The Tabernacle of Moses ~ Study 4
The Tabernacle of Moses – 4
At the mall, we may stop and check it out. Before we leave the house, consider it at least more than twice. I would say (speaking to a few of my gal friends) the average home has between 3-5 of these, (or more). Some primitive cultures have never seen one. James uses this item in his analogy of not merely listening but ‘doing’ the word of God.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 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. (James 1:23-25 ESV)
This is where we find ourselves – at the water basin, just prior to entering the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. OK, so I was a little dramatic in getting here, but got your attention didn’t I?
Last week we entered the courtyard, stood at the altar of sacrifice and considered the atoning blood. Now we step further in the courtyard and pause at the laver. Conveniently located near the entry of the Holy Place, standing as a reminder of the need for cleansing before approaching God. In the Old Testament there were three ways to achieve cleansing.. by blood, water and by fire.
What does a mirror have to do this any of this? Much!
They made the bronze basin and its bronze
stand from the mirrors of the women who served
at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. (Ex. 38:8 NIV)
These mirrors had been brought with them from Egypt. Egypt has been known for it’s glamorous designs of gold, copper, bronze and brass. The mirror polished and easily shows blemishes. The mirror does not lie. The mirror . … a very ‘staple’ (if you will) for the life of a woman. It not only speaks of our vanity outwardly, but also that of our inner man (woman) as well. It is found in the desire for acceptance. By all means, I am all for ‘lookin good’ having our hair combed, teeth brushed, make up on, but that is only external.
These mirrors perhaps may have represented their old life. Now in the wilderness, the Lord gently reminds them, all you need now is ME. These items being offered and melted down for a higher purpose.
And you know me, have to ask. ‘what is it the Lord may be asking of us?’ That we too find as a ‘staple’ of our lives, that He wants offered to Him, melted down and consecrated. Going past the external – reflection of ourselves. Hm…
The Laver, in the Hebrew is ‘kiyyor’ meaning round washbowl. The water in it was always fresh and pure, emptied and replenished daily. The priests were instructed to wash their hands and feet before performing any of the priestly duties as they entered the Holy Place.
Think – where did they just walk from? The altar of sacrifice. They had blood on their hands. The dust of the ground now all over their feet. To bypass the water, meant punishment of death.
Before we proceed on, the Lord showed me something that caught my eye, thoughts and emotions. Who was the first person mentioned to be filled with the Spirit of God in the bible? Was it Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob even Moses?
No. It was NOT a prophet, NOT a patriarch and NOT one of these key major players in God’s wonderful story. It was Bezalel. Yes, I know many of us are saying ‘WHO?’ It was a craftsman. A worker in the church. He was chosen by God to work on the Tabernacle with skill, ability, knowledge and anointing.
The LORD also said to Moses, “Look, I have chosen
Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
I have filled him with the Spirit of God, and skill in giving him great wisdom, intelligence, all kinds of crafts.
He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in cutting and setting gemstones
and in carving wood. Yes, he is a master at every craft! (Exodus 31:1-4 NLT see also 35:31)
Fascinating isn’t it. As I thought of him, I thought of those around me. Close friends who too are not flashy, grand in popularity. Just as Bezalel was commissioned to fashion the Tabernacle according to his gifting from the Lord, they too are called to ‘fashion’ the world around them ‘anointed style’.
There is Roberta, she has the ability to make me laugh like no other, and can make those numbers dance. Gloria who can organize even the busiest of bees and just the mention of a spread sheet makes her blush. Deanna gifted with the love, creativity and patience for pre-schoolers. Shelly that woman can spell and carries spiritual pom-poms of encouragement. Joan her heart is evident in her listening. Judy leadership qualities others desire to follow, her love unmatchless. Pastor Kathy, hospitality and give her time in the kitchen and your perspective of food will never be the same. Myself, lock me in a room for hours and I will turn it into a love fest of studying. May we too be used to ‘fashion’ the church, with our uniqueness, the Holy Spirit rubbing Himself all over our lives, loves and abilities.
Water in scripture can be represented for both drinking, a picture of the Spirit of God (John 7:37-39) and for washing, a picture of the Word of God (Ps. 119:9, Jn. 15:3, Eph. 5:25-27). The water basin expresses to us, the Word of God cleansing us, the mind and heart. John 17:7 as Jesus prays for His disciples.. ‘sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth’.
As the blood justifies us by faith, this ‘settles’ our salvation, as today’s culture would put it ‘a done deal. The Word is powerful to sanctities us.
I looked at regeneration, justification and sanctification. This alone took me to many verses, chapters and much teaching that to be honest – made my mind sore. I broke down pages of notes, in short this was my summary, we come to God, receive Christ’s atoning work , (regenerated) able to stand before a holy God, (justified) we now are clean and set apart for His purpose, (sanctified).
Let’s apply this to our lives today, the believer is forgiven through Jesus’ work in the cross, His atoning blood. (amazing note: while on the cross, when the spear pierced His side, both blood and water flowed from His body). Just as the priest continued to wash, we too NEED to be washed daily in His word to cleanse ourselves. As the water was replenished everyday in the water basin, we too need to be replenished The standing water would be unfit for use. So we too must share the ‘Word of God’ with others, we are not to let it sit in our hearts and stagnate.
I leave you with these verses
For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:14-21 NIV)
I do not wish to change the water basin into a pool…. but may I be so bold as to say, the water is great – come on in there is room for all!
In Him, DeDe (Ps.92:4 You thrill me, LORD!)