The Booth of David
In the sermon I gave on Sunday, July 29 I highlighted the temporariness of the Booth of David and also stated that the Booth of David is Christ. This may have led some to think of Christ as being temporary. Those who know me know that I would never say such a thing. Let me explain one more time.
If you recall, during the Feast of Booths Israel was to live in booths for 7 days so that people would know that the LORD commanded them to live in booths when they left Egypt (Lev. 23). The importance of the booth is that it was a temporary structure, the significance being that they were not to settle down until they got to the Promised Land. They were a people on the move. The Israelites would have understood the booth imagery. The significance was not in the temporariness of the booth, but in the fact that the situation they were in when they were called out of Egypt was temporary. They were on the move to the Promised Land where they were to settle.
The house of David had fallen into disrepair. The Israelites no longer reflected Davidic ideals. They were no longer a people, who like David, were a people after God's own heart. Yet, God would re-establish his promise to deliver Israel through one who would come from the Davidic line. This we understand to be Christ.
And so in Amos, Christ is the restored booth of David. Some would like to say that the restored booth of David is restored as a house or a temple signifying that which is permanent and secure. While the blessings that are ours in Christ are permanent and secure, to do this is to do an end run around the message to the people of Israel…. and to us. The Israelites mentioned in Amos had settled for the things of this world. They didn't have any taste for coming judgment or for the things of God. Instead they were busy satisfying their worldly lusts, often on the backs of the poor. They were busy building security in this world with little thought of God.
Jesus is the booth of David, but we need to retain the temporariness associated with the booth as understood in the Feast of Booths (Lev. 23). The temporariness of the booth imagery should not suggest to us that Jesus is temporary. To be sure, this booth is a place of permanence. Jesus is not a means to an end. He is the end. He will be all our joy and delight in heaven – the ultimate Promised Land. The booth imagery, though, should remind us that we are on a journey to that land and that this world is not our home, just as the Israelites were on a journey to the Promised Land when they were brought out of Egypt. We are not to settle here. We find shelter in Christ even while we live in this fallen world, but we are a people on the move to a better land where the booth of Christ will be transformed into a home. As Pastor Terry mentioned, it is the principle of the now and not yet. What we are assured of now, will one day be fully realized.
In the meantime, let us understand the temporariness of the booth which is a shelter for people on a journey, a people on the move. It is a beautiful image. Let us appreciate the booth imagery as we travel as strangers in this world.
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