God’s House From Ephratah
By G.T. Haywood
In reading the 7th chapter of II Samuel, we will find a record how that David, after the Lord had given him rest round about from all of his enemies, felt within his heart a keen desire to build a house for God to dwell in. In the midst of his prosperity he could not forget his God. “See now I dwell in a house of cedar, but the Ark of God dwelleth within curtains,” and with these words upon his lips he swore unto himself that he would not come in the tabernacle of his house, nor go up into his bed, nor give sleep to his eyes, nor slumber to his eyelids, until he had found out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the Mighty God of Jacob. (Ps. 132).
God seeing the earnestness of his heart, said unto Nathan the prophet, “Go and tell my servant David, thus saith the Lord, shalt thou build for me an house to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt even until this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.” And, furthermore, He reminded him of the fact that He had made no mention to any of the tribes of Israel that He desired a house to dwell in; and yet David had the welfare of his Lord in his heart, and desired to find a place for Him to dwell in. This thing so pleased God that He sent His word to David by His servant the prophet, saying: “Also the Lord telleth thee that HE WILL MAKE THEE AN HOUSE.”
He did not say that He would make a house for David, but rather that He would make David’s body His house. For David had a house of cedar already, and needed not that another house should be built for himself. In the 132nd Psalm the writer declares, “Lo, we have heard of it (this house of God) at Ephratah; we found it in the field of the wood.”
In Genesis 35:19 we find that Ephratah is Bethlehem; and again, in I Samuel 17:12 we find that David, whom God declared He would make His house was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem, Judah. And it was there that God found him “in the field of the wood” and took him “from the sheepcote, from following the sheep,” to be ruler over His people, Israel. In the 11th verse of the above-mentioned Psalm, we read these words: “The Lord bath sworn in truth unto David and will not turn from it. Of the fruit of thy body WILL I SET UPON THY THRONE.” Here it is plainly declared that JEHOVAH will, HIMSELF, set upon the Throne of David in person, and in that day shall Zion be chosen for an habitation; “I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.”
Since God’s house was to come out of Ephratah, which is Bethlehem, we now turn our attention to the words of the prophet Micah: “But thou, Bethlehem-Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, (Marg. the days of eternity).” Micah 5:2. That this prophecy points
directly to the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem is clearly proven in the 2nd Chapter of St. Matthew’s, when Herod desired to know where the Christ should be born and the priests and scribes of the people said unto him, “In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophets, And thou, Bethlehem in the Land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah, for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel.” Matt. 2:1-6. That Christ Jesus was of the loins of David, God’s word affirms; for both Joseph and Mary were of the house and lineage of David and were therefore compelled to go up out of Nazareth into Judea unto the City of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed; and it was while there that Christ was born. This alone is sufficient to convince any one that Jesus, the Christ, is
“Now, all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is GOD WITH US.” (Matt. 1:22-23). And when we behold the body of our Lord Jesus Christ we look upon the habitation of the Mighty GOD of Jacob, for GOD was in (the body of) Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.
The House of Bread
The word “Bethlehem” literally means “The House of Bread,” and God declared that when He had taken up His abode in His new tabernacle, “I will abundantly bless her provision:
abu , and will satisfy her poor with bread.” (Psa. 132:15). And after Jesus had fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two small fishes, he declared unto the multitude, the next day, “I am the Bread of Life,”
and again, “I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live forever.” (John. 6:48-51). Truly God has given unto us, in these last days, to eat of that Living Bread.
he that cometh to Him shall never hunger; he that believeth in Him shall never thirst Lord, evermore give us of this Bread! “Man shall not live by bread (natural) alone, but by every WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” “And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” “And the Bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” When Jesus spake these words many were offended and said, “This is a hard saying: who can hear it?” and from that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, “Will ye also go away?” Then Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of Eternal Life.” These words of that dear old Saint of God should dwell deep within every heart, “LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO? THOU HAST THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE.”
May the love of God fill every heart that reads these precious words, and cause them to lay aside their bitterness, wrath and strife, and seek to behold the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, our Lord. if you do not catch the thought of this little message at first, read it again and again, and I am sure that God will cause this great Truth to unfold unto you and cause your heart to overflow with joy.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY APOSTOLIC BOOK PUBLISHERS, PORTLAND, OR., 1988, PAGES 31-35. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.