Should Tabernacle Of David Style Worship Be The Norm Today?
First of all, King David was a man after God's own heart and he had a passion for worship. It was his passionate heart for what God desires that came first and his passion for worship grew out of his passion for more of God. If we could have a congregation of people who all have the same heart towards God as King David had, then we would truly have a dynamic group of worshipers instead of a bunch of passive spectators.
So, this particular web page is not a discussion about being like David, but rather a discussion of whether God has called the church to exactly pattern it's worship after the worship that took place in the Tabernacle of David. Was Amos predicting that the church would be the fulfillment and restoration of David's Tabernacle. Is that what the Apostle James meant when he was quoting from Amos in the Book of Acts?
Looking at the worship within the Tabernacle of David certainly provides insight into some things we can use to model our present day worship on such as 24 hour worship etc., but there are some things involved in Tabernacle of David worship that no worship leader or pastor is going to use in their worship service on a regular basis. We look at some of these things below.
As you can see from the discussion below, the style of singing in the Davidic Tabernacle was quite a bit different than the singing in our contemporary worship services. Those who were skilled singers were skilled in antiphonal style singing and not in three or four part harmony contrary to what some pastors or worship leaders seem to imply to their worship teams.
If you can carry a tune in leading a congregation in worship and praise, this is needed since the congregation needs to hear the melody in order to sing the melody. Save the emphasis on harmony for the Christmas concerts etc. where the people are entertained. A misled pastor who seeks to turn the worship team into entertainers as a way to increase his salary through church attendance growth has lost sight of the purpose of worship, and is really operating his church like a business and not a ministry, and is greatly missing the mark.
As has happened time and time again, the founder found confirmation for what he stated above from another person with worship experience. On Music Academy dot com a writer states: "We don’t need SATB example singers up front to model those parts. I know this transition is difficult, but try not to take it personally and with humility step down and sing with all your might directly to God who hears your humble prayer and LOVES IT!" ( SATB are the initials for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Quote is from: http://www.musicademy.com/2011/09/history-worship-music-old-new-testament-to-rock-and-roll/ )
Furthermore, God is not calling the church to reflect the worship in David's tabernacle, but rather wants the church to reflect the worship culture of heaven. In the Old Testament days the church had to praise to bring about the habitation of God within the praises of his people, but in these post-Pentecost days, the Spirit of God inhabits the believer and out of the heart of the Spirit-filled believer proceeds the praise expressions of heaven that the church is to reflect and that creatively exceeds the old worship system in David's Tabernacle.
What about the Apostle James quote of Amos in the Book of Acts?
Some twentieth-century interpreters see a New Testament reference to Davidic worship in the words of the apostle James in Acts 15:15-18, responding to Peter's report of the Gentile acceptance of the gospel. In the King James version the passage reads, "And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up, that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things." But what does this mean?
Like the New Testament Bereans who looked carefully into a matter before believing it, let us see what this is really saying: James is quoting Amos 9:11-12, where the Hebrew word is sukkah ("booth" or "shelter"), not 'ohel ("tent" or "tabernacle") as in the narrative of the Ark's installation in Zion (2 Samuel 6:17; 2 Chronicles 16:1). Therefore, Amos' (and James') reference is to the renewal of the dynasty of David, in Jesus the Messiah ("Anointed"), not specifically to the restoration of Davidic worship. Do you really want to sing antiphonal style
in your church on a regular basis (every Sunday?) like they did in David's tabernacle?
I am not disparaging antiphonal style singing because that style or form can be effectively used from time to time especially in a special worship program of the church like on the eve of Christmas or at other special times, but to use that style on a regular basis is not necessary because it is not conducive for congregational participation and like the priesthood of all believers this ministry believes in the "worshiphood" of all believers and encourages things that can help get the congregation involved instead of passively listening to the stage team.
There are also some songs that come along from time to time that can be sung in antiphonal style and this can actually be used to get the congregation involved more. Now I am not contradicting what I said above because most of the worship songs that are being sung are not very conducive to antiphonal style singing and it is these that I had in mind in the paragraph above. But now and then there comes along a song where the men can sing one part and the woman can respond with the next part of the song or vice versa. These can be used to engage the congregation in active singing participation.
History of Davidic Worship Style Praise Shows Antiphonal Singing - Not Modern Hill Song Style, or Jesus Culture Style, etc. Worship.
Antiphonal Singing is a term that refers to a very old style of corporate worship. Anti-phonal refers to a practice of singing (phonal) against (anti) or in response to another singer. Antiphonal singing can still be witnessed in ancient liturgies like the vespers of the Greek Orthodox church and in many Catholic masses.
When David established night and day worship in the Tabernacle of David, the central practice of the worship center was antiphonal singing. David’s tabernacle had singers and musicians scheduled in shifts around the clock to sing praises to the Lord, to petition for His deliverance, and to prophesy. All of this was done with antiphonal singing. All of this became known as the Davidic order of worship.
During David’s lifetime all of this took place in a tent that was pitched on top of a small hill named (by David) Mt. Zion. (II Sam. 6:12-17) Even after David’s death, there were 7 more righteous leaders in Israel and Judah who ‘did right in the sight of the Lord’. All of these brought great reformation to the kingdom of Judah, but always began the reformation by restoring the Davidic order of worship.
However, the history of our understanding of antiphonal singing goes much deeper than these impressive stories. Just prior to his death David would communicate all of the order to his son Solomon, and give him a solemn charge that he was to be diligent to keep every detail. The urgency was due to the encounter that David had where he was shown what God has chosen to surround Himself with in His own heavenly temple.
19 “All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern.” (1 Ch 28:19 NASB) In other words, antiphonal singing isn’t a creative expression of the kind of worship that David invented. God revealed to David what God wanted to see within the Tabernacle that David set up. (The last two sentences were written by the editor of this web page, and not the original author that is given credit below)
Furthermore, many prophets, including Isaiah and the Apostle John, witnessed what happens constantly in heaven.
1 …I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2Seraphim stood above Him…3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isa 6: 1-3 NASB)
8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.” 9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne (all done in response to the song of the living creatures), saying, 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Rev 4:8-11 NASB)
Key Passages Related to Antiphonal Singing
- The rulers of Israel and Judah who reinstituted the Davidic order of worship
- Solomon: (II Chronicles 8:14-15)
- Jehoshaphat: (II Chronicles 20:19-30)
- Jehoiada (II Chronicles 23:2, 18)
- Hezekiah (II Chronicles 29:25-27)
- Josiah (II Chronicles 35:1-27)
- Nehemiah (Ezra 3:10-11)
- Ezra (Nehemiah 12:44-45)
- Passages describing antiphonal singing as singing ‘responsively’ or ‘alternately’
10 … and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, (came) to praise the LORD, according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, … (Ezr 3:10-11 ESV)
24 And the heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers across from them, to praise and give thanks, group alternating with group, according to the command of David the man of God. (Neh 12:24 NKJV)
NOTE: examples of the songs from David’s Tabernacle: The term “To the chief musician”, found in the title of all of these Psalms, was used when David (or other leaders) would write music that was to be sung in the tabernacle (or temple in Solomon’s era). The chief musician was the choir director who was leading the worship set.
Praise: 1 How lovely are Your dwelling places O LORD of hosts. (Ps. 84:1)
Petition: 4 Restore us, O God of our salvation! (Ps. 85:4)
Prophecy: 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. 28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations. (Ps. 22:27-28)
Giving Credit: The above text from paragraph five and following was taken from the Way Back Machine archives and this text used to be on this web page: thewatchredding.org/the-prayer-room/antiphonal-singing/ Paragraph five and following was taken from this URL below:
Further confirmation below from other Christian scholars showing that the prophecy of Amos quoted by James in the Book of Acts is not talking about the church being the restored Tabernacle of David:
If you read the above page very carefully you will see the truth about James' use of Amos.
Another careful scholar also confirms it in the text below:
The Sukkah in this verse from Amos was 'a figurative reference to the throne of David that had been reduced to the status of a small hut – or tent – following the breakup up the united kingdom after the death of Solomon. For after the secession of the ten northern tribes the once unified Israel was divided into two separate nations, the House of Israel and the House of Judah, leaving Judah as the smaller of the two. So the “tent” is really a restored throne, not a restored tabernacle or temple.
Through his prophecy I believe Amos was promising God would one day completely restore the Davidic kingdom “as in the days of old” when it ruled over all the tribes of Israel. Implied, of course, was that God would raise up a future king from the line of David to rule over his restored kingdom. That king we know is Jesus. And the restoration of his Davidic kingdom, which began in the first century with the inclusion of the Gentiles, will be finally completed and manifested following the Day of the Lord.
The New Living Translation, I believe, best captures the true intent of the Amos prophecy: “In that day I will restore the fallen kingdom of David. It is now like a house in ruins, but I will rebuild its walls and restore its former glory.”
Further support for the “tent” meaning a restoration of David’s throne over all Israel comes from the one other verse in the Tanach that mentions “the tent of David,” a prophecy by Isaiah: “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David: moreover he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness” (Isa. 16:5). Clearly Isaiah is speaking metaphorically of Jesus’ kingdom-wide Millennium rule. I don’t believe he is suggesting Yeshua will be sitting on a throne inside David’s goat-hair tent, even though he does use the word “ohel.”
.... the correct understanding, namely that the tent of Amos 9:11 must be a reference to a restored Davidic throne ruling over the whole nation of Israel and the world.....'
Above quoted text in notes taken from this web page: