Advent Series - December 15
+After Saul died, David became the next king of Israel.
Under King David, the Israelites finished the conquest of the Promised Land. For the first time, they were united and at peace. This was about 1000 years before the coming of Christ.
If you look at the time chart at the end of the Bible, you will see that there are about 4000 years from Adam to the birth of Christ. The 4 weeks of Advent signify these 4 thousand years.
4000 B.C.- Adam
3000 B.C.- Noe
2000 B.C.- Abraham
1000 B.C.- King David
King David was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, “I will make nations out of thee and kings shall come out of thee” (Gen 17:6)
In the book of Deuteronomy, we read how God told His people that as soon as they were at peace, He would choose the place where they could offer sacrifice. God said, “Beware lest thou offer thy holocausts in every place that thou shalt see; But in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes shalt thou offer sacrifices…” (Deut 12:13-14)
Now the time was ripe. They were at peace.
The special place that God now chose was Jerusalem; the city of peace.
Jerusalem was the same place as “Salem”, where Melchisedech had ruled. Melchisedech was that mysterious king who was also a priest. He offered bread and wine in sacrifice after Abraham rescued his nephew Lot.
Now David was king of Jeru-Salem and like Melchisedech, he saw himself as a priest and a king.
The priests at that time were the Levites.
It was their duty:
- to lead the Ark of the Covenant in
- to pitch the tent for the Ark
- to offer sacrifices
- to bless the people
King David called for the Ark to be brought to Jerusalem.
In 2 Kings (2 Samuel) chapter 6 we read how David took off the robes of a king, and wore a linen ephod; the garb of a Levite, or priest. Then;
- He danced before the Ark leading
the Ark into the city.
- David set up the tent for the Ark.
- He offered holocausts and peace
offerings before the Lord.
- He blessed the people in the name of the Lord.
David’s son, Solomon would build the Temple of Jerusalem, but the ultimate fulfillment of God’s covenant was in a later son of David; Our Lord Jesus Christ; son of David and Son of God; Eternal King and Eternal High Priest.
Reviewing the other covenants that God made with men we see how each covenant grows bigger, until finally it includes all nations of the earth;
- Adam and Eve-a married couple
- Noah-a family
- Abraham-a tribe
- Moses-a nation
- David-a kingdom
- Jesus-the world- with a world-wide
church; the Catholic Church!
The Bible says that the number 7 is God’s number of perfection. We see in the history of creation how God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day, He rested. It has been suggested that at the end of the world, God will make a seventh and final covenant with His faithful children; a covenant of rest wherein they will enjoy God for all eternity! (Wouldn’t that be just like Our Heavenly Father?)
After David died, his son, Solomon became the next king of Israel. Solomon would also rule 40 years. When he was a good king, Solomon was a type or prefigurement of Jesus. Solomon honored his mother, setting a throne for her at his right hand, and when she interceded for the people, he could not refuse her. (3 Kings 2:19-20) This is a beautiful type of Our Lord and Our Lady; King and Queen of heaven and earth.
Solomon was also very wise. He was so wise that other nations came to listen to his wisdom. In this he was a type of the Eternal Word of God.
Solomon built the beautiful Temple of Jerusalem where God’s chosen people would worship and offer sacrifice. Our Lord would build His Church; a worldwide Catholic Church upon the rock of Peter, the first pope. (“thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church” (Matt 16:18)
Speaking of the Temple and the Catholic Church, it is interesting also to compare the worship of God in the Old Testament with the worship we have today:
In the Old Testament, it was forbidden to touch the Ark of the Covenant. (One man did, and he fell down dead) When the Israelites traveled, the Ark was lifted by means of poles that slid into rings in the sides.
Once the Temple was built, the Ark was kept in a room called the Holy of Holies. A huge heavy veil separated it from the other parts of the Temple. Only the chief priest could enter the Holy of Holies and just once a year. The chief priest had to prepare himself before he entered with many prayers and special washings. If the chief priest did not prepare himself properly, God could strike him dead. For that reason, the chief priest wore bells and a cord around his ankle. If the bells stopped ringing, the people would know he had been struck dead and be able to drag his body by means of the cord out of the Holy of Holies!
All this gave the people in the Old Testament a deep respect for the greatness of God and helped them to remain faithful and not turn to false idols.
When we compare all this to our churches today, we see that any Catholic church is much more holy than the Holy of Holies. When we enter the church, we are not in the presence of the Ark which housed the gifts of God, but of God Himself in the Holy Eucharist! This should give us a lot to think about; how we should prepare ourselves and how we should act when we are in the presence of God.
The priests in the Old Testament could only offer sacrifices of animals and incense to God, but the priests of the New Testament offer the Sacrifice of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Our priests have the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of God. They hold God in their hands and we are able to receive Him into our souls.
We may ask, “Why is there such a difference between the Old Testament and the New?” Of course, we know the answer. In the Old Testament, Our Lord had not yet come to repair for the damage of sin. To save us, Our Lord would offer the perfect Sacrifice; the sacrifice of Himself on the cross, which would end the need for sacrifices of animals in the Temple. When Our Lord died, the veil of the Temple was torn in two FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. (Matt 27: 51)
The fact that it was torn from top to bottom shows that it was God Himself who did the act:
- Revealing that heaven was once
again open to mankind.
- And thus ending the Old Covenant
(Old Testament) and replacing it with the New Testament; the
Law of Christ.
The perfect sacrifice of Our Lord on the cross is continued to be renewed daily on the altar in the perfect sacrifice of the Mass, which appeases God the Father for the sins of the world and applies the merits of the sacrifice of the cross to our souls.