A truly marvellous pun rises from the canopy of David’s loves. David gets the idea that YHWH deserves something better than a tent, especially since the people are no longer on a physical journey, with the sacred tent moving from place to place. David confided in the prophet Nathan that something was out of whack with his house of cedar and YHWH’s curtains (animal hair tent). The discussion of residence continues with Nathan giving the king the thumbs up, and with YHWH delivering his perspective to the king through Nathan. From what proceeds in the conversation, David’s sleepless quest arises. He sings about staying away from his residence until he finds an appropriately regal place for YHWH to reside. He vowed, “I will not enjoy residence or sleep until YHWH has a palace”.
THE ONE THING that seems to be genuinely single.
We read “one thing” in many places, but it is obvious that the singleness of focus or intention can be contextual. For example:
In the Psalms, “one thing” is exclusively David’s. We can confirm that this sole desire is the one for which he made himself sleepless (Psa 132:3-5)
Just so we understand the idea of residence as not static, let us recall that the kingdom of God is constantly in motion: from Egypt to Canaan, then towards peace with their neighbours, and towards a spiritual rest in which individual minds could be fixed upon YHWH and the gifts with which he is able to clothe the inner person (even before the age of the unleashed Holy Spirit!).
God’s residence plan moves from “with” to “in”
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.John 14:16-17
Now if God’s dwelling among (in the middle of) his people (Exodus 25:8) is to be something more than a temporary and celebratory palace in the nation’s capital there must be a human component. Behind that necessity we see God removing the notion of unclean people and clean people, so that anyone who responds diligently to divine prompting to change (minds) may become a part of God’s new tabernacle. HE cleanses Gentiles and Jews and gives them the Holy Spirit.
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.Ephesians 2:20-22, NASB
For a future look at what divine residence might look like we may ponder Ezekiel’s city and temple vision (chaper 40:2, 5), and practically all levitical matters seem to fade in the light of Messianic glory, because nothing created by human hands can be recognized as having access to the glory of the eternal kingdom. There are still, in Ezekiel’s vision, grain and animal sacrifices, and those for sin are particularly (40:39) inconsistent with the memo to the prophets about the unsuitability of offerings.
Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.Isaiah 1:13, NASB
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.Psalms 40:6, NASB
For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba And the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.Jeremiah 6:20, NASB
Temple theology tanks
The glory of God comes and goes from the Jerusalem temple, but there is never even a hint that the Jew-Gentiles split is to be dissolved in fulfilment of Abraham’s blessing. The inclusion of Gentiles into Israel for the establishmen of David’s house seems not to have occured to Ezekiel.
The unmistakeable inclusion of Canaanites and Gentiles, Ornan of Jebus and Hiram of Tyre in the acquisition of the land for the temple and its building points to a definite end of levitical priesthood, so Ezekiel’s vision is to be interpreted as symbolic if the priesthood and offerings are essential.
“Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord.” (Ezekiel 10:4, NASB)
“And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” (Ezekiel 43:5, NASB)
“Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the house; and I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord, and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 44:4, NASB)
Ezekiel’s vision of sacrifices for sin continuing (43:19-21) is a great example of ancient Spirit-led persons saying what they were told without knowing its significance. We know there is a decisive end of atonement in Christ’s death – it is finished -on the cross. Temple an types are finished. John, in Revelation “… heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,” (Revelation of John 21:3, NASB) and to drive this point further to the centre John also reports that in the New Jerusalem he “saw no temple … for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Revelation of John 21:22, NASB)