The Tabernacle: The Laver


God gave Noah the blueprints for the Ark. These included great detail... gopherwood... 300 cubits by 50 cubits and 30 cubits tall... one door... three decks... pitched inside and out... (Genesis 6:14-16).

God also gave Moses detailed instructions for the tabernacle. The specified building materials included gold, silver and bronze, and fabrics in blue, purple and red. For each object and item, God gave clear direction.

And He gave exact dimensions for each object and item. The outer curtains were 7½ feet tall and stretched 150 feet north and south and 75 feet east and west. As we saw yesterday, the Altar of Burnt Offerings was 7½ feet square and 4½ feet tall. God gave exact measurements for the Table, the Lamp, the Ark and the Mercy Seat ... everything except the Laver.

“Make a bronze basin for washing and a bronze stand for it. Set it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet from the basin. Whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister by burning a food offering to the Lord, they must wash with water so that they will not die. They must wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this is to be a permanent statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations” (Exodus 30:18-20, CSB).

God directed Moses to make the Laver of bronze, but how big was it? Puzzling, huh!

The Laver was the second thing that a worshipper encountered in the Tabernacle. It was set just past the Altar and immediately before the tent. As we’ll see, the tent included the Holy Place that housed the Lamp, the Table, the Golden Altar for burning incense. The second room, behind the veil, called the Holy of Holies, housed the Ark of the Covenant with its lid, the Mercy Seat.

Before the priest entered the tent, he was required to wash at the Laver. Before he could enter God’s presence, he had to be cleansed of the worldly dirt and dust.

So, here’s a question to ponder... How many times could a man wash and be made clean at God’s Laver? How many times could he return to the Laver to be set free from filth and defilement? Answer... There was no limit. So, how big was it? God didn’t put a limit on its size, nor does He put a limit on His grace.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, ESV). No limits! We can, “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV).

So, God did not give Moses the Laver’s dimensions, but He did instruct Moses concerning its building material. “Make a bronze basin for washing and a bronze stand for it” (Exodus 30:18, CSB).

But, stop to think. Where do you get an unlimited supply of bronze? They were in the middle of the wilderness, and there wasn’t a Home Depot around the corner!

“He made the bronze basin and its stand from the bronze mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting” (Exodus 38:8, CSB).

That’s beautiful! These ladies gave their precious bronze mirrors to God! They gave what was prized, precious, and irreplaceable! That’s a glorious picture of the kind of worship that Jesus deserves. They sacrificed their vanity, so that God could be glorified!

Come to the laver! “Though your sins are scarlet, they will be as white as snow!” (Isaiah 1:18, CSB).

That’s good stuff!

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