Summary: Part two of a series of two on being in the presence of God.
Last week I spoke on the passage that comes immediately after this passage I am going to talk about. The key point that I wanted to make was that Walking in God’s presence is the most wonderful and valuable thing. And it is.
After the tabernacles, Holy place and the Holy of Holies were made. Bezelel the man in charge of the whole project; who I referred to last week as the Construction Manager who was filled with the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building the tabernacle. After this two things were built in the courtyard, reading from Exodus 38: 1-9.
So what were these things for?
Before the priests could go past the courtyard into the holy place they had to do two things they had to make a sacrifice for sins committed, this had to be made on the Alter of Burnt Offering. They didn’t just sacrifice any old huckery ewe or ram this had to be an animal in perfect condition.
Sacrifice means just that; to approach God cost something. Sin is abhorrent to God, and sin had to be dealt with. Sin had to be stripped of its power to condemn.
If however you were a lamb or a dove the whole process could be extremely costly.
That aside though the people still had to pay for these sacrifices, the cost was out of pocket. People other than priests could also offer a sacrifice on the alter for personal sins.
In regards to the priests once they had made the sacrifice for their sins and the sins of the people they could then approach God; their Holy God, our Holy God. To enter into God’s presence required sacrifice.
There was however another thing that the priest had to do, he had to have a wash!
The second condition of fellowship with God is a cleansed lifestyle
A big brass washing bowl was made to be in the courtyard, this was called a laver.
An interesting thing about the washing place was that it was made of the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
The mirrors used by ladies back in those days were made of burnished metals, these were about the size of a modern hand mirror that’s that they were highly polished so that the lady using it could see her beauty, assuming that that was the case; reflected in the metal.
How much would it take for a lady to give up her mirror? That might be the 56 and a quarter million dollar question. I thought about a show of hands here, but then I thought that there may be a personal danger.
I did however ask a group of ladies at the Corps earlier in the week about this and the answer was that it would be a very hard thing to give up or in most cases it would not happen. There was certainly a huge amount of sacrifice made on behalf of those women in the construction of the laver.
This was giving in an uncommon way.
The washing the cleansing then allowed the priest to go into the Holy place.
To walk in God’s presence requires sacrifice and cleansing. (SBI) In this case the cleansing was tied to sacrifice.
The sacrifice for our sins is something that has been paid, John the Baptist said these words about Jesus as he saw him coming towards him as recorded in John’s gospel 1:29; “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
In Hebrews 10:10 we read, “And by that we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The possibility to enter into God’s presence is there, Jesus has paid the price, this is the truth!
No more sacrifice is required what is required is a cleansed life style, some see this as a sacrifice interestingly this is not a sacrifice it is a release.
God is Holy, how do we now approach a Holy God?
To get the certain job you have to have the right qualifications, there are some pretty good tradespeople here. Just because Heather is a great dressmaker does not mean she can fly a Jumbo jet.
However we argue with God, “just a minute why can’t I do what I want, its my life.” (Space)
He created us he knows what we require what is best for us.(space)
Has anyone here been to one of restaurants were you needed to wear a jacket or a tie? If you want to eat their food you have to wear the right clothes.
Cleansing in the laver for the priests would have required looking at their reflection. It is been said to have balance in life reflection is required, not so much of our image but on our character, to assess this before God and make changes. Internally we should always be aware of our standing before God.