The Best Use of Mirrors

The bronze washbasin and its bronze pedestal were cast from bronze mirrors donated by the women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle—For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 

For the word of God is living and active…discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account—Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 

… And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” —But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Whenever they walked past the altar to enter the Tabernacle, they were to stop and wash……as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word—Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised. 

Ex.38:8 NLT; Ja. 1:23-24 ESV; Lk. 18:11 KJV; Heb 4:12-13 ESV; Ps. 25:8-9 ESV; Lk.8:13 KJV; Ja. 4:6 ESV; Ja. 1:25 ESV; Ex.40:32 NLT; Eph. 5:25-26 KJV;  Heb 10:22-23 KJV


The bronze basin stood between the Holy of Holies and the Altar for Burnt Offerings. Once the sacrifice had been made the priests washed their hands and feet there before entering God’s presence…

I am making my way through Exodus with all its details describing the assembling of the Tent where God would meet with His people.  Very little is said about the Bronze Basin, so this detail stands out–it was constructed using the donated mirrors of the women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Would it be a stretch of analogy to suppose that once they knew what they looked like, they realized it  would be better to have a place to wash than to keep on looking?!  A mirror is of great value but after the looking must come the washing.

I have needed this reminder this week.  Looking at myself in the mirror of others or my own mental reflections can be disheartening.  There is so much of Christ that is wanting in this view.  I cringe, feeling so unlovely, and I admit, caring what others must think?!  But this looking leads me nowhere useful unless I quickly turn and look at the sacrifice that has been made on my behalf and then take time to wash in the Word, which is the best of mirrors! Only here will I see rightly,  who I am and  who God is.  As I wash here, affirming what God has said to be true, I am made ready for His presence–a saint justified despite my warts and wobbles, accepted in the Beloved, not on the basis of what I look like, but on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice.

3 thoughts on “The Best Use of Mirrors

  1. Thanks to you both. Truth is beautiful isn’t it. The closer we can get to it, the more we will shine… Jesus was full of grace and truth…Oh for such balance.

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