Me a Sanctuary
“Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me
From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart, you shall
take My offering … Let them make me a sanctuary, that
dwell among them. According to all that I show you”
The Lord desires to dwell in the midst of His people. This
sanctuary of His presence was to be built according to the
pattern that He would show them. It was to be built from the
materials the Lord designated, and these materials were to
be offered willingly from the heart of His people.
In the Song of Solomon, after much work has been done in
the Shulamite, she says in 6:12, “Or ever I was aware,
my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.” This
can be translated, “my people of a willing heart.”
In II Corinthians chapters 8 and 9, Paul has much to say about
giving. He sums it up in II Cor 9:7.
“Every man according as he purposes in his heart,
so let him give;
not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful
In Leviticus we are told our offerings must be perfect, without
blemish and ceremonially clean; that is - without contamination
or pollution. Here, it means without reluctance, hesitation,
reservation; without envy, resentment, or bitterness. We see
in Malachi the chastisement of the priests who offered imperfect
and polluted sacrifices. We are to bring them with joy (Psalm
27:6) and thanksgiving and praise (Psalm 100:4). This is important
because we are giving to Him that which He has already given
In Exodus 25:3-7, the Lord lists the materials we are to
bring. Each one of these represents something that is to be
worked into, and manifested through, the lives of His people.
Gold signifies divinity – our Lord’s nature coming
forth in our lives; silver represents our righteousness -
all that our Lord bought for us on the Cross, being outworked
in our lives (Phil 2:12, Zech 13:9, Mal 3:3).
Bronze speaks of judgment being applied to our lives. Everything
in our lives must be subjected to God’s judgment. (Psalm
26:1-2). The “reins” speak of those things that
control us. Our thoughts, our hearts, our actions, our possessions,
our attitudes, our priorities - everything must be open to
His examination. Some things will pass his inspection, some
will be discarded, some will be transformed, some will be
strengthened and matured. We must be willing for Him to do
as He wishes with each aspect of our lives. Let us present
our bodies “a living sacrifice.”
As we lay ourselves on this altar, we can be sure that what
is burned up will be only the “hay, wood, and stubble”
that hinders us from the Lord’s best. What remains will
be the refined gold and silver. The linen also represents
purity. No mixture is acceptable in God’s sanctuary.
Blue is the color of heaven and represents the heavenly characteristics
of our Lord. Purple is the color of royalty and represents
the authority we have in Christ through His kingship. The
scarlet thread of redemption binds us as Christ’s blood-bought
possession (1 Cor 6:20).
Each one of the precious stones of the Breastplate represented
a tribe of Israel, but also represents a different aspect
of our Lord that should shine forth through His people. The
prophecies given by Jacob in Gen 49 and by Moses in Deut 33
indicate what each represented. (Note also the hindrances
to coming fully into their inheritance).
“Oil for light” tells us that the Word alone
is not enough. It must be anointed by the Holy Spirit to give
Life and Light. Add to this the incense of prayer, and we
begin to see what the Lord requires. All of this must be offered
willingly, out of hearts of love for our heavenly Father,
an all-wise God, Who desires only the best for His children.
The goats’ hair, rams’ skin dyed red, and badger’s
skin, all represent the work of the Cross which we must appropriate
into our lives, and then offer back to Him. Goats’ hair
was black and represents sin. A goat was offered in the Sin
Offering and the “scapegoat” carried the sins
of the people away into the wilderness. He became Sin for
us, that we might have His Righteousness. (2 Cor 5:21).
This reality is to be worked into us. We are to bring our
sins to Him in confession, and we are to put to death the
old nature by crucifying the flesh and “reckon ourselves
dead unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ.”
The rams’ skin dyed red speaks of His being our Substitute
and His Blood shed for us. The badger’s skin was the
outward covering. It was dull brown and had coarse hair. This
represents the fact that “we have this treasure in earthen
vessels” (2 Cor 4:7).
Shittim wood was a hardy, incorruptible wood representing
the human nature of Christ, and when overlaid with gold represents
the Incarnation. He is to be incarnate in us. It is this working
of Him in us that we are to offer to Him. It is the work of
His Cross in us that will build the sanctuary He desires -
“a sanctuary not built with human hands.” It is
the result of this working in us that produces what He needs
to build His sanctuary.
He later appointed special workmen and showed them how to
take these raw materials and turn them into the desired sanctuary.
It has been said that master silversmiths and goldsmiths have
tried to imitate the methods they used as described and they
have not been able to do so. Replicas may look authentic,
but the method is not the same. This speaks of the working
of the Holy Spirit. We can see the results, we can imitate
something that looks similar, but we cannot work exactly as
He does. This is something reserved for God alone, lest man
take for himself the glory that belongs only to God.
Only by moving in perfect obedience under the anointing can
we properly build His sanctuary. We will often not even understand
how it is happening, even though we are an active part of
The Lord is still looking for a people who will willingly
offer from the heart what He requires to build His sanctuary,
and than allow the Holy Spirit to turn these offerings into
His sanctuary, so He can truly dwell among His people. Then
His Glory will be manifested.