Where God dwells, there is a river, therefore, within every born again believer there is a river of His presence – a river that carries His glory. Those that believe upon Him shall have, out of his belly, rivers of living water flowing – as we see in John 7:37-38. (See Psalm 46:4-5).
Praise and worship brings forth the river to flow, which will promote life and healing in us! Those things that may have died or are dying in our life will be brought back to life according to the Will of God. The overall picture in this verse is that the river would bring healing, nourishing, and life-giving blessings – which all stem from the flow of the Presence of God to His People! (see Ezekiel 47:9).
Moses and the people of Israel wandered in the desert, and they needed to draw water from the well according to the direction of the Lord. When God led them there, Israel sang a song, “Spring up, O well” (Numbers 21:17), and the princes and nobles dug the well, as we see in Scripture. Therefore, they prophesied or sang unto it; thereby giving praise that they had found what God led them to. They prophesied life unto it and it came! By discovering the water in a dry place, praise came unto the Lord!
Psalm 46:4-5, “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”
Praising the Lord
All that has breath shall praise the Lord, as we see in Psalm 150:6. We are told also, in Psalm 66:8, to make the voice of his praise be heard. We see twice in Psalm 148 about praising the Lord. Verse 5 tells us to praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created. Verse 13 tells us to praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is excellent and his glory is above the heaven and earth. Psalm 100 overall commands us to bring forth praise into His Courts and enter His gates with thanksgiving. The Lord is good and his mercy endures forever! Amen!
One more indirect way that praise is commanded, is verses like Jeremiah 10:12, for example, which say, “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” Why wouldn’t anyone not want to praise the Lord after reading or hearing this? This evokes praise!
Psalm 89:1 says, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.”
Praise is expressed in singing. We see that people life up their voice in melody unto the Lord, and causes us to respond to Him in different ways. We see Scriptures in Psalm 47:6, “Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.” Also, in Psalm 69:30, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”
Praise can be expressed in shouting. This involves crying out in joy, boast, rave, or celebration. We see it in Joshua 6:10, 16, 20, “And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” We also see another example in Ezra 3:11-13, “And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.”
It can be expressed in dancing, as we see in Psalm 30:11, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” Also, in Psalm 150:4, “Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.” Even in 2 Samuel 6:14, “And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.”
Laughter can be a great way to express praise, as we see in Psalm 126:2, “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” And also in Nehemiah 8:10, “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
People may clap in praise to the Lord as well, which can be seen in Psalm 47:1, “To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” and Isaiah 55:12, “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
What is happening in the spirit realm during praise
In the spiritual realm during praise, we see that we are ascending in the Spirit, first, when we’re connecting in the Spirit and finding our resting place in God. Praise brings the anointing, which brings the Spirit of Worship, and in turn, brings you into the presence of God – and this is the resting place in the Spirit as we allow Him to flow.
Next, we cast up a highway for God, as we see in Psalm 68:4, “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.” Praise helps us to build up a highway for our God. We see also in Isaiah 62:10, “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; life up a standard for the people.” We need to allow the gates to open, and let His Presence through with no roadblocks.
After that, our faith is being built up. As we magnify and praise Him, our faith is being built up, so that we know that our God is greater than any of our circumstances and that nothing is too great for Him. He will take care of us. We see in Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Lord God! Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee!” Now, praise establishes unity, for as Jesus is lifted up, He draws all men unto Him, and unity is established. Unity is very important, as we see in Psalm 133, where it tells us that unity commands the blessing of the Lord.
After that, He is enthroned on the praises of His People. We see in Psalm 22:3, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” He inhabits the praises of His People, to which, He also sits on the throne of His holiness, as we see in Psalm 47:8. Jesus said that where two or more are gathered in His name, He is in our midst. The manifestation of His Presence is when we can see, feel, or sense Him in the Spiritual realm. Next, we should have a dwelling place for God. When we offer praise to God, we create an atmosphere in which God is pleased to dwell. We pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” God dwells in atmosphere of praise and worship always, which means it is never ending for Him. Much of what goes on is explained in Revelation 4:2-5, 8-11.
Praise is describes as an instrument of harvest. Revival is brought through praise, to which, once our praise goes up, glory is rained down. We see similar things in Psalm 65:9-10, “You care for the land and water it… the streams of God are filled with water to provide people with grain, for so have I ordained it.” Also, in Joel 2:23b, 28a, “…He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain in the first month… and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh…”
Lastly, we see spiritual warfare being conducted, for satan does not want us to walk in victory and therefore he tries to stop the flow of the Spirit and break the anointing of God. John 10:10 tells us, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” Praise is a mighty weapon against the enemy. We use praise, our instruments of praise, and the Word of God against the enemy, which causes him to flee. Praise is the gateway to worship, to which, it ushers in the spirit of worship, which is birthed out of a relationship with God. We come unto a deeper level of communion with Him in praise and worship!
But in Heaven… Hallelujah
In the Heavenly tabernacle, they are all in awe of God so much that they can’t help but bow down and worship Him at all times. Nothing is more awesome than God, and we could learn from this, by laying down our “idols” and other activities that we do daily that take away from our time of worship before the Lord – and instead of attending those things, we attend to the worship of the Lord and coming before Him with thanksgiving and praise! The Scripture overall in Revelation 4:2-5, 8-11, we see them all worshiping greatly, but they were also casting their crowns. Now, I believe this means that they cast their idols, their importance, and anything else that may not be necessary before the Lord – so that they can worship Him more and more! We live for His Pleasure, not our own. It’s His Will, not ours!
Praising in the midst of battle
We see the account in Judges 6-7, where God instructs Gideon to raise and lead an army of men to fight against the 135,000-man army of the Midianites and Amalekites. Gideon and others were quite astonished that God whittled his army down to only 300 men, to which, was symbolic for the fact that it’s not by the might or power of men that spiritual battles are to be won, but only by the Spirit of the Living God.
God clothed Gideon with Himself and gave a battle plan. Armed only with torches and trumpets, the men in cloak of night surrounded the enemy camp and waited for Gideon to blow on the trumpet. Once done, they all broke open their pitchers to let the light blaze forth, blew their trumpets and cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” The enemy thought a huge army had surrounded them and began to flee (therefore, they were terrified), resulting in the death of 120,000 enemy troops. Their unified cries and declarations pierced the hearts of the enemy as the sound of a shout, even though the word shout isn’t used.
The trumpet was used as a weapon of warfare in Gideon’s army, because it was to be blown to assemble the people, call them to worship, and to give them marching orders. Involving shouting or crying out is noted in Numbers 10:9, where we see that an alarm shall be blown with trumpets if you go to war with the enemy, and the Lord shall be remembered. By doing this, the Lord would save them from their enemies. What this stood for was a reminder of the Covenant He had made with them. Also, victories bring forth shouts and songs of praise. When they heralded, God was exalted in the midst of them. He fought for them as they praised Him!
Then we see the account of Paul and Silas in prison in Acts 16:16-40. Trouble had started when they healed a slave girl who had an evil spirit possessing her, and earned money for her owners by telling fortunes. Once the owners discovered she could no longer tell fortunes, the missionaries came under attack and a riot broke out, to which, Paul and Silas were arrested, flogged, and thrown into prison without trial or questioning. Even though they were in prison, the two found a way to speak about Jesus, to which, they converted many including the jailer along with his household (At midnight, they prayed, and sang praises unto God – and the prisoners heard them, to which, caused a ruckus, and finally the jailer asked how he could be saved). The next morning, Paul and Silas were released; however, they refused to go until they received an apology from the local officials. Paul claimed that the officials had no right to flog Roman citizens, especially without a proper trial.
As we see in verse 25 and on, suddenly a great earthquake came loosing them (as they were singing praises just before that) and the other prisoners from their chains. Not only were they set free, but salvation came to the house of the jailer because of the testimony and integrity of God’s ambassadors “unchained.” In this case, praise was used as a vehicle through which God brought deliverance that extended beyond Paul and Silas and reached into the hearts of many with the saving knowledge of Christ.
Back when Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, learned that a vast army outnumbered him, and therefore, he called the people to fast and pray, as we see in verse 3. In doing this, he positioned himself to receive from God, and after declaring the sovereignty of God and their dependence upon Him, they stood before Him and waited. Then God spoke through a Levite, giving him the location of the enemy and a word of encouragement that summed up to say, ‘Be not afraid, for the battle isn’t yours – it’s God’s battle. Stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord with you, for He will be with you.’
Jehoshaphat responded by bowing his face to the ground humbly before the Lord; causing others to also worship the Lord. When they went to bed, they trusted in the Lord to do what He promised. Jehoshaphat addressed them the next morning, telling them that they should believe in the Lord, for they shall prosper. The promise that follows belief is that we will be established and set firm the Lord. When the word of the Lord goes forth, we must believe and receive it. Verse 21 points out that when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord that would praise His Holiness. They should make known Him, praising Him, for His mercy endures forever!
The battle plan given from God was that the singers would praise the Lord, exalting Him before the army. God used the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and they needed to take their weapons – praise! Their hearts were established in God’s Word for they had believed that God would fight for them as promised. They were to declare that His mercy and Covenant love endure forever. Overall, they’d declare His faithfulness to His covenant people when they walk in faith and obedience to His commands.
Resulting from the praise released from the earthly army released the power of the Heavenly host. The enemy was confounded and began fighting against themselves, as Israel had the victory, even without fighting. The battle was won through their trust and seeking in the Lord. Praise to the Lord had been used to release the power of God against the enemy and it took three entire days to gather the spoils of war!
Jesus spoke with the woman at the well the real need in her heart, which was to be a worshipper of God. It didn’t matter where she worshipped, but she had to stop trying to fill her need for God with other things. She was amazed when Jesus told her that, for she had five husbands already, and the one she was living with now was not her husband. She believed Him to be a prophet of God, then, and Jesus revealed Himself as the Christ. Living water had then filled her soul and she left her water jar to run and tell others about Him. Her need has finally been met, satisfied, and filled by the life flow of the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.
Worship, voice of a seeking heart, is void of God’s anointing and is a stench to His nostrils. When our channel of worship becomes centered on tradition, skill, and ceremony – instead of sincerely upon the Lord, the anointing is lost and worship becomes empty and lifeless. When the real thing is missing, men try to produce it, only resulting in performance-based worship. We see in Matthew 15:8-9 Jesus speaking about this, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Those who perform for Him, but don’t honor Him – their heart is far from Him. Some worship Him in vain by doing it resulting from the knowledge of Man.
Circumcision of the heart:
God wants His People to be willing to give their whole hearts unto Him, and therefore, this requires a willingness to let Him into our hearts and allow the Holy Ghost to take the stony heart out of us (Ezekiel 11:19, “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh”). God wants to give us new hearts – ones where He can write His Law.
Under the Abrahamic Covenant, circumcision was a sign of commitment unto God. However, under the New Covenant, God wants the circumcision to take place in our hearts, signifying the cutting away of all reservations, secrets, coverings, unbelief, and stubbornness that may exist. Anything keeping us from wholly surrendering unto God is voided during this, to which, it is a work of the Holy Spirit done in cooperation of the surrendered will of man.
Abraham and David
There are so many ways that David was “a man after God’s own heart” – for we see proof of this in most of the Psalms that he wrote. Through repentance and a seeking heart, David brought worship unto God – and wherefore, God had favor for him. God favored David so much that He entrusted David with the heart and wisdom of God as David spent time in the presence of the Lord. Through all of the time spent with the Lord – to which, it seemed that David spent much time with the Lord especially while not fighting or leading an army – David was close to the Lord.
One of the biggest instances of grief on the heart of David was the incident in 2 Samuel 24 that we see the nation of Israel losing many thousands of lives. The reason for this? It was a result of David’s disobedience, for he was told by God not to number the men, but to trust in Him. Instead, David numbered the men anyway, and because of this disobedience, judgment was sent as a plague unto the people. In an act of compassion for the people, David asked God to place the judgment on himself instead of the people, to which, God told David to build an altar to stop the plague from coming. David gladly bought it, and it was sure to please God. David was glad to do this, for he was the cause of the disobedience and didn’t want God’s People hurt by the plague.
Abraham and David were both known to equate sacrifice with worship (as we see in Genesis 22:5 for Abraham). True worship involves sacrifice, and sacrifice involves building an altar. In order to worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, there must be a dying to self and surrender to God who is the Creator of all things. David knew the heart of God well because of the intimate moments shared ever since he was young. As we see in Psalm 51:17, David knew that the Law required burnt offerings, however, he knew also that even such obedience was meaningless without a repentant heart. He knew what was needed was a humble and repentant heart to surrender unto God and be able to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
Lastly, in the case of Abraham, as we see especially in Genesis 22, obedience was the way to blessing. Obedience proves faith, and in this case, the best worship unto God was not the sacrifice itself necessarily, but the fact that he was obedient to God to even sacrifice his son – and that’s what God was testing: Abraham’s willingness for pure obedience unto God, even in adverse circumstances. Abraham passed the test, and God saved Isaac by providing a substitute. What a testimony of faith!
Isaiah 6’s throne of God
Isaiah sees that God is majestic and glorious; high and lifted up. He is the supreme ruler over Judah and all other nations. God’s sinless heavenly servants do not look upon His glory, but rather, they busy themselves serving and praising Him. The vision of God’s Holiness causes Isaiah to realize that the people he is around are sinful, and that Isaiah himself is sinful also.
Before he can be God’s messenger as he was called, he must be cleansed of sin. God does this for him, and transfers the benefits of God’s holiness upon him, symbolized by the coals from the altar. When God asks who will be His messenger to a corrupt people, Isaiah volunteers to do so. However, God tells him what a difficult task it will be, and the more he preaches, the more his message will be rejected. If they reject his teachings more and more, they will plunge deeper into sin, making it much more difficult for them to turn to God, especially for redemption.
Isaiah wonders how long this would last, and receives a reply from God that there is no rapid improvement expected. The condition will worsen until judgment comes. Judah’s cities are to be destroyed, and His People taken into captivity. However, God plans to preserve the few who remain faithful. A new people from the remnant will be formed. It seems this was a good time for Isaiah to be cleansed and then filled with the Will of God that he will act upon for his purpose.
So what did a Priest do?
The primary function of a priest was that he was ministering unto God. (In addition, he was acting not as an individual, but as the representative of the people. Objects that he wore symbolized certain things, such as the pieces that sought God’s Will in judging the people, or the gold plate on his turban to symbolize that he bore the guilt before the holy God who alone could pardon the sins.) According to 1 Peter 2:9, born again believers are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, who should show forth praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Since God’s People are a chosen generation, ones who can be welcomed into His marvelous light, we can freely praise Him and worship Him – also known as ministering unto God, which is similar to what a priest would do. Only the priest would have direct access to God the way it used to be, however, due to the Lord’s Sacrifice on the Cross, the veil was torn, and God’s People have access now. We are being labeled in 1 Peter 2:9 as a royal priesthood, because we are all now priests and have access to minister unto God praises at any time!
Tabernacle as a pattern for worship
Jesus was represented by the one entry into the tabernacle and as the Bright Morning Star, and now He is seen through the entire tabernacle – from beginning to end. We should offer the sacrifice of praise to God and give thanks unto Him sincerely with all of our being.
The Table of Shewbread was a place of communion with God. Every Sabbath, the priests would place on the table 12 new loaves of bread, each representing one of the tribes of Israel. Golden bowls of incense were also placed upon them, and the priests would eat the old loaves of bread and have fellowship with God. We too can have this through prayer, worship, and through feasting upon His Word, the Bread of Life.
When we offer our prayers and the sacrifice of praise unto God, they become for Him a sweet smelling sacrifice. When incense is burned, it is totally consumed, making it a costly offering and one that pleases God, for He receives it all. The sweet smelling aroma of the incense filled the tabernacle becoming a symbol of sacrifice of praise unto God.
Some people may feel that they don’t have a sacrifice of praise to offer the Lord, and therefore, they will refuse to enter into worship. Others may feel that they have a sacrifice of praise, but they don’t know how to lift it up before the Lord (especially one who is new and doesn’t have spiritual direction). Many times, others feel distracted, there may be spectators, or people may be rebuked for their worship – which can all be a ploy of the enemy to keep people from worshipping. However, God has made a way for us to become Children of God and to be able to life up sacrifices of praise before Him and worship Him from a sincere heart!
The primary goal overall in the tabernacle is to minister unto God. This means to bring a sacrifice unto Him that is delightful, praise Him for all of the things He’s done for us, and thanking Him for all provision and blessings. Through this, we will see His glory and He will shine through us so others may see Christ in us!
How it worked out for David
David had become King over Israel, conquered the Jebusite fortress city of Jebus, and was longing after God. This caused him to desire having Jerusalem to be the dwelling place for God. He gathered 30,000 men to go and take the Ark from Abinadab’s house and bring it back. They decided to place it on a new cart, not knowing God’s Law about it. Uzzah was a victim of the judgment, which astonished everyone, and disobedience was their conviction. David was displeased at the anger of God in this, but then, he feared the Lord. Since he was confused, it was best to leave it at the house of Obed-Edom for three months. During this time, David was able to research the Law and find out how to bring it back.
He was then able to bring it back God’s Way, and had it carried on the shoulders of the Levites. It was brought to Jerusalem with great joy, and eventually would be placed in the Tabernacle at Mt. Zion. The first time, spiritually speaking, they were astonished and shocked at the troubles going on, for they were ignorant on how to handle the Ark. When God had cast judgment, people feared Him and David had to find some way to keep them calm and shepherd them back.
The second time, spiritually speaking, they were joyful, because David had indeed found the correct way to transfer the Ark to where it should go. They celebrated and were glad that they pleased God through this, and were able to stay safe in the process. Overall, the Lord had caused fear to well up in their hearts, and they were astonished – as this was a time of trouble for them. However, God evoked great joy upon them through His guidance for David to do the right thing. Therefore, in the end, great praise and worship was evident for God!
What made David’s Tabernacle different from the Tabernacle of Moses was that the Holy of Holies was not at the Tabernacle of Moses, it was at David’s Tabernacle – because David’s had the Ark. David’s Tabernacle was at Mt. Zion and the Tabernacle of Moses was at Mt. Gibeon. Zadok was appointed as High Priest at the Tabernacle at Mt. Gibeon. It seems that Abiathar was High Priest for the Tabernacle at Mt. Zion.
After David returned the Ark of God to Israel and placed it in the Tabernacle at Mr. Zion, the Lord promised to build David a house that would always sit on the throne in Zion. The Davidic Covenant gives to the lineage of David the blessing and promise of kingly government, culminating in the rule of the Messiah, King Jesus of the House of David, who will sit upon the Throne of David in Zion ruling in truth, justice, judgment, and in righteousness. There is no longer a person/king of the lineage of David sitting upon the throne in Israel; however, the kingly, governmental Tabernacle of David will be restored in the millennial and eternal reign of Jesus Christ. The spiritual tabernacle of David is within all of us and houses the Holy Ghost – God’s presence so that we continuously have access to God and worship Him!
God gave David a divine blueprint for the order of worship he was to establish in the tabernacle at Mt. Zion – a pattern that was followed by successive Davidic kings. God is seeking worshippers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. This requires form and order as well as the free flow of the Spirit of the Living God. Divine worship is dependent upon the Spirit and the Word operating in the midst of the worshipping congregation.
As far as Davidic Worship in the church today, it has not been occurring as much as needed. People are still glued to the text instead of basking in the Lord’s presence. There is worship in many churches, yes, however, there is only a small amount of what deems “fit” into a plan where it doesn’t last too long or get uncomfortable. However, there are few churches that allow the Holy Spirit to lead the worship service, and when He does, it may go on for hours where people can bask in His presence. If people choose not to do this, they go home or they just seat themselves and spectate. What needs to occur is a transformation in the Church overall where we don’t just “set” ourselves in a routine worship ritual, but rather, we allow ourselves to just be free in His presence anytime and anywhere.
I believe God is restoring Davidic worship, however, I believe our Earthly worship does not compare or it is just training ground for the worship we will do in the Coming Kingdom of God!