This is a subject that is very dear to me personally; because of some things that transpired between the Lord and I about two years ago. He caused me to see many things concerning Moses’ tabernacle in the wilderness. If you ever want to see God’s full plan for man, if you ever want to understand the government of God and how it operates, if you ever want to get a glimpse into the throne room of God…then just study the tabernacle in the wilderness.
Before any priest was allowed to go into the Inner Court (the Holy Place), he had to first visit what I like to call “The Looking Glass.” First he had to deal with things at the brazen altar where things are killed, dealt with, and burned up into ashes. This is the place where the blood is spilled. There was one thing you knew for sure…whatever animal was being led there wasn’t coming back alive.
The altar was the place of atonement. The symbolism is breathtaking to say the least. God is a God of symbolism. These things mean much to Him. He used it throughout the Old Testament to foreshadow many things. For a deeper study of all the types and shadows of the Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy), I would encourage you to find a copy of C.H. Mackintosh’s book entitled “Notes on the Pentateuch.”
There are many contrasts between the altar and the laver. The altar was made of wood and brass, but not the laver. The altar was square, but the laver was round. The altar was for fire, the laver was for water. The altar had to be covered during transport, but not the laver.
Just think about it for a moment. What exactly did Aaron and his son’s have to wash off at the laver? Blood. They had blood on their hands and on their feet from all the sacrifices that were being made at the altar. The purification of the priests was not by blood, but by water. If they attempted to enter the Holy Place without washing, they were killed. In God’s mind, if you’re not washed, then don’t try and enter His presence and minister to Him.
So then, between the altar and the curtain that separated the outer court from the inner court stood a laver (a washing basin). There is only one verse in the entire bible that says what the washing laver was made of, and it is found in Exodus 38:8: “And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the looking-glasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Most translations use the words, “the women’s mirrors.”
Just imagine the setting. You are one of the priests that needs to go into the inner court and minister to the Lord in making sure the oil never ran out in the candle-sticks, and to make sure there was fire and incense on the altar of incense, and that the showbread was kept changed out. You approach this washing laver. There is no wind, because the sides of the tabernacle are 7’-6” tall.
You walk up to it and the water is deathly still…and in your mind you know that this laver is made of mirrors. When you look down into the water, what do you see? Yourself is what you see. The spiritual implications alone are staggering. God wanted this particular piece of furniture made from mirrors.
As you look into the looking-glass, you can see several things: 1) you can see who you were, 2) you can see who you are now, and 3) you should be able to see who you will be. How is all this possible you may ask? That question leads us to James 1:23-25 which reads, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Did you notice something in that section of verses? Did you notice that this man is looking into a mirror? But God calls this “mirror” the perfect law of liberty. The Word of God is the perfect law of liberty that is being spoken of here. And furthermore, the man looks into the mirror and forgets what manner of man he was.
You see, the looking-glass is also a timepiece so-to-speak. It deals with your past, your present, and your future. The looking-glass shows you what kind of a man you were. It shows you what kind of a man you are. And it shows you what kind of a man you will become, based upon your choices. You could almost say that God’s Word takes you back and forth through time. We realize that this deals with our memory of certain events in our life. But nevertheless, the theory (spiritually speaking) is a sound one.
But the fact still remains that as we look into this “laver” we see ourselves. We do not see our neighbor, and we do not see our spouses or our children. We see ourselves. The light is shining down upon the water of the Word as we read it. Do you really want to be washed every wit whole? Then dig down deep into God’s Word (especially the Pauline epistles…Romans – Hebrews), and let the water of His Word wash you and cleanse you.
Didn’t the Lord say in John 15:3, “You are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”? The word washes, and it cleanses us. Can it really be a coincidence that the Lord’s very first miracle recorded in John 2 deals with water? Our bodies are made up of almost 75% water. Water covers 75% of the planet. Jesus walked on water. God had much to say about water in Genesis 2:10-14.
The main point is that water washes. And God’s Word is likened unto water; and it washes our minds. The blood washes away sins; but the Word washes away the self-life, and all of the dirt that this world puts on us just from our living in it, and our proximity to it. The Word washes our minds from the world system of selfishness and “me-ism.”
Might I encourage you to always be listening to the Word as much as possible. Mary Ann and I go to sleep every night listening to God’s Word. The first thing we do upon awakening is listen to God’s Word. You can do this by utilizing the YouVersion Bible application. Or just buy it on CD and listen to it. Johnny Cash reads the NKJV. Max McLean reads the ESV. Alexander Scorby is our favorite, and he reads the KJV. But you also need to be keeping it in front of your eyes too, by reading it.
The Word washes, the Word works!! Fill your heart and mind with it today, and over the next few weeks, and let me know what it has done for you. The Word will cause you to hate that which God hates, and will cause you to love that which God loves.
The Lord, the apostles, and all the writers of the New Testament put more emphasis on God’s written word than anything else is the whole Bible. Paul’s main ministry was not to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. His main ministry was to write the 14 epistles he wrote. He even said so in Colossians 1:25. Besides the Lord Jesus, Paul quoted God’s Word more than all the other New Testament writers combined!
Does God’s Word mean that much to you? When it does, it will affect everything in your life. God’s Word is a governor. It will govern everything if you want it to. I so want God’s Word to mean more to me than anything else in the world.
I want you to follow this next line of thinking very carefully; because I’m going to share with you the root cause of all backsliding. James 5:19-20 says, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” So we can see from this verse that a “brother” has wandered from the truth…and this wandering from the truth has caused him to now become a “sinner” in the eyes of God, a sinner whose very soul is in danger of being lost eternally. Now with all that in mind, consider this verse found in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” So we can now see just what truth they wandered from in the first place. Do you see what I’m saying here? They wandered from the Word of God. And look what their wandering from God’s Word produced: a brother became a sinner who is now steeped in a multitude of sins. Wandering (forsaking, leaving, not reading or paying attention to) from God’s Word will cause deception, backsliding, and ultimately spiritual death unless another person intervenes. Look at the verses carefully; the sinner will not see the truth on his own, it will take another.
Stay in God’s Word dear reader. Whatever happens…don’t wander from the truth. Continue to peer……………………….Into the Looking Glass…because the mirror doesn’t lie. It only reflects what is really there. It is not biased…the mirror always tells the truth.