The Bible Its Symbols – A Laver
The Old Testament Tabernacle is a fascinating study. Everything in it in some way pointed to Jesus. Who He is, how He works, and even how we are to serve Him. The act of sacrificing animals has been done away with when the true Lamb of God went to the cross and paid for our sins in full. However, there are what we call timeless truths: principals that do have application to us today.
The Tabernacle is rich in types and pictures, and examples. Even the way things are laid out are important.
First you had to get thru the door. The entire Tabernacle was surrounded by a white fence that was about 7 feet high. White symbolizes righteousness. And a wall symbolizes separation. There was only one door. Only one way in, and this door had very beautify embroidery on it that symbolized Jesus.
As you go thru the door is the Altar of Sacrifice. You cannot go any further in without getting past the Sacrifice. It was a picture of what Jesus would do on the cross. So before you could go any further you first must recognize that you are a sinner separated from God by His righteousness (The wall), there is only way in (the door), and you must accept His sacrifice for you (The altar).
Further inside the Tabernacle is the tent. In the tent is the table of Shewbread (symbolizing the Word of God) and the altar of Incense (symbolizing prayer) and the candlestick (symbolizing God sheading light upon His Word and Prayer). Here is a timeless truth. Christians are to spiritually feed upon the Word of God with His light letting us see. And Christians are to be people of prayer, praying with His light enabling us to pray. Without the Candlestick sheading light you could not see to do anything in that tent.
But between the Altar and the Tent there was the laver. They had to stop there first and clean themselves. It was made of the looking glasses of women. So you could see yourself. You could examine yourself at the laver and see where you needed cleaning. Then you were to clean yourself up before you went into the tent to serve God. The Laver was a picture of the Word of God and its ability to show us where we need cleaning. And when we see a piece of dirt, we are to clean ourselves up.
We see this timeless truth stated in the New Testament. What we see in picture form in the Old Testament about examining and cleaning ourselves we see clearly stated in the New Testament. The Old Testament’s illustrations reinforce and can help us see some things that are taught in the New Testament. I must state this. Not everything in the Old Testament is reinforced in the New Testament. There are things in the Old Testament that had a purpose then or was there to teach what judgment without mercy looks like so we would understand mercy and want it. But they are not to be taken into the New Testament age and practiced. We know the difference because those things that are reinforced in the New Testament are to be brought forward and continued. And those things that are not reinforced in the New Testament are not to be practiced.
The Laver. Examining ourselves and cleaning ourselves by looking into the Word of God is one of those things that is reinforced in the New Testament and is something that we should practice. And as they had to continually visit the laver and examine and clean, so are Christians to do today.
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The Word of God washes us. The illustration is given here of washing of water by the Word. There is a reason that our clothes are washed in water, and our dishes, and our cars. Water is very effective and picking up the dirt and carrying it away. His will for us. What God wants to see, what pleases Him would be a local body of believers who examine themselves by His Word and clean themselves for Him.
This cleaning yourself by the Word of God is also stated clearly in the Old Testament.
Psa 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
In a wicked world, the world has always been that way, how shall a man cleanse his way, by taking heed according to His Word.
The same principal shown in the Laver is the same principal stated in Ephesians, and the same principal stated in Psalm 119 and it is the same principal stated by Jesus.
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Jesus said you are clean through the Word. Just to be clear you are not clean just because you hear it or read it or hold it in your hand. You are clean if you wash yourself. You are clean if you heed it. You are clean if you believe and take some kind of action upon it.
Examining ourselves by the Word of God and cleaning ourselves is a timeless truth that is taught in both the Old and New Testaments. God has given us His Word for our good. His Bible is completely sufficient to show us everything we need to clean. When we do our lives will be better, the lives of others will be better, and God will be pleased and glorified.
The Bible is like a laver where we can see where we need cleaning and then clean ourselves up.