by John R Ecob DD
“Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee”
PSALM 68 IS A PSALM OF DAVID to whom God gave the design of the Temple that was built by his son Solomon and he said that the Temple would be the means by which Gentile kings would be attracted to Jerusalem. Why?
Jerusalem and Mount Zion in particular was the unique place on the face of the globe where the eternal God chose to place His name (Deut.12:5,11,14,18,21,26). No other place had such an honor as was given to Israel. The Church has no such place on earth:
“For here have we (Christians) no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Heb.13:14).
But Jerusalem is where God has chosen to place His name and He gave David the plans for the Temple to be built there.
David was a remarkable man. He began as a shepherd boy, became a warrior, and finally was the King of the twelve tribes of Israel. From an early
age, David could play a musical instrument and he composed many of the psalms.
David was not permitted to build the Temple of the Lord but God gave him the plans of the Temple for Solomon to build. Every building needs an architect to sketch the design for the builders and David drew those plans. Just as God gave the plans of the Tabernacle to Moses, God gave the plans of the Temple to David.
David chose the site for the Temple of the Lord and purchased it from Araunah the Jebusite. He built an altar to the Lord there (2 Sam.24:24-25). But how did David get the plans of the Temple from the Lord?
When David gave the plans of the Temple to Solomon we read:
“Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit…” 1Chron.28:11-12).
The Holy Spirit of God had revealed to David the architectural plans of the Temple and we are told it was “in writing”.
“All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern” (1Chron.28:19).
So David had taken pen and ink on parchment and had sketched the plans under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And in like manner the Holy Spirit can guide us today in the mundane affairs of this life if our lives are surrendered to Him.
So God gave the plans of the Tabernacle to Moses; he gave the plans of the first Temple to David and He gave the plans of the future millennial Temple to Ezekiel (Ezek.40-43). All have a similar layout so that they all function in a similar manner. All have a court, a holy place, and a holiest place.
There is no mention of the ark, the mercy seat, and the golden cherubims in the millennial temple. There is an altar of incense and an altar for burnt offerings but no mention is made of the seven golden candlesticks or the table of shewbread.
It is quite clear that all three designs have a similar pattern; a court, a holy place, and the holiest sanctuary where the presence of God was and where there were heavenly creatures called cherubims or seraphim.
The Heavenly Temple
The Apostle John was caught up to heaven in his visions and he saw there a Temple on the holy mount in heaven
(Rev.14:15; 15:5) and it was located on the heavenly Mount Zion (Rev.14:1).
Isaiah had a vision of the Lord in His Temple in heaven and wrote:
I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims…” (Isa.6:1-2).
Ezekiel was also given a vision of the throne of God and of the cherubims serving before the throne. He described the throne as follows:
“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it” Ezek.1:26).
We know that God made man in His own image and Ezekiel affirms that he saw God on the throne of heaven. He had the appearance of a man.
This agrees with the fact that Jesus the Son of God took on the form of a man and came to earth to be our Saviour and He returned to heaven as the risen Son of man to be seated on the throne of heaven.
But what was it about the Temple that David said would attract kings and cause them to bring presents to the Lord?
Isaiah tells us that God’s glory will be visible at Jerusalem after Christ returns:
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isa.60:1-3).
At the beginning of his ministry Ezekiel was shown the glory of God departing from the Temple because of the sin of Israel but in the last days he sees that glory returning. When Christ returns the third Temple will be built at Jerusalem to the specifications in Ezekiel’s prophecy and the glory of God will be seen in the Temple (Ezek.43:2; 44:4).
At the beginning of this article we asked, Why Gentile Kings would be attracted to the Temple in Jerusalem and why they would bring presents.
The reason is clear. Jerusalem will be the city of the Great King – the King of kings and Lord of lords. The psalmist wrote:
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” (Ps.48:1-2).
The Glory of God in the Millennium
When the Tabernacle was constructed in the wilderness the glory of God was seen as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night hovering over the
Tabernacle. When Israel moved camp the pillar of cloud went before them. When it stopped Israel set up camp again.
When Solomon finished building the Temple the glory of God so filled the Temple that the priests could not stand to minister and when Christ returns and the millennial Temple is built the same glory will return and lighten up not just the inner sanctuary of the Temple but the whole city of Jerusalem. In fact so bright will that glory be that we read:
“The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory” (Isa.60:19).
Kings of nations will go up to Jerusalem to see the glory of God. They will worship the everlasting God and offer presents at His Temple just as David indicated in Psalm 68:29.