Summary: #8 in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness Series
Tabernacle in the Wilderness Series
#8 Sanctified for Service at the Brazen Laver
By Pastor Jim May
Exodus 30:17-21, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations."
Last week we studied the Brazen Altar and saw that it was not a pretty sight to behold. Upon that altar, untold numbers of animals were sacrificed and burned so that Israel would be given forgiveness for sin. We noted that everything about that altar stood for judgment against sin and its sole purpose was to fulfill the requirements of our Holy God for man to have a way to enter into His presence.
Jesus was pictured throughout every aspect of the Brazen Altar and we know that without His sacrifice upon the cross, we would never enter into the presence of God. Jesus is our Brazen Altar and there, at His cross, through His shed blood, we find the “doorway to Heaven and eternal life”. There was only one Brazen Altar, and there is only one “door”, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we have entered that door, and passed by the Brazen Altar, we now continue into a deeper relationship with God as we draw ever nearer to the Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.
The next stop we come to after we have passed by, and gazed upon the Brazen Altar, is the Brazen Laver that stood just before the entrance into the Holy Place where the glory, beauty and wealth of the tabernacle could really be seen.
The Brazen Laver had two parts: the circular brass bowl made from the polished brash mirrors the women brought with them from Egypt and the brass foot or pedestal. Fresh spring water, probably taken from a smitten rock, was poured continually into the laver for daily purification.
As you can see from the many versions of what the Brazen Laver really looked like, no one really knows because no exact dimensions or detailed instructions are given as to its construction and appearance. One reason for this is that it is a symbol to us that whoever comes to the Laver for cleansing will find that it has an unending supply. No matter how much water was taken out, it was constantly being replenished. It was a constant source of cleansing that never ran dry.
The Brazen Laver had one purpose. It was placed exactly in front of the entrance to the Holy Place so that every priest whose duty it was to enter there, must stop first and be cleansed by the pure water held in the Laver. Remember that the priests have just come from the Brazen Altar where blood was constantly being sprinkled, ashes from the burnt sacrifices were in the air, their hands were likely covered in blood and their feet were covered with the dust of the earth and the ashes that had fallen from the sky.
From the beginning of time God had said, and is still saying, that no unclean thing should enter into His presence. Before we can enter into His presence we must be cleansed and made pure in his sight.
Deuteronomy 23:14, "For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee."
2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…”
You should take notice that the Brazen Laver was not used by the common people of Israel but was reserved only for the cleansing of the priests who served in the tabernacle.
What does that mean to you and I?
You and I, and everyone who is washed in the Blood of the Lamb, are called to be priests unto the Lord. We are to serve as the priests in our families, as we take their needs constantly before the Lord. We are to keep pointing everyone toward the Brazen Altar that they may see the sacrifice for their sin and know that there is a Savior who died for them.