Lesson 4 | Sabbath, 23 July 2022
“And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8.
“But the people were slow to learn the lesson. Accustomed as they had been in Egypt to material representations of the Deity, and these of the most degradingnature, it was difficult for them to conceive of the existence or the character of the Unseen One. In pity for their weakness, God gave them a symbol of His presence. ‘Let them make Me a sanctuary,’ He said; ‘that I may dwell among them.’ Exodus 25:8.” –Education, p. 35.
Coming to God for counsel
1. Before the building of the sanctuary, what possibility was there if some- one felt the need to know the Lord’s will? With what respect did the people follow Moses to the tabernacle?
Exodus 33:7-11 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. 8And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. 9And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 11And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
“The tabernacle here mentioned was a temporary tent arranged for the worship of God. The sanctuary, the pattern of which God gave to Moses, had not yet been built. “All who sincerely repented of their sins, made supplication unto God in confessing their sins with great humility. Then Moses went into the tabernacle. The people watched with the deepest interest to see if God would accept his mediation in their behalf; if he condescended to meet with Moses, then they might hope that they would not be utterly consumed. When the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, then all the people wept for joy, and rose up and worshiped, every man in his tent door. They bowed themselves upon their faces to the earth in humility. As the pillar of cloud, the token of God’s presence, continued to rest at the door of the tabernacle, they knew that Moses was pleading in their behalf before God. ‘And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.’” –Signs of the Times, June 3, 1880.
Dwelling among the people
2. Referring to the Lord’s relationship with His people, what desire did He repeatedly express?
Exodus 29:45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
1 Kings 6:13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.
1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
“Through Christ was to be fulfilled the purpose of which the tabernacle was a symbol–that glorious building, its walls of glistening gold reflecting in rainbow hues the curtains inwrought with cherubim, the fragrance of ever-burning incense pervading all, the priests robed in spotless white, and in the deep mystery of the innerplace, above the mercy seat, between the figures of the bowed, worshiping angels, the glory of the Holiest. In all, God desired His people to read His purpose for the human soul. It was the same purpose long afterward set forth by the apostle Paul, speaking by the Holy Spirit: ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.’ 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17.” –Education, p. 36.
3. What commission did God give to His people to establish this relation- ship? How significant was it that this whole idea came from the Lord?
Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
2 Corinthians 6:16, last part I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
“The question, What is the sanctuary? is clearly answered in the Scriptures. The term ‘sanctuary,’ as used in the Bible, refers, first, to the tabernacle built by Moses, as a pattern of heavenly things; and, secondly, to the ‘true tabernacle’ in heaven, to which the earthly sanctuary pointed.” –The Great Controversy, p. 417.
“The tabernacle and temple of God on earth were patterned after the original in heaven. Around the sanctuary and its solemn services mystically gathered the grand truths which were to be developed through succeeding generations…. The manifestations of an invisible King were grand and unspeakably awful. A scepter was swayed, but it was held by no human hand.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 194.
His personal presence
4. How did the Lord dwell among men besides through the sanctuary in the wilderness?
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
“God commanded Moses for Israel, ‘Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them’ (Exodus 25:8), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life. ‘The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.’ John 1:14, R.V., margin.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 23, 24.
5. How did the artisans know how to create the design and objects of the tabernacle? What does a pattern imply?
Exodus 25:9, 40; 39:42 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it….40And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount…. 39:42 According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work.
“In the building of the sanctuary as a dwelling place for God, Moses was directed to make all things according to the pattern of things in the heavens. God called him into the mount, and revealed to him the heavenly things, and in their similitude the tabernacle, with all that pertained to it, was fashioned.
“So to Israel, whom He desired to make His dwelling place, He revealed His glorious ideal of character. The pattern was shown them in the mount when the law was given from Sinai and when God passed by before Moses and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.’ Exodus 34:6.” –Education, p. 35.
“Further, the tabernacle built by Moses was made after a pattern. The Lord directed him: ‘According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.’And again the charge was given, ‘Look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.’ Exodus 25:9, 40. And Paul says that the first tabernacle ‘was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices;’ that its holy places were ‘patterns of things in the heavens;’ that the priests who offered gifts according to the law served ‘unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,’ and that ‘Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.’ Hebrews 9:9, 23; 8:5; 9:24.” –The Great Controversy, p. 413.
The three sections
6. What surrounded the tabernacle on all sides, and what purpose did it serve?
Exodus 27:9; 40:33 And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hun- dred cubits long for one side:… 40:33And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate.
“The sacred tent was enclosed in an open space called the court, which was surrounded by hangings, or screens, of fine linen, suspended from pillars of brass. The entrance to this enclosure was at the eastern end. It was closed by curtains of costly material and beautiful workmanship, though inferior to those of the sanctuary. The hangings of the court being only about half as high as the walls of the tabernacle, the building could be plainly seen by the people without.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 347.
7.What were the two places or apartments of the earthly sanctuary called?
Exodus 26:33 And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
Hebrews 9:2, 3 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candle- stick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. 3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all.
“The building was divided into two apartments by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil, suspended from gold-plated pillars; and a similar veil closed the entrance ofthe first apartment. These, like the inner covering, which formed the ceiling, were of the most gorgeous colors, blue, purple, and scarlet, beautifully arranged, while inwrought with threads of gold and silver were cherubim to represent the angelic host who are connected with the work of the heavenly sanctuary and who are ministering spirits to the people of God on earth.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 347.
“I was also shown a sanctuary upon the earth containing two apartments. It resembled the one in heaven, and I was told that it was a figure of the heavenly. The furniture of the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary was like that in the first apartment of the heavenly.” –Early Writings, pp. 252, 253.
“But this ideal they were, in themselves, powerless to attain. The revelation at Sinai could only impress them with their need and helplessness. Another lesson thetabernacle, through its service of sacrifice, was to teach–the lesson of pardon of sin, and power through the Saviour for obedience unto life.” –Education, p. 36.