Presentation on theme: "Lesson 4 for July 23, 2011. “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus, 25: 8) “I will dwell among the children of Israel."— Presentation transcript:
“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus, 25: 8) “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the Lord their God” (Exodus, 29: 45-46) God gave precise instructions for building the Tabernacle at the desert. Every part of the Sanctuary represented God’s divine character. That’s how He could dwell among His people. That place produced a special feeling of reverence and majesty.
“For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people” (2 Corinthians, 6: 16) Nowadays there is no earthly Sanctuary where God dwells among His people, but we are certain that His presence is with us. Every time we meet to worship God He is among us (Matthew, 18: 20). That’s a good reason to rejoice. Besides, we are the temple of the Lord and He is pleased to dwell in us. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians, 6: 19)
Although God could have created a more perfect and more majestic Sanctuary by Himself, he rather asked imperfect human beings to do that task. When the Israelites had that opportunity, they freely and joyfully gave everything necessary to build it; both materials and their own work. God want us to take an active part in His work. Every job we do for God is an act of worship. That includes our time, talents and goods. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians, 9: 7)
The main part of the cult in the Sanctuary (and later in the Temple) was the daily morning and evening sacrifice. Then the people gathered to share a moment of worship through singing, praying and confessing their sins, while a lamb that represented the Lamb of God and died to save them was offered. “you were redeemed… with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter, 1: 18-19) When we understand that Jesus is our personal Savior, worship flows from a forgiven, cleaned and sanctified heart that rejoices at obeying God. The truth of salvation is such a great truth that deserves all our joy
God spoke with Moses (and with the high priests later) through the Shekinah in the earthly Sanctuary. God didn’t limit to dwelling in the Sanctuary, He also cared about how to communicate with His people to guide them and teach them. “Christ was their instructor. As He had been with them in the wilderness, so He was still to be their teacher and guide. In the tabernacle and the temple His glory dwelt in the holy Shekinah above the mercy seat. In their behalf He constantly manifested the riches of His love and patience” (E.G.W., “Christ’s Object Lessons”, cp. 23, pg. 288)
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John, 14: 26) Christ was the instructor of the people of Israel through the Shekinah; in the same way He gave as an Instructor that guides us.
Worship wasn’t mere conventionalism in Israel. They didn’t worship God in a cold and ritual way, but in a joyful way. Israel’s joy emerged when they understood the forgiveness of sins, salvation, redemption and sanctification. That joy showed all the gratitude for what God did for us. God live with them; how could they be sad? Every Israelite must come before the presence of God three times a year in the Sanctuary by divine order: 1.The feast of Unleavened Bread to thank God for saving them from Egypt. 2.The feast of Weeks (Pentecost) to thank God for the cereal harvest. 3.The feast of Tabernacles to thank God for the grape harvest. “Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days” (Leviticus, 23: 39-40)
When we remember everything God has done and still does for us, our hearts are filled with joy. That joy must fill our worship to God. When we worship our Lord, we must keep the right balance between joy and reverence before our Holy God. Our cult must be a balance between rational and emotional. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans, 12: 1) “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100: 2)
E.G.W. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, cp. 74, “Love for the erring”, pg. 609)