In the tabernacle, if you move from the brazen altar and then continue to the next piece of furniture you will come to the laver. For a long time this piece puzzled me. The altar was where the sacrifice for sin was made. It is a picture of the atoning and cleansing power of Jesus, the sacrificial lamb. But the laver was a place of cleansing also. A place to be washed. Why was the laver necessary? What was God saying to the New Testament believer through this section of the picture of the tabernacle?
The laver was only for the priest, after they had ministered at the altar. The ministry at the altar was messy; fire, smoke, blood and ashes. When the priest finished at the altar, he moved to the laver, which was made from the offering of the women’s mirrors. It was highly reflective, so as the priest bent over to wash his face, he could see his face to wash off anything that might be there.
Ministry can be messy. It’s too easy to walk away from ministry messed up, so God has made a provision for you to see what’s going on so you can deal with it. Reflect. Are you feeling yucky? What is the source of that feeling? “Wash that man right outta your hair”, sorry that commercial jingle just took over for a minute, but I’m alright now. Go to the laver and wash with words something like this. “Father, I’ve served your people. In spite of doing everything I know to do there is confusion, mistrust and dishonor. (Or whatever is happening.) I need to be washed. Heal my hurt. I release this situation into your hands. Give me wisdom instead of pain. Give me love instead of apathy. Give me joy instead of dread. Pray this way until you feel a release in your heart from the heaviness.”