"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
LET THEM MAKE ME A SANCTUARY, part 2 quotes
1) All of the materials for the construction of this sanctuary were to come from God’s followers themselves and not from a non-believing people.
“Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.” Exodus 25:8.
This verse reveals that the Lord only accepted those offerings that were given willingly from the heart. This voluntary system of offerings cut directly against avarice, greediness, and stinginess and encouraged the manifestation of just how grateful to the Lord God people were.
2) As these freewill offerings were being donated and collected, the children of Israel were organized according to their tribes and families. Twenty years old was considered the age of taking responsibility for your own actions, as well as the age when you “were able to go forth to war” (Numbers 1:45). In numbering those men from 20 years old and upward it was found there to be 603,550 of them (Numbers 1:46).
As a way of celebrating this age of accountability, as well as to practically show how grateful they were for their salvation being made possible by the atonement, each of these men were to willingly “give an offering unto the Lord” (Exodus 30:14) of only a “half a shekel” of silver (Exodus 30:13, 38:25) (Note: a shekel was a little more than 1/2 troy ounce. Silver today is about $16 an ounce, so then half a shekel of silver would be a little more than 1/4 troy oz or about $4.00). This special silver offering was the same amount irregardless of whether they were rich or poor (Exodus 30:15), thus revealing that they were all equal with other. This donation was also as if each was giving “a ransom for his soul” (Exodus 30:12) in recognition of the fact that he deserved death because of his sins, yet had instead been granted life by the future death of His mediator – the Lord God.
All the silver collected from this special “atonement money” was specifically dedicated “for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Exodus 30:16). It was then used to “cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the veil” (Exodus 38:27), as well as all the “hooks for the pillars and...their chapiters” or top caps (Exodus 38:28), and these silver sockets, hooks and top caps provided stability for the pillars which supported the sanctuary. This ransom atonement silver, as well as the principle connected with it of equality among all the people, was critical for the stability of the entire sanctuary structure, and thus it became “a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls” (Exodus 30:16).
3) In just a short time after the call went forth for donations, the amount of materials which came in “was sufficient for all the work to make” the sanctuary (Exodus 36:7). It was found that “the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents” (a talent being about 100 lbs) and 1,775 sanctuary “shekels” (Exodus 38:24), or around 3,000 pounds of gold. (Note: gold prices today are about $1400 an ounce, and there are 12 troy ounces per troy pound, so then 3000 pounds of gold would be worth about $50,400,000 today.) The amount of silver donated “of them that were numbered of the congregation...was an hundred talents” and 1,775 sanctuary shekels (Exodus 38:25), or about 10,100 pounds (worth about $1,939,200 today). And “the brass of the offering was seventy talents” and 2,400 sanctuary shekels (Exodus 38:29), or about 7,100 pounds. (Note: brass today is about $2.00 a pound, so about $14,200 today.) All this metal totaling about $52,353,400 today, was donated willingly from the grateful hearts of God’s followers in just a short time.
All donated materials needed to build this sanctuary had been received from the combined amount of both large and small donations, and thus it all balanced out in the end. Just like with the manna: “he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack” (Exodus 16:18). This revealed that both groups balanced out and became equal with each other, and thus each could rest satisfied with what amount they were connected with. This same basic principle of truth was again being taught to the Israelites. Both the rich as well as the poor were equal with each other in donating on the scale of their financial ability to give, and each were to rest satisfied with either their large or small donations as these diversified amounts all balanced out and became sufficient to build the sanctuary for their God.
In arranging this willing donation plan, the Lord God was making it plain that there was to be unity in diversity among His people, as well as revealing that there is no justification for the rich to gloat over the poor, or for the poor to become jealous of the rich. It was by giving whatever amount each could give that they could rest satisfied in the fact that they both played an important part in helping to build this sanctuary for their God to dwell in among them, and each then had a personal interest and equal share in it - no matter how much they donated. And now since all the necessary materials to build this sanctuary had come in, construction could then begin.
4) The sanctuary was designed to be of two main areas: the sanctuary and temple itself, and an outer court which completely surrounded the sanctuary. The sanctuary itself consisted of two apartments called the holy and the most holy place (see Exodus 26:33; 1 Kings 6:16-17, 8:6-10; Hebrews 9:2-3).
The veil or door entrance into this first apartment or into the holy place was set in the east side of this sanctuary. Once inside this first apartment there stood a golden candlestick on the south or left side (see Exodus 25:31-40, 26:35, 40:24-25), and on the north or right side was set a golden table of shewbread (see Ex. 25:23-30, 26:35, 40:22-23). And directly west before the inner veil which separated the holy from the most holy place was placed a golden altar of incense (see Exodus 30:1-10, 40:5, 26-27).
Within the second apartment or the most holy place stood the ark, in which was deposited the two tables of stone upon which the Lord God had inscribed His law of Ten Commandments (see Exodus 25:10-22, 40:20-21; 1 Kings 8:9). Above the ark, and forming part of the cover of this sacred chest, was the mercy seat, which was arranged to be placed directly above the two stone tablets underneath. On either side of this mercy seat, and forming the rest of the cover for the ark, were two cherubim angels – one at each end of the mercy seat, and all made of solid gold. It was in this second apartment that the Lord God dwelt, and His divine presence was manifested in a cloud of glory directly above the mercy seat and in the space between these two cherubim angels, and thus also above His 10 commandment law. This was purposely arranged to teach that when any break God's law and commit sin, they must look up in order to obtain mercy and forgiveness from God.
5) In viewing the arrangement of the furniture within the Sanctuary: beginning at the entrance into the outer court and looking west through both apartments of the sanctuary, you would first see the brazen altar of sacrifice (see Exodus 40:6), and in a straight line up from this you would then see the brazen laver (see Exodus 40:7, 30-32). Then through the outer veil and into the first apartment you would see the candlestick on the left and the table of shewbread on the right, and directly before the inner veil you would see the golden altar of incense. Looking past this inner veil and into the most holy place you would then see the ark of the covenant directly before you.
6) In viewing this complete picture of the arrangement of the Sanctuary, a perfect cross is plainly visible.
It is fitting that a cross is clearly seen within the arrangement of the Sanctuary, because the cross of Christ is the great center of the whole plan of redemption for mankind. Around Christ’s atoning sacrifice clusters every truth of the Bible. From it radiates heavenly light from the beginning to the end of both the old and the new covenant dispensations. It also reveals the future, and gives us a glimpse of the glories of the eternal reward awaiting all of God’s faithful obedient saints.
7) Since the arranging of the holy furniture of the Sanctuary revealed a perfect cross shows us that the sanctuary was purposely designed by the Lord God Himself to help us understand more about the great sacrifice He was to make in carrying out this amazing plan of our salvation.
“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders...Thou has with thine arm redeemed thy people.” Psalms 77:13-15.
The Hebrew word for “way” used here is “derek”, and it translates and means “a road (as trodden), a course of life or mode of action, journey, way” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, word #1870). This reveals that the sanctuary was specifically designed to show the way or road which the Lord God would tread in His journey to provide salvation to fallen humanity, and He was the only One who could do this. No other human being could fulfill this plan of salvation because they had already chosen to sin, and thus their death could not save any other sinner from their sins or from destruction. Only by the Lord God becoming human in our fallen nature and then living His human life in our sinful flesh without committing any sin was the only way to provide an atonement in order to redeem and cleanse sinners from all their sins so that they could be reconnected back with their Almighty God and gain eternal life. Thus the Son of God was the only One who could fulfill this great plan of salvation and provide an atonement, and no other human being could do so. That is why it was prophesied of the Lord God when He would be living in human flesh:
“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me” Isaiah 63:3.
8) There was only one Sanctuary to be built, not two or three, and neither was there to be one built for each of the 12 tribes. There was only one Lord God of all the earth, and as He was to reside in the most holy place within this Sanctuary then only one was needed for Him. This meant that the followers of the Lord God could not worship Him in many different places like the heathen would do for their deities, but were forced to come to this one Sanctuary in order to worship their one God. While they could pray to their One Lord God at any time and in any place, yet they could not personally worship Him at His Sanctuary in many different places at the same time.
This arrangement reinforced the truth that “The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4), and not many Lords. This also revealed that the Lord God was not dividing His divine substance into lessor deities like the pagan gods are depicted doing, but was just one God and divine Being Himself. This further showed that even though the Lord was omnipresent and could see all that took place around the world at the same time, yet this divine power was because He is a God and not because He was pantheistically residing in all created things, or was somehow manifesting Himself through many different forms. So as the Lord God was just One God, not many, and since He was going to dwell in this Sanctuary, then it was only in this one Sanctuary where He could be worshiped.