My husband addressed me last night standing in front of the bathroom mirror and said, “You have got to take better care of me!” I looked up startled, pondering the wholesome salad I served at dinner along with broccoli and raised my eyebrows? He continued, “I just plucked a hair growing between my eyebrows as long as the hair on my head. You are going to have to make sure I pluck these.” I chuckled, relieved that his interpretation of me taking care of him involved vanity.
Mirrors. We all look in them and evaluate gravity and the toll of age. We make sure our eyebrows are groomed and are wrinkles are moistened and our lip lines are not bleeding into the creases. We look over our clothing, our hair and we aspire to take care of our outward man. Meanwhile, our spiritual man decays like white washed tombs.
As I was reading my Bible the other day I came across this verse,
“And he made the laver of bronze, and the base of it of bronze, FROM THE BRONZE MIRRORS OF THE WOMEN SERVING, who served at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” Exodus 38:8 KJB.
These high polished brass, copper mirrors, were I’m sure, special to the women. The only other means of seeing a reflection would have been in the water. They gave up their treasures for something greater. These women that served at the door would help the priest with his duties. If one were to walk past the court of the Gentiles, on the east side stood the 60-foot high gate called beautiful or Gate Susan because of the city of Susa. After you entered the Susan Gate you were in the Court of the Women. Let me explain, there were men in the court of the women. The name was acquired due to the women not being able to go past that point.
So let’s get back to the laver. The Laver was placed right between the tent of meeting and the altar.
Then the Lord said to Moses,
“Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons are to wash their HANDS and FEET with water from it. Whenever they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water so that they WILL NOT DIE;” Exodus 30:17-20 NIV.
Hands represent a lot. I am typing with mine right now. I don’t know what you do for a living but more than likely hands are involved. Feet carry us to places we may need to go and other places that can lead us to sin.
So the women who sacrificed their mirrors could not see into the basin the priest looked upon. They gave them their reflectors to make sure their INNER REFLECTIONS were safe and purified. Rashi tells us that Moses did not want to accept these mirrors used for vanity but that Elohim told him that they were sacred to Him. The Hebrew men in Egypt were broken down and worked in slavery until they just wanted to collapse and die. Waking up another day was just another day of pain, beatings and someone ruling over them. However, when they came home and their wives had looked into the mirror and tried to make their appearance beautiful, to take away the man’s pain and comfort him with their arms and breast, it was due to them that they continued to populate and grow. There is something so sacred about a marriage. HaShem has used the symbol of marriage throughout His word. Yahweh makes two flesh one.
So back to Aaron and the priest: These men had to be clean before they could enter into such a HOLY place. What if we thought that way? This washing took place every day and throughout the day. What if we took it to a whole new level of thinking? Some of us go to our congregations weekly and we show up and we enter into worship and we raise our hands toward heaven, sit and listen to a message and we leave feeling like a part of a family. Well hopefully.
BUT WHAT IF YOU HAD TO WASH BEFORE YOU ENTERED?
Oh, we wash and we spray and make sure no unruly eyebrow hairs are sticking up, and we spray deodorant and perfume but what about inside? What would a brass mirror reflect if it showed the color of our heart?
What if we washed before we entered our day, considering it’s not just when we enter into an assembly of believers. Transparency is something I believe people long for. Once when my husband was pastoring, he stood up and looked at the congregation and began to spill out his trials. He spoke up about phone calls in the night, financial woes, police work, and plain stress. Of course, he ended it on a faith-filled cry and how we must trust Him. After the service, a woman approached me and said, “I thought all pastors had perfect lives and didn’t really have any problems. That was a refreshing message.”
Yes, the bronze mirrors of our inner man. Becoming transparent causes others to see a person’s true colors and Job’s trials are not hidden under a heap of ash. True healing begins. Look in the mirror today for the first time. Not for an unruly eyebrow but for a heart check. I DARE YOU! You can dress it up and you can add your designer wear, cowboy boots, crew cut or bob hair do’s, but what about the INSIDE?
How do we wash in the laver?
Hebrew 4:12 NIV) “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” John 17:17 NIV) “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.”
(Ephesians 5:25-26 NIV) “Husbands love your wives, just as Messiah loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, CLEANSING HER BY THE WASHING WITH WATER THROUGH THE WORD.”
Photograph by Jeff Manning