The Laver was a bronze basin stood on a base about midway between the altar and the tabernacle (Ex.40:30). It was probably round and of considerable size although its exact shape and size are not stated in scripture. However we may surmise that the "stand" was separate since it is always mentioned separately (Ex 30:17).
Only the priests had access to the Laver, whereas the bronze altar was accessible to all. There was cleansing by blood the thought of justification and there was cleansing by water the thought of sanctification. The priests were obliged to wash their hands and their feet before entering God's presence, to disobey would mean death (Ex.30:19-21). There was no floor in the court or the tabernacle therefore the priests feet would be defiled by the constant contact with the earth and the hands by the work at the altar and other work. Therefore they had to wash before any ministry at the altar, to make them clean before communion with God and before service to man.
At their consecration the priests were washed all over at the Laver before being clothed with priestly garments and anointed (Lev.29:4-7). They did not wash themselves at their consecration, but were washed by someone else (Lev.8:6). This act was never repeated (perhaps a symbol of baptism Heb. 10:22) and afterwards the priests had to wash their own hands and feet at the Laver which would be a daily exercise. The Laver was made from the freewill gift of bronze mirrors made by the women (Ex.38:8) and enabled the priests to see their reflection. The thought of God's word being a Laver is seen in the New Testament, when Paul in Ephesians 5:26 writes "that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word"(NASB). The Greek word used there translated as washing is "loutron" which means Laver and is the Greek word used in the Septuagint for the Laver in the court of the tabernacle. If in the passage we were to put the word Laver it would read "that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the Laver of water, with the word". This gives the real insight of the verse, a standing in the place of sanctification that comes through the word of God. The cleansing power of God's word is also see in Psalm 119:9, John 15:3, 1 Peter 1;;22. When we come to the Word of God, the Bible, so it is to us a mirror for our soul that will cleanse us if we are willing to apply its purifying water to our lives.
The Laver water was required also for the washing of the inward parts of the sacrifices (Lev.1:9,13) and so it is that our inner thoughts and motives need divine cleansing.
Thoughts for simple sermons :-
1/ The need to allow ourselves to stand in that place where the word of God can cleanse and sanctify us daily.
2/ We see the Laver in heaven in Revelation 15:2 with the saints standing on or beside it signifying the place or state of absolute holiness with no more defilement to be cleansed.
3/ The need to come to that place by the Laver for cleansing before ministry before God or to other people on behalf of God
These are the articles of furniture found in the court, they speak of an atoning sacrifice and of a cleansing as a preparation to enter into God's presence. The same is true today to be able to come into God's presence, to have a relationship with God we must identify ourselves with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and be cleansed of the sin that makes the relationship with a holy God impossible. But the maintaining of that cleanness that is known as righteousness is the responsibility of every believer by the daily exercise of applying Gods word in everyday living, to keep our thoughts and motives pure.
Now as we enter the tabernacle proper the first compartment we enter known as the holy place contains the following.
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