THE BRONZE BASIN
There was a lot of work ahead for Moses as he began to follow all the instructions from God to set up the wilderness tabernacle.
One task was to oversee the setting up of the bronze basin, or the laver.
The bronze laver is a subject we have discussed in the past and we all know it’s significance has to do with coming clean before God – everyday.
Today we may look at this same subject from a slightly different angle. That is the wonderful thing about scripture; it is ever evolving Once you absorb the first layer of meaning there is another layer right behind that one. The joy comes when you decide to keep peeling those layers back.
Welcome to our Thursday Bible Study we have called COME AS A CHILD.
If you are just joining us all of the previous bible study lessons for the Book of Exodus can be found by reading the previous articles under the COME AS A CHILD tab in the blog.
This is a chronological study, and I hope to have the Book of Genesis Study and the Book of Exodus Study available and all together in one place in downloadable form for anyone who wants a review them soon.
Today’s lesson is taken from scriptures found in Exodus, Chapter 30, verses 17-21.
WHEN THE WOMEN GAVE UP THEIR MIRRORS
This bronze laver in the court of the tabernacle which was used by the priest for washing was made from the polished bronze mirrors that were donated by the Hebrew women who served in the outside courtyard of the tabernacle.
This was a very precious and valuable gift they gave. Mirrors were hard to come by in those days. The people did not have hand-mirrors like we use today.
Most likely the women were given these mirrors (made of bronze and shinned to the point that they gave a good reflection) by their previous Egyptian masters.
During those ancient days of history, these mirrors must have been greatly treasured.
Can you imagine a woman living without a mirror today?
AREN’T WE ALL CONSTANTLY STUDYING OUR OWN REFLECTIONS?
Maybe we should give this pont some deeper thought.
Have we become so caught up in our own self-images that we have forgotten to worship God?
Is there not a great extent of self-worship happening in our culture today?
Are we not all constantly catering to, improving and working on making that image of ourselves that we see in the mirror reflect the world around us?
THE CONSTANT NEED TO REFLECT THE WORLD
We want to be thin.
There is a need and desire to be stylish.
We want to be beautiful.
Our images need to have a certain flair, even maybe a better flair than our neighbor’s image when she looks inside her mirror.
Where have we placed our values?
What are these types of values really worth?
WHAT DID THESE FORMER SLAVES SEE THAT WE ARE MISSING?
There are commercials out there everywhere that make a woman think she has to look perfect at all time. Our society has really given the role of being a woman such a stigma.
We no longer strive just for beauty; but the beauty has to be “sexy.” That word “sexy” has become as common as all the other words that come out of our mouths today. Everything, everywhere seems to be centered around a certain appeal to the sexual appetites of the culture.
Perhaps these Hebrew women had experienced such things back in Egypt.
Today young girls are growing up thinking of nothing but becoming the skinny models they see on television. They have noticed how men always pay attention and never fail to notice the models. This makes these beautiful young girls feel quite inadequate; as if they must imitate these shallow examples instead of building the character that God desires for a woman to have.
WHAT WERE THESE HEBREW WOMEN THINKING WHEN THEY DONATED THEIR MIRRORS?
These Hebrew women had experienced first-hand how following God can set you free. They had been delivered from Pharaoh, crossed the sea on dry land and were headed for a land of milk and honey. They KNEW who had made this possible for them. It was their Creator who had done these mighty things.
It was God who made the woman.
He made each one perfect in her own way.
Have we forgotten this fact?
There is something attractive inside the being of every woman who walks the earth; but this will not be seen in an immoral culture that doesn’t value the person over how they can use and abuse a person.
THE HEBREW WOMEN HAD FOUND THEIR TRUE DESTINY
These women who gave up their mirrors for the making of the bronze laver might have put a lot of thought into what they were doing in making this sacrifice. After years of abuse and mistreatment, they had just come out of the Egyptian culture that treated women in almost the same way that women of today’s world are treated. Like many women of today, until God rescued them through Moses; they had been used and abused for all the wrong reasons.
These Hebrew woman had a new chance to change the reputation of women. They saw an open door and they walked right out of the wrong thinking of the past. They had been given a fresh, new page. What did they do with it after all the wisdom they had gained during their times of slavery? They melted down their mirrors and made a place to wash before coming to the altar that honored God.
They had learned the secret to becoming a real woman. They understood for the first time that honoring God also brought honor and blessings upon them.
LIVING INSIDE-OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF AN UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD
Perhaps these women serving in the outer courts of the tabernacle knew the secret of living life inside-out in the middle of an upside-down world.
One day in the future Jesus Christ would come to explain this fully; but these wonderful, thinking, intelligent and loving women took great strides to preach the gospel prophetically through their actions even before its time had come.
They had to KNOW the One True God in order to do this.
A LOT OF “PERHAPS” HAPPENED HERE
I can’t sing their praises enough!
Perhaps they had found out the hard way that living a shallow imitation of someone’s else’s idea of what you were created to be isn’t the way to find joy and happiness.
Perhaps they had learned that the true beauty of a woman grows from the inside-out when she experiences and lives out the love of God.
Perhaps they had seen so much outside beauty exhibiting a lot of hate and had come to appreciate true inside beauty that exhibits a lot of love. They had definitely learned to tell the difference; and they now desired to teach the inside how to reflect outward. For this they no longer needed their bronze mirrors.
They simply needed a heart full of God’s love.
THEY HAD LEARNED HOW TO GIVE GOD GLORY AND IT REFLECTED IN THEIR FACES IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY
Perhaps this is why they turned their bronze mirrors into something more useful, something more honorable and something that would give glory to God instead of bringing them and what God had made them to be to shame.
Good for these women!
I say let this movement begin all over again today.
DO YOU CARRY A BRONZE MIRROR THAT THE WORLD HAS GIVEN TO YOU?
Let the women of today’s world turn in their bronze mirrors and replace them with a cleansing and an altar that honors God in every way.
Let the mirrors that once reflected the world and all of its sins show the reflections of a godly heart.
There are so many voices crying from underneath the surface of this story. We have so much to learn from this ancient culture that left slavery and bondage and came out of the pagan practices of the world.
They were joyfully on their way to a much better place.
Yet; they could never have done this without the leadership of God and his servant named Moses.
Moses set the example for treating the women honorable among the men of his own culture. I’m sure it was a lesson that he had struggled to learn, the same as it is for many men living in our society today.
One man thinking honorable was able to help many women bring true worship into their culture.
Where are these men now?
A BRONZE STAND MADE THE BASIN SECURE FOR WASHING
God told Moses that the basin was to have a bronze stand and it was to be used for washing. Getting ready for worship requires a steady and secure base. Then the laver was to be placed between the Tent of Meeting and the Altar. It was to be filled with pure, clean water.
Aaron and his sons were to wash their hands and feet with the water from this basin whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting. The penalty for not washing with water was death.
The laver gave a constant reminder that men needed to be cleansed before approaching the throne of God.
Not only were they to wash, but they were to bring a sacrifice before they could wash.
All of this was necessary before entering The Holy Place.
ANOTHER PICTURE OF CHRIST
Once again in the layout of the tabernacle we see a picture of how Christ brings atonement and salvation to mankind.
Those of us who have come into the Church consider ourselves saved because Christ has become the final sacrifice for our sins. Before Christ these Old Testament priests had to bring their temporary sacrifices; then be washed by the water of the laver.
The altar that allowed the men to come clean before God was built from a group of loving, God-fearing, thinking and obedient women. Their sacrifice helped to make their men into godly leaders.
After receiving salvation in the church today we too come clean before God; not because of anything that we have done but because of the atoning blood of Christ.
WASHING DAILY IN THE WORD
Still, there is more to this cleansing process. There is the matter of a daily cleansing that we must remember to do. We must be washed daily in the Word of God.
Christ wants a pure and unblemished Bride. The scriptures NEVER say a “sexy” bride. They say a “pure and unblemished” Bride. Young women be sure to read those words for yourself.
Those who are saved have been cleansed on the inside; but the outside picks up the daily dirt and grime because of the necessity of walking through this world. We must remove that dirt and grime from ourselves every time we approach the throne of God to worship; because God abides in a Holy Place.
PURPOSE OF THE BRONZE BASIN
The bronze basin is for daily washing.
The bronze laver was placed between the altar and the tabernacle.
This was the proper procedure and it was all laid out in perfect order.
There was a place to offer a sacrifice and then a place to wash before entering the Tent and coming into The Holy Place. It was important for the priests serving in the tabernacle to get this right. If you didn’t offer a sacrifice you could not enter. If you did not wash properly; you could not enter. The penalty for disobeying the rules was death.
THE PENALTY FOR DISOBEDIENCE IS DEATH
Now we know the symbolism of this lay out. Before you can enter through the door (Christ) you must be washed in the blood (the atoning blood of Christ) and the water (the waters of baptism and the washing of the Word daily.)
You first come to the altar with confession and prayers, then you receive salvation. You are saved, then washed clean and pure in baptism.
You are then free to enter the door of the tabernacle (Christ) and come into the worship of God in The Holy Place.
The whole setting of the tabernacle was a way that God laid out for us to relate to how to come before Him in worship.