*Introduction:* what is the book of exodus about?
Can you tell me what happens in it?
The story of the Exodus – birth of Moses and his call (4 chapters – out of 40), the plagues, dealings with pharaoh, Passover (another 9 chapters), then on the journey, crossing the Red Sea and in the wilderness (5 chapters); came to Mount Sinai יְהוָה gave them the Torah (6 chapters); incident of the golden calf and Moses going up the mountain again (3 chapters) – that leaves 13 chapters missing!
About 1~/3 of the book of Exodus – what is it about?
The Tabernacle *[P]*.
You may wonder why I am doing a series on the tabernacle – because a huge section of Scripture is devoted to it, giving great detail.
All Scripture is inspired by God – some portions we know well, others are neglected – that is why I did a series on the Minor Prophets.
In יְהוָה’s estimation the tabernacle was worth dedicating a significant portion of His Word to.
The Bible is very economical of language yet a big portion is devoted to this matter – the precise details are recorded twice, the items making up the tabernacle are listed six times.
Over and over again יְהוָה repeats it.
It was important!
What was it all about?
What is the tabernacle and why was it built?
What is its significance?
[*Exodus 29:45-46* /I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God.
They shall know that I am יְהוָה their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am יְהוָה their God./]
It was the dwelling place of יְהוָה – that is what "מִשְׁכָן" means: [*Exodus 25:8-9* /“Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.”
“According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it./]
It had to be built exactly as יְהוָה said, according to the pattern revealed – because it had to accurately mirror His heavenly dwelling [*Hebrews 8:1-5* /Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man …/].
It is a picture of heaven, the dwelling place of God! Hebrews goes on to talk about the high priests who: [/serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain/.”]
Do you want to look into heaven?
– then look at the tabernacle.
*Review:* So I imagined this hypothetical Israelite, who longed to be near יְהוָה, sought the place where He dwelt *[P]*, wended his way through the camp, past the Levite camp, encountered a wall of white – the unassailable barrier of יְהוָה’s righteousness! *[P]* Found the gate – Jesus the Door *[P]* – the righteous One, man and God.
Last time he entered the court and ran into the bronze altar *[P]*, the place of judgement, of sacrifice – a sin offering that died instead of him for his sin and rebellion.
We saw Jesus the perfect sin offering, guilt offering, burnt offering, grain offering and peace offering.
But here was as far as our Israelite could go!
That was it.
Everything else in the court was solely for the priests and Levites.
We can go no further, that is the end of the series!
Well, we are priests, have been made into a kingdom of priests (cf.
*Revelation 1:6* /He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.
Amen./ *Revelation 5:10** */“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
/*1 Peter 2:4-5* /And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ./
*1 Peter 2:9* /But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light/; ) – so, being priests, we will proceed, go on further beyond the bronze altar, nearer to where יְהוָה dwells *[P]*.
What do we encounter?
*The laver*: *[P]* [*Exodus 30:17-21* יְהוָה/ spoke to Moses, saying, “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it.
“Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it; when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die/ (if you approach God unclean, you die!
Even as a priest)/; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to יְהוָה.
“So they shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they will not die; and it shall be a perpetual statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.”/]
It was a bronze basin full of water – its purpose was to cleanse the priests.
They had just been sacrificing animals, cutting throats, pouring blood out, sprinkling it on people and alter – they were a bloody mess after sacrificing.
I said that we are priests – what does a priest do?
What is his role?
He is a priest to God – he represents man to God, goes between earthly man and a holy God.
The prophet goes from God to man – passing on His message to him.
The priest represents man, taking his offering and presenting it to God – a priest presents offerings and sacrifice [*Hebrews 13:15-16* /Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased/.]
The contact with defiled man, with this world, dealing with sin leaves us defiled.
We need to be cleansed.
But wasn’t sin dealt with at the altar?
Cleansed by the blood of Jesus from all sin [*1 John 1:9* /If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness/.]
but we still need cleansing.
*[P]* [*John 13:1-15* /Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
During supper, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded./]
Their feet were dirty – got dirty from the streets, from their daily walk in this world, their contact with this earth./
/[/So He came to Simon Peter.
He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”
Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!”/]
Peter did not want Jesus to serve him, he wanted to serve Jesus, for Him to have the honoured place not the lowly one/ /[/Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”/]
We sometimes characterize Peter as impulsive and blurting out without thinking – that may be true but he picked up what Jesus was saying – he had got dirty by his walk in this world (dirty feet) but Peter knew that his hands, what he did defiled him too – these are the two things the priests had to wash in the laver; and that his head, his thinking was dirty also./
/[/Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”/]
They were clean through the blood of Jesus but still they got dirty.
Is it not so?
Our sins have been dealt with, all of them have been removed – but still we get dirty in this world – we need our feet washed.
We not only need to be cleansed at the altar, we need to wash at the laver./
/[/So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.
“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you./]
We need to be in the business of ensuring that each other is clean and pure.
So we come to the laver *[P]*.
We need to be cleansed.
How does it cleanse us?
What does it represent?
*Cleansing at the laver* The laver was made of bronze – what does bronze signify?
How good are your memories?
The court poles were on bases of bronze, the altar was made of bronze.
/1. /Bronze – what does it signify?
*[P]* You will be getting familiar with this list – bronze represents judgement *[P]*.
To be clean we need to judge, discern what is right and what is wrong – what is our true state.
How do we do this?
We need an objective judge, one that knows us through and through.
Where do we find this?
[*Hebrews 4:12-13* /For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge /(κριτικος)/ the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do/.]
The heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked.
I am very clever – I can even completely fool myself, convince myself that I am a pretty decent type of bloke.
I didn’t drink, ride a motorbike, stay out late and cause grief to my parents.
Then one day I read [*Deuteronomy 21:18-21*/“If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown.
“They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’
“Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear/.]
It was as if I had been struck.
People may have told me I was rebellious – but suddenly God’s Word revealed the true state.
The judgement of God’s word was that I was worthy of stoning!
It hit me!
/2. /So the laver was made of bronze, where did this bronze from?