Summary: Some women gave up their mirrors so the bronze Laver could be built. What remarkable women, what a remarkable sacrifice, what a remarkable change of heart; abandoning the outward image of Eve to develop the inner image of Jesus.
WHEN WOMEN QUIT LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
A. HUMOR: THEY CAUGHT A MERMAID
1. Three guys were out fishing one day when, out of the blue, they caught a mermaid who said she’d grant each of them a wish if they’d set her free.
2. “Okay,” said the first guy, “double my IQ.” The mermaid said, “Done.” Suddenly the guy started reciting Shakespeare and other classical literature.
3. The second guy was so amazed he said to the mermaid, “Triple my IQ”. The mermaid said, “Done.” The guy started spouting mathematical equations solving problems that had stumped scientists for centuries.
4. The third guy was so impressed that he said, “Quadruple my IQ.” The mermaid looked at him and said, “I normally don’t try to change people’s minds, but I really wish you’d reconsider. You don’t know what you’re asking...it’ll change your entire view on the universe.” “Nope make it 4x higher!”
5. The mermaid sighed and said, “Done.” Poof! And the third guy was changed into a woman.
B. LADY WITHOUT A MIRROR
1. Two centuries ago there lived a prominent English woman by the name of Lady Montagu. She was the wife of the Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and wrote poetry. Her energy and talents won her a wide field of influence, even with such eminent literary men as Pope and Addison, who were among her close friends.
2. Historians of the time note that as she grew older she became indifferent to her appearance, so much so, that for eleven years she refused to look at herself in a mirror. On that alone she was considered a remarkable woman! [Paul Lee Tan, #4936]
“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.
1. God told Moses to construct a tent where Jehovah could meet with the Israelites. It was called the Tabernacle. It was a portable version the Temple later built by Solomon.
2. Women have always been at the forefront of the work of God. Two Old Testament women, Deborah and Esther, saved the nation of Israel from destruction. Jesus’ ministry was supported by a group of women (Lk. 8:3). And women were the last at the cross, first at the tomb, first met the resurrected Christ, and then carried the news to the apostles!
3. Exodus 38:8 tells about women making unusual donations to construct the Tabernacle. Their gifts speak volumes about their love for God. The title of this message is “When Women Quit looking in the Mirror.”
I. SYMBOLOGY OF THE LAVER
A. THE TABERNACLE, IN GENERAL
1. Each piece of the Tabernacle had a symbolic meaning. The Tent represented our human body. We were created to be indwelt, in the inner sanctums of our spirits, by the living Presence of God.
2. We’re to have the illumination (menorah) of the Holy Spirit and we’re to be fed with the Bread from Heaven (shewbread). The incense of our praise is to be offered before God in our hearts.
3. Outside was the altar of burnt offering where the sacrifice of our sins was burned – representing the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lamb of God for our sins on Calvary.
4. Near the Altar of Burnt Offering was a large bowl on a stand. It was made of bronze and held a large quantity of water. This bowl, the Laver, is believed to have spigots to turn to release water for washing the Priest’s hands and feet before they ministered for God (or a pitcher was used to scoop it out.)
B. THE PRIESTS & THE LAVER
1. We are “kings and priests unto our God” (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 1 Pet. 2:9). Believers have a priestly function, but we need to be cleansed daily from our old sins. We need the Laver.
2. The Laver was made from the mirrors of the ladies, so the priests could see themselves in it. They could see their faces and observe the blotches that needed to wiped off. James said the Word of God is like a mirror that people can see themselves in (1:23).
3. Paul said the Word cleanses us; “That he might sanctify and cleanse it [the Church] with the washing of water by the Word” Eph. 5:26. So the Laver/ i.e., the Word, shows us our sins and helps us be cleansed from them.
C. ONLY ONE TRUE MIRROR
1. In order for us to repent we need genuine self-examination. The Bible is the only mirror in which we can see ourselves as we really are.
2. There are some mirrors that flatter the features, and make you look better than you are. Then there are other mirrors that distort your features, and make you look worse than you are.