The Place of Washing – The Brazen Laver – Prayer Part 5


I can’t tell you how many times I have read the Bible bypassing a lot of the scriptures that cover the genealogy and construction of the tabernacle.  To me, once read is enough as there wasn’t much I really saw that was important to me, yet years later, I find that the there was so much to learn about the tabernacle.  At first glance, you wouldn’t think so.  This study has so proven this way of thought wrong.  I can only pray that as we walk through each part, you will find that God hid away in these verses patterns for us to go by, even today.  Let’s continue where we left off.

If you remember from our last lesson, we have entered into the outer court, the place where the brazen laver and brazen altar.  Now prepare yourself for your journey through the outer court.  As you begin to walk through the outer court, you enter the brazen laver stage of God’s pattern of prayer. If you recall, you have passed through the gate that represents the works of Jesus Christ: His righteousness, divinity, kingship and sacrifice.  These four works of Christ allow you to enter His “courts” in prayer through expressing praise and thankfulness to God for what He has already done.  You have kept moving forward through the outer court, drawing ever nearer to God, becoming a reflection of Christ, Himself.  The brazen laver is the place of sanctification, where the Word of God cleanses and begins to prepare you to serve in your priestly function as an intercessor.  It is the first piece of furniture in the tabernacle and the first part of God’s nature that embraces your life.

Exodus 30:17-21 (NIV) says, “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. Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die.  Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the Lord by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die.  This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generation to come.”

Exodus 38:8 (NIV) says, “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.”

In these times, the priest were required to wash their hands and feet, indicating that prayer is not suppose to stay on the personal level.  By washing, the priest demonstrated their total devotion to God’s service.  So what does this have to do with you?  By receiving Christ you were given access to the outer court.  It is important that you dont stop at entering through the gate.  God wants you to keep moving forward.  Whether you want to realize it, God must take us to another level in prayer, the level that prepares us to pray for others.   Since prayer is not only a personal relationship with God, but also a ministry, you must be taught that washing at the laver prepares you to minister to yourself, to someone else or to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:26 says, “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

So what does the Old Testament Washing at the laver have to do with us today.  We, as priests, don’t worship in a tabernacle the way the Levite priests did in ancient times, yet washing has an important significance in God’s pattern of prayer.  Washing at the laver is symbolic of our washing in God’s Word, which helps you to strip off the “old self” which is your flesh.  Until we wash at the brazen laver, we live “according to the desires of the flesh and are controlled by its unholy effects”.  In the outer court, we are still setting our minds on the things which gratify the flesh.  This is why you must wash.  Our sanctification at the brazen laver is accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit, our Life Giver.  God can’t use a fleshly intercessor.  There is no room for a flesh prayer.  You must wash at the laver to get cleansed and prepared for the next level of consecration.

Returning to the Bible, we find that the brazen laver was made of solid bronze, symbolizing God’s judgment – so it reminds us that He’s the final judge of whether we are spiritually clean.  It also reminds us that there’s a final judgment for those who reject the Word (John 3:18, Revelation 20:11-15). It is through the washing of the word that Jesus is able to begin transforming you into the image of God.  You can’t do this for yourself.  I believe that is why the laver had no recorded measurements and no wood in it’s construction.  The Word of God is absolutely unlimited in its ability to wash and cleanse you. Nothing is too deep within for the laver to reach, too far in your past to erase, or too distant in your future to control.  Its cleansing power is unlimited, so you can become exactly who God destined you to be in His kingdom.

In the Old Testament days, the mirrors that women used were made of bronze.  The brazen laver was constructed from the mirrors of the Israelite women.  I think it’s interesting and somewhat cute that women provided the mirrors, because the spirit of vanity is portrayed in women more than men.  It is almost as though God moved upon these women to surrender their vanity and overcome it.  To me, this represents a surrendering of what you think you look like to the Lord.  Do you really know what “manner of man” you are?

When the priests approached the brazen laver, he saw his reflection in the water and a second reflection in the basin.  There could be no mistake about how he looked.  When you go to the brazen laver in prayer, God shows you a true reflection of who you are.  By coming to Him, you are able to see your natural reflection and get a glimpse of what you are becoming as He imparts the Word into your life.  He’s beginning the process of “completing” your salvation (1Peter 2:1-5).  This is where you become conscious of doing the Word that God imparts to you from the basin – where you decide to start living for God and become a true reflection of Him, where you decide to rise up from your prayer and begin to live as you believe.    The Word helps you see yourself as you really are while it enables you to obey the revealed Word.

Many people hear the Word but fail to understand they need to do what it says.  They hang around in the outer court and then wander over to the brazen laver to wash – because everyone else is doing it, but when they can’t endure the washing, they run away from the laver to a place where they feel more comfortable.  No matter how far you run, you can’t escape the washing! If only you would wash at the laver, it would reveal the truth about who you really are by reflecting the Word into your heart.  Then you would understand that it isn’t that people are suppose to wash – we need to wash! We can’t go deeper in God until we are sanctified at the brazen laver.

Though you wash at the lever, you can not remain there.  You are still in the outer court level of praying, so the only person you will be able to pray for is yourself.  Remember that the outer court prayer focuses on self, your wrong doings, your limitations and failures, what you need to overcome and so on.  At this stage, it’s still about YOU.

As a matter of fact, the priests could not stay at the laver for very long each day before they started performing their priestly duties.  In other words, don’t resist God when He deals with areas of your life at the laver! Let the Word do a quick work in you.  You can’t afford to miss one day at the laver.

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