Exodus 38:8 “And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Let me start by saying I have just spent a great deal of time trying to take a selfie for the back cover of my book. Time that was frustrating, seemingly self-absorbed, and ridicules. However I do believe that I did finally manage to take a proper photograph for the publisher to use. And if I never have to do that again, well I will feel better about it!
A self-portrait or a selfie as they are called today is a lasting image of the reflection we see of ourselves. Whatever we may see in the mirror disappears as soon as we walk away. We can try to copy the look and facial expressions, but it’s just never quite the same. Taking a picture however does remain the same so long as the image survives.
In our text verse we see the word “lookingglass”, this was what mirrors were called long ago. Of course back then they were generally only highly polished pieces of metal (usually bronze) and gave a poor reflection. Notice with me if you will that the laver and it’s stand were not only made of brass (or bronze) but were made from the lookingglasses, the compact mirrors that had belonged to the women. What had been used for vanity had been re-purposed.
This piece of furniture in the tabernacle was just as important as all the other pieces. For here the priest came to wash their hands and feet before they were to perform their sacred duties. Where as before the mirror had shown perhaps some imperfections the very fact that the clean water now contained in this holy wash basin now revealed how imperfect and filthy these humans were. It now typified how we now come to Christ to be washed or cleansed from our sins because we are filthy with sin.
The Holy Spirit shows us our need to be cleansed with his conviction of our hearts and when we ask for that forgiveness it like the priest dipping his hands into the water. The water freely came to cleanse him and the same goes for Jesus. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
But it doesn’t end there; these women freely gave their mirrors to be used. We as Christians should be mirrors for the world to freely use to see their need to be cleansed from the penalty of their sins. Note the lookingglasses weren’t used to beat the priests over the head neither should we be so vicious with our approach toward the lost. The bronze had been remade into something more useful. If you have been saved you have been remade into something more useful as well. And now all of us should freely share with the world what Christ has done for us.
Of course there is the possibility that some people won’t like what they see when their sin is revealed to them. James 1:22-24 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” What the apostle James wrote applies to both Christian and lost alike. For the Christian he is to act upon what God has instructed him to do. And for the lost, well he needs to accept the fact that he is lost and on his way to hell. That hell is a very real place and that the only way of escape is the gospel of Christ. The death, burial, and resurrection that was accomplished by Jesus for that very purpose. If he ignores these facts it is the same as committing spiritual suicide.
How are you using your mirror?