In Exodus 38 we read of the making of the bronze altar and the bronze laver. As modern day Christians it is very easy for us to skim through this chapter, quickly scanning the verses, just to get through them because we have no personal connection with a bronze altar. We don’t need the altar to make sacrifices for our sin or the laver to wash our hands and feet. Our sin was dealt with once and for all as it was laid on our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and today we are washed by the water of the Word of God and our confession of our sin. However, if we just skim and scan these verses we will miss much. There is treasure in these verses.
In Exodus 38:8 we are moved from the making of the bronze altar to the bronze laver. We read that the laver and its base were made from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. These mirrors were not mirrors as we think of them today, but were most likely polished bronze or brass. These mirrors would have been prized possessions for a Hebrew woman at this time. They were most likely some of the spoil that was handed to them as they walked out of Egypt after the ten plagues when the Egyptians were literally paying them to leave.
The women that offered these mirrors were described in Exodus 38:8 as the serving women. The Hebrew word for serving in this verse is tsaba and it means to wage war. It is a primitive root word that means to mass, to assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait upon, war. I picture these women as warriors who gathered themselves together at the doorway of the tent of meeting to pray and to worship. I see them as women who understood the day that they were in. I see them as women who realized what was taking place as the tabernacle was being constructed.
These were women who knew they had a place in service to the Lord their God. I believe these were women who were ready to go to battle on their knees in prayer or standing with a sword in their hands. These were women who were not worried about their own appearance or what others thought of them, they simply wanted to honor their God. These ladies were showing up to worship and serve the Lord even if at that time there was only a tent of meeting and all they could do was serve at the doorway. When the tabernacle would be complete their service would be honored by God as He would use their gifts to construct the laver that would be needed to prepare the priest to enter into His presence.
Moses was so taken with the sacrifice of these women that he saw fit to use their contribution to make one of the key pieces of furniture in the tabernacle. I doubt that this was his own thought. I believe the Lord Himself prompted Moses to use these mirrors for the bronze laver. I believe that because not only did Moses use them for the laver, but he recorded it in the Scriptures for us to read and remember all these thousands of years later.
The sacrifice of the giving of these prized possessions was not what made these women so special. The contribution of the mirrors were simply a reflection of their hearts for the Lord. These were serving women, not just collectors of pretty things. These were not women giving for attention or for accolades. These were women devoted to the Lord. They came to the doorway to serve because this is where the Lord said that He would meet with the people (Exodus 29:42). They came ready to hear from the Lord and ready to be obedient to whatever it was that He called them to do.
If you are a woman reading this, don’t you want to be one of these women. I know that I do. I want to be known as a woman who wages war for the Lord. Notice also this was a group of women, not just a woman. This was an assembly of women who were not competing with one another. This was a mass of women that were not gossiping about one another or gathered together to gossip about others. This was an army of women fighting not with one another, but for the Lord.
I have to be honest and share that as a woman in today’s world, even in the church, I rarely let down my guard in a group of women, yet even still the Lord keeps calling me to ministry to women. In my experience groups of women have never really worked out well for me, at least not on a long term basis. I have found that women can usually gather together for a conference or a fellowship every now and then, but long term groups so often break into cliques that turn into whispering and assuming and side picking and ultimately destruction of relationships.
Perhaps all this happens because so many women are holding too tightly to their mirrors. Perhaps too many women come to the doorway of the church expecting to be served or at least noticed for their serving. Some women are so worried about their children or their spouses being a reflection of them that they try to control everything about them or at least what other people know about them by any means necessary. Some women are willing to tear down another woman just to make themselves look better, and this my friend is in the church.
Then some women have spent their entire lives being told that they should not be seen or heard. Some women have never been allowed to own a mirror in which to need to lay down. Some women have been fed the the lie that they have no place in service at the house of the Lord and need to simply enter the doors and be silent and go home. The possibility that they could be a woman who wages war at the doorway of the house of the Lord is far from them. There are armies of women that have been made powerless by the traditions of religion.
Can you imagine what it would be like if the women of God laid their mirrors down? Can you imagine what it would be like if women laid their mirrors down so that women that have never been allowed to own one would not see the back of a mirror, but would instead see the reflection of the glory of the Lord? Beloved, the only mirror we need is the mirror of the Word (1 Corinthians 13:12, 2 Corinthians 3:18, James 1:23).
Can we even begin to grasp the powerful move of God that would occur in our churches and in our community if an army of women gathered together completely devoted to the Lord alone. Women with no concern for their own reflection but only how they reflected the glory of Christ. Women who were known for waging war at the doorway of the house of the Lord and willing to wait upon the Lord and to be obedient to perform whatever it was that He asked of them.