to Solomon]. …Take heed now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong and do it" (vs. 9-10).

Verse 19. "'All this,' said David, 'was in writing from the hand of the LORD. He made me understand all the details of these plans.'…. [here David was formally giving the plans to Solomon] … And David said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and of good courage…" (vs 19-20).

He took that right from the book of Joshua! Isn't that what God told Joshua? Yes, indeed! This is what we need to do. We always need to be strong and of good courage, regardless of the circumstances we are confronted with!

"…and do it. Do not fear, nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, will be with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD" (v 20). Isn't that something? Same way with us!

  • IF we serve God this way
  • IF we love Him
  • IF we keep His commandments

like we're doing in keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, and understanding about the relationship of God that is depicted by the Feast of Tabernacles, and the things that we need to do. Here we have it again.

1-Chronicles 29:9—after he finished all of that: "And the people rejoiced because they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD. And David the king also rejoiced with great joy."

That must have been a tremendous assembly. A one-time assembly. You know, this kind of reminds me of what it may be like when we are on the Sea of Glass, and Christ is presents us to God the Father. This may be similar to the instructions that we are going to get when we are given the instructions to rule the Kingdom with Christ. Boy, that's something!

Verse 10: "And David blessed the LORD before all the congregation. And David said, 'Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel our Father, forever and ever. O LORD, Yours is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and, the majesty, for all in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. And the riches and the honor are from You, and You reign over all. And in Your hand is power and might. And it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all. Now, therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name" (vs 10-13).

Notice David's attitude here. This needs to be our attitude for the great calling that God has given us:

  • that we may know His Plan
  • that we may understand it
  • that we may be part of it
  • that we may be ruling and reigning with Christ in the Millennium

Just think of it:

  • we are the weak
  • we are the old
  • we are the off scouring
  • we are the rejected

every one of us! We need to have the same attitude as David had here!

Verse 14: "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things are from You, and we have given to You that which is Yours. For we are strangers before You, and pilgrims, as our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and none abides. O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build You a house for Your Holy name comes from Your hand and is all Your own" (vs 14-16).

That's quite something. brethren, what an attitude that he had!

We know what happened. Finally after Solomon built the temple, he sent and got the Ark  out of David's house, and he got the tabernacle and the brazen altar, and the incense altar, and all the things from Gibeon and brought those into the temple when it was completed. What a tremendous ceremony took place then. God came and put His presence in the temple just like He did when the tabernacle was reared up and there were great white clouds, maybe smoke or whatever it was, that showed the presence of God dwelling in there. When they all were there. All the people gathered together:

2-Chronicles 5:11: "And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the Holy place (for all the priests present were sanctified, and did not wait by course), and the Levitical singers…" (vs 11-12). And it lists all the singers, and 120 priests with trumpets sounding!

Verse 13: "It came to pass, as the trumpeters and the 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 silver trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, 'For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever,' that the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God!" (vs 13-14).

I want you to project forward, what that is going to be like when we participate when Christ comes back to this earth to rule and to reign on this earth.

Rev. 20—let's see that, and let's close by understanding that we're not just going to have the Ark of God. We are going to be there with Christ and God the Father. We are going to be there to reign as kings and priests, and to serve and to bring God's rule and reign on the earth. The rule and reign of love and service and obedience. It's going to be a tremendous time.

Revelation 20:4: "And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them… [and you're going to have a throne] …and judgment was given to them… [we're going to have to give righteous judgment] …and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." What a tremendous thing that is going to be.

Verse 5: "(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.)…. [that's going to be quite a time when that takes place] …This is the first resurrection." That which takes place before, when the thousand years begins.

Verse 6: "Blessed and Holy…"—those are attributes of God!

  • you're going to have the glory of God
  • you're going to have a spirit body
  • you're going to have a spirit mind
  • you're going to have an office as a king or a priest
  • you're going to have a work to do to serve Christ

All of us together, put together, are going to rule and reign on the earth! We're going to straighten out this earth, which by that time is going to be the most destroyed that it has ever been since the Flood.

Verse 6: "Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power.…"

You will never die. You will live forever, and you will be truly dwelling in the Tabernacle of God.

"…But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (v 6).

Brethren, there's quite a history behind what goes into the Feast of Tabernacles, the coming Millennium, and everything that God is providing for us. So, let's have a wonderful Feast and continue to do so, and to love each other and fellowship and praise God for His goodness, and thank Him for His love and mercy and kindness.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Numbers 10:33-36
  • Deuteronomy 31:24-29
  • Joshua 4:14-18
  • Joshua 6:2-5
  • Judges 20:26, 28
  • 1 Samuel 3:1-14, 19-21
  • 1 Samuel 4:2-3.10-11, 22
  • 1 Samuel 5:1-12
  • 1 Samuel 6:1-9, 20-21
  • 1 Samuel 7:1-4, 15-17
  • 1 Samuel 8:1, 3-7, 19-20
  • 1 Samuel 10:24-25
  • Deuteronomy 17:14-20
  • 1 Samuel 15:22-23
  • 1 Samuel 16:13-14
  • 1 Chronicles 13:1-14
  • 1 Chronicles 15:1-2, 12-15
  • 2 Samuel 7:1-11
  • 1 Chronicles 28:2-10, 19-20
  • 1 Chronicles 29:9-16
  • 2 Chronicles 5:11-14
  • Revelation 20:4-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Judges 2
  • Deuteronomy 30
  • 1 Chronicles 16
  • Isaiah 66
  • Revelation 2

(original transcriber unknown)
Reformatted: bo—6/2023