Beginning of the End


The Sanctuary: God’s Dwelling Place in Israel

This chapter is based on Exodus 25 to 40; Leviticus 4 and 16.

The command came to Moses while he was on the mountain with God, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). Full directions were given for constructing the tabernacle. By their apostasy, the Israelites gave up their right to the divine Presence, but after God took them into favor again, the great leader proceeded to carry out the divine command. BOE 167.1

God Himself gave Moses the plan for the sanctuary, its size and form, the materials to be used, and every article of furniture it was to contain. The holy places made with human hands were “copies of the true,” “copies of the things in the heavens” (Hebrews 9:24, 23), a miniature representation of the heavenly temple where Christ, our great High Priest, was to minister in the sinner’s behalf. God showed Moses the heavenly sanctuary and commanded him to make everything according to the pattern shown to him. BOE 167.2

A large amount of the most costly material was required for building the sanctuary, yet the Lord only accepted freewill offerings. BOE 167.3

All the people responded. “Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting. ... They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold.” BOE 167.4

While the sanctuary was being built, men, women, and children continued to bring their offerings until those in charge of the work found that they had more than could be used. And Moses sent out an important announcement throughout the camp, “‘Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ And the people were restrained from bringing.” The Israelites’ devotion, zeal, and liberality are a worthy example to follow. All who love the worship of God will show the same spirit of sacrifice in preparing a house where He may meet with them. We should freely give enough to accomplish the work, so that the builders may be able to say, as the builders of the tabernacle did, “Bring no more offerings.” BOE 167.5

The tabernacle was small, not more than fifty-five feet long and eighteen wide and high. Yet it was magnificent. The wood was from the acacia tree, which was less likely to decay than any other wood at Sinai. The walls consisted of upright boards, set in silver sockets, and held firm by pillars and connection bars. All overlaid with gold, they looked like solid gold. BOE 168.1