Introduction: When I was in school, I spent a summer working for a
small construction company. It was not a great job. The work was
dangerous because the owners seemed uncertain about some fundamental
rules, like gravity for example. One of the owners cut off a board
that he was sitting on and fell eight feet onto a cement sidewalk. The
owners were hardly alert to danger for their employees since they did
not seem to notice matters involving their own safety. Another problem
involved giving directions. One owner would quickly state what he
wanted me to build, and when I did not understand, he would take his
pencil and draw on the ground what passed for a picture. He would then
announce that he had told me, and even drawn me a picture, and
therefore I had plenty of instruction. Our God has drawn us a picture
about His plan of salvation. Unlike the pictures drawn by my former
boss, God’s picture is full of details. Let’s dive into our Bible to
see what picture God drew for His people about salvation!

  1. Heaven’s Picture – God With Us

    1. Read Exodus 25:8-9 and Hebrews 8:5. We see that God told
      Moses to make a sanctuary according to a “pattern” that God
      showed him. Notice that Hebrews describes it as a “shadow of
      what is in heaven.” What does that tell us about the earth
      version of the tabernacle? (How would you compare your
      shadow to yourself? It is a copy, but it gives us only a
      general idea of the original.)

      1. What did God say was His reason for asking Moses to
        build a sanctuary? (God wanted to “dwell among” His

    2. Read Revelation 21:2-4. What is God’s ultimate plan for His
      followers? (That He will live with them! Heaven will come
      down to earth and God will dwell with humans. Notice that
      this is a long-standing desire of God.)

      1. If someone says that they want to live with you (and
        they can otherwise afford to pay rent) what does that
        say about their attitude towards you? (God loves you!)

  2. Heaven’s Picture – Human Partners

    1. Read Exodus 25:1-7. How was God’s dwelling place on earth to
      be built? (By gifts from God’s people.)

    2. Read Exodus 35:20-21. Were the people coerced into giving
      God the materials for His sanctuary? (No. “Everyone who was
      willing and whose heart moved them” brought gifts.)

      1. If you were God, and it was an incredible privilege
        and honor for whatever group of humans you decided to
        honor with your presence, would you have this same
        attitude towards the funding of your home?

      2. Or, if you were God, would you think it was beneath
        you to fool around with humans – and you would speak
        into existence a great mobile palace?

      3. What does this teach us about God’s attitude towards
        humans? (It shows that God wants to partner with us in
        accomplishing His will, but God does not coerce us –
        even when He has a legitimate claim for our support.)

    3. Read Exodus 35:22. What do you think about the source of the
      gold for God’s house?

      1. You recall that two weeks ago we studied the golden
        calf made by Aaron? Read Exodus 32:1-4. What was used
        to make the golden calf? (The same thing – gold

      2. Think even further back about the source of this gold.
        Remember that these people were slaves. Their
        possessions undoubtedly came from the Egyptians (see
        Exodus 12:35-36). What does this tell us about God’s
        goals for our wealth? (First, God owns everything. The
        Hebrews only had this gold because God had intervened
        on their behalf. God could justly claim it all, but He
        did not. He let the people decide. Second, the gold
        was not “clean” or “dirty,” rather the question is how
        God’s people will use it. Will we use it to build an
        idol, or will we use it to give glory to God?)

      3. What do these gifts suggest about the support for
        God’s work today? (God wants us to bring our secular
        talents and our common resources and use them to
        advance the Kingdom of God. All sorts of gifts and
        talents can be used to support the gospel.)

    4. Read Exodus 25:9 again. How precise did God ask Moses to be?
      (God says make it “exactly like” the pattern.)

      1. Do you think that God is particular about our part in
        our partnership with Him?(God does not coerce us. God
        uses our common talents. But, God has high standards
        for us. If we choose to join in God’s work, He expects
        us to obey.)

  3. God’s Picture – Sanctuary Attitude

    1. Read Hebrews 10:1. Notice the reference again to a “shadow.”
      Just like we learned that the sanctuary on earth was a
      shadow of the one in heaven, so the law is a shadow “of the
      good things that are coming.” What do you think is the
      reality – more laws?

      1. What does this text suggest is the goal of the law?
        (To make us perfect. For this goal it is a mere

    2. Read Hebrews 10:2-7. What is the reality of the law? What is
      the original? (Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. The goal of
      the law was to make us perfect, but for that it was a mere
      shadow. Jesus was the reality.)

    3. Read Hebrews 10:8-10. If God was not pleased with the
      sacrifices, why did the Old Testament require them? (Look
      again at Hebrews 10:3. We are told that the sacrifices were
      for us – to remind us of our sins.)

    4. How would you suggest that we can be reminded today of our
      sins? (Jesus died in our place. We should be reminded of
      this through the Lord’s Supper. See 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.)

      1. Is there some way you could be reminded more often?

        1. Is there a way in which the law could be part of
          this reminder? (Read Matthew 22:36-40. Jesus
          tells us to love our neighbor “as yourself.”
          This involves some sacrifice. Hebrews 10 is all
          about sacrifice. The idea that forms in my mind
          is that when we sacrifice for others, we are
          reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
          In this way the law is a “shadow” of the reality
          of Jesus’ extreme love for us.)

        2. Read Romans 12:1. What does Paul teach us about
          this kind of sacrificial attitude? (It is a form
          of worship – true and proper worship!)

      2. I’m on vacation as I write this lesson. I’ve found a
        local church to visit each Sabbath of my vacation.
        These churches have been very small – and in some
        respects this is very discouraging. Why do so few
        attend? What would cause you personally to leave a
        church? (Do we attend church so that we can sacrifice?
        Or, do we attend church so that we can be spiritually
        fed by others?)

        1. If we decided to be part of the group that
          spiritually fed others, would that feed us?

    5. We started out by saying “What picture has God drawn for us
      by His sanctuary on earth?” What is your answer to that
      question? (God wants to dwell with us. God does not coerce
      us. However, dwelling with God is a serious commitment. The
      entire system of the law and sanctuary draws a picture of
      sacrifice for others. True worship is self-sacrifice. True
      worship is a constant reminder of what God has sacrificed
      for our sins.)

    6. Friend, have you examined your life to evaluate whether you
      have a spirit of self-sacrifice, or a spirit of self-gratification? Will you ask the Holy Spirit today to convert
      your heart so that you better reflect the law and the love
      of Jesus towards you?

  4. Next week: Happy Are You, Israel.