Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Portable Sanctuary Part VIII

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The Portable Sanctuary


God, again, called Moses up into the Mount. There He told Moses of His plan to build a portable place of worship. He said in Exodus 25:8, “and let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” God not only told them to make a sanctuary He gave Moses detailed instructions and a blueprint of everything that was to be done. He told Moses to make things according to the pattern. In the book of Hebrews it speaks of a sanctuary in Heaven and in the Revelation, John, in vision, saw the sanctuary in Heaven. The one on earth was to be modeled after the Heavenly one, only on a much smaller scale. Moses told the people of God's plan and asked for a free will offering in the building of the sanctuary. When the people left Egypt they brought wagon loads of all kids of possessions. There were  many different kinds of wood as well as animal skins. God had told Moses to tell the people to borrow all kinds of jewellery and things from the Egyptians, which they did, so when Moses asked for free will offerings of all kinds the people responded willingly.

The building and its furnishings were very beautiful. There was a lot of gold used in the covering of wood and for the making of the lamp stand, the altar of incense and the ark that held the Ten Commandments. There was much work to be done. Women were weaving and embroidering. Men were busy making things.

The building itself and the enclosure around it was very beautiful and well constructed. It was made so it could be easily taken down, loaded into wagons and set up by coupling things together. There so much precision work that made up the building (like the cutting and fitting of precious stones that went into the high priest's garments) that God gave special skills to several men so that they could do this beautiful work. God had this building in mind while they were still in Egypt so God provided them, back then, with all they would need. As they brought things to the builders, the builders said to Moses, “stop the people from bringing, we have more than enough for the work.”

When all the materials were made and collected, the Tabernacle was assembled. What a day that was to see! This beautiful, portable building taking shape. How happy people were that they had a part in this wonderful structure. When the building and enclosure was up, the ark with the commandments inside, the mercy seat with its two golden angels overlooking the ark, and the other fixtures of the sanctuary were in place, God came down and His presence filed the house. Moses and Aaron could NOT stay in it.

What an awesome sight for all Israel! Right in the midst of this huge encampment, the Glory of God came down. This is what God had in mind when He said He that He wanted to dwell among them. He did not want His people to think that He was an absent landlord but one who was among His people. The people here could see a God of the present, a lover of the beautiful and also a God of careful planning for the joy and life of His people.

God has not changed.

When we look around in nature we see His love for beauty, in flowers, birds, animals, sunsets, mountains and in a variety of fruits and other foods. We see His precision in the movement of the heavenly bodies. As David said, “we are wonderfully and fearfully made.” God is good and greatly to be praised.

Next week:  Journey's End