From Eternity Past


Chapter 30—The Sanctuary: God's Dwelling Place in Israel

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

The command was communicated to Moses while in the mount with God, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8. Full directions were given for the construction of the tabernacle. By their apostasy, the Israelites forfeited the divine Presence, but after they were again taken into favor with Heaven, the great leader proceeded to execute the divine command. EP 239.1

God Himself gave Moses the plan of that structure, its size and form, the materials to be employed, and every article of furniture it was to contain. The holy places made with hands were “figures of the true,” “patterns of 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 presented before Moses a view of the heavenly sanctuary and commanded him to make all things according to the pattern shown him. EP 239.2

For building the sanctuary, a large amount of the most costly material was required, yet the Lord accepted only freewill offerings. EP 239.3

All the people responded, “every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation... . And they came, both men and women, as many as were willinghearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold.” EP 239.4

While the building of the sanctuary was in progress, 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 caused to be proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.” The Israelites’ devotion, zeal, and liberality are an example worthy of imitation. All who love the worship of God will manifest the same spirit of sacrifice in preparing a house where He may meet with them. An amount sufficient to accomplish the work should be freely given, that the workmen may be able to say, as did the builders of the tabernacle, “Bring no more offerings.” EP 239.5

The tabernacle was small, not more than fifty-five feet in length, and eighteen in breadth and height. Yet it was magnificent. The wood was that of the acacia tree, less subject to decay than any other at Sinai. The walls consisted of upright boards, set in silver sockets, and held firm by pillars and connection bars, all overlaid with gold, giving the appearance of solid gold. EP 240.1