Exodus 25:8 (NKJV) "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them."
Exodus 33:14-16 (NKJV) "And He said, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.' 15 Then he said to Him, 'If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.'”
Whereas pagan temples existed to appease their gods through gifts and offerings, the Sanctuary in Exodus was a place where the LORD could reveal His mercy and love to His people, and where they could worship Him.
"In the Hebrew sanctuary, the Israelites could not give anything to Yahweh in order to enrich or bribe him. Instead it was really Yahweh who was the giver. His presence among them had enriched Israel to the point where they were provided with a religious and national identity." (A. M. Rodriguez, Andrews University Seminary Studies, Summer, 1986, Vol. 24, No. 2, 127-145)