Bible Studies on the Hebrew Tabernacle/Sanctuary

Introduction

The Hebrew Sanctuary by Ty Gybson, Laymen Ministry News Summer-Fall 1994, page 14.

The very first revelation we have of God's character toward man after his fall into sin is both touching and meaningful. Adam and Eve had sinned. Their hearts were filled with feelings of guilt and woe. A deep sense of condemnation pressed its awful weight of despair upon them, and they sought to hide themselves from their Maker. Bu lo, we hear the voice of God calling with tender compassion and searching love. "Where art thou?" Here the mighty God of creation is portrayed as seeking the lost, desirous of reconciliation and peace.

 

This is how Christ represented the attitude of God toward wayward man in such parables as the wayward son. The father eagerly and with great hope for the return of his beloved son who had left him.

 

When, finally, the son came to his senses and sought to return to his father's love and care, he was received with great joy and anxious acceptance. The father "ran" to meet his son while he was yet "a great way off" (Luke 15:20). In the parable of the shepherd and his one lost sheep, we see God as One who diligently , and at great risk, seeks one soul that has gone astray from His guardianship. (See Matthew 18:11-13). Such is the sensitive, seeking, interested heart of God toward the sinner. This is the nature of His thoughts and feelings toward you and me—thoughts of compassion and love; feelings of peace and parental affection.

 

Throughout the history of this world, our heavenly Father has earnestly sought to impress man with His love and lead him to understand and experience His salvation. Though man has fallen into sin and has forfeited the divine character, Infinite Wisdom has devised a plan whereby he might be fully restored to his original perfection and peace. To communicate this wonderful plan, the Lord instructed the Jewish people to build a temple as an object lesson of redemption and a channel of light to the world. (See Exodus 25:8).

 

In the ancient Hebrew sanctuary God has revealed both the reality of sins heinous character and the purpose and power of redeeming grace. With beautiful simplicity and brilliant detail, this symbolic system teaches the way of salvation. Says the psalmist, "Thy way, O God is in the sanctuary."(Psalm 77:13).

 

The Hebrew sanctuary, as a divine object lesson, is composed of seven basic symbols of Christian experience. Let us look at each symbol and learn their meaning.

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