SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Monday October 14, 1996

The Sanctuary and the Covenant
(Exod. 25:8)

At the heart of God's covenant is His desire to restore His relationship with humanity.  Sin has separated us from God.  But God's covenant provides a way to bridge that gulf.  The covenant removes sin and brings into our hearts the everlasting righteousness of Christ  (1 John 3:5; Rom. 3:21, 22). And the method of doing so was revealed in the sanctuary (Ps. 77:13).

Give two reasons why God asked the Israelites, His church in the wilderness, to build the sanctuary. Exod. 25:8; 29:43-46.

Hebrews 8 and 9 explain in detail that God's purpose in establishing the sanctuary was to reveal the plan of salvation, with a special emphasis on the atoning sacrifices of Christ as the means of pardon, purification, and reunion with God. The sanctuary was the ordained center of worship and spiritual instruction.  But the Israelites were not to idolize it.  The Lord wished to dwell among and in His people.  Their hearts were to be His sanctuary, the living repository of His covenant  (Lev. 26:11, 12; 2 Cor. 6:16-18; Heb. 10:14-17).

Describe how the Israelites responded to the call for materials and help in building the wilderness sanctuary. Exod. 35:4-10, 20-29; 36:5, 6.

"The murmurings of the Israelites and the visitations of God's judgments because of their sins are recorded as a warning to aftergenerations.  And their devotion, their zeal and liberality, are an example worthy of imitation.  All who love the worship of God and prize the blessings of His sacred presence will manifest th same spirit of sacrifice in preparing a house where He may meet with them.  They will desire to bring to the Lord an offering of the very best that they possess.  A house built for God should not be left in debt, for He is thereby dishonored.  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.'"--Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 344.

Meditate on the relationship between Exodus 35:4-10, 20-29; 36:5, 6 and 1 Corinthians 3:9-16; 2 Corinthians 9:6-13. Where can we find the fight sort of "building materials" for our character development?