There are a lot of objects and customs used in ancient Jewish worship services that still have significate spiritual lessons for us today.
Today we will focus on the washbasin. The Torah says “Next Moses placed the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar. He filled it with water so the priests could wash themselves. Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons used water from it to wash their hands and feet. Whenever they approached the altar and entered the Tabernacle, they washed themselves, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.” Exodus 40:30-31
What is the importance of washing? Well we noticed that the priest had to be clean before approaching the altar and entering the tabernacle. Those who minister for the Lord must be clean as well. No one can get close to God if they are not clean. I am not just talking about being physically clean but spiritually clean. The Bible says, “Wash yourselves. Make yourselves clean. Take your sinful actions from My eyes. Stop doing sinful things.” Isaiah 1:16
You cannot be a good witness for the Lord while your hands (what you do) and feet (where you go) are dirty. Too many people want to serve the Lord and hold onto dirty ways of living as well. We can’t do both. But how do we change ourselves? We can’t. The Bible says “All of us have become like one who is unclean. All our right and good works are like dirty pieces of cloth. And all of us dry up like a leaf. Our sins take us away like the wind.” Isaiah 64:6
Some people get confused because God says to wash yourselves by not sinning so they think being right with God is solely a matter of being good by their own efforts. That is not true our own efforts apart from God will not accomplish anything. Even our best deeds are stained with selfishness and poor motives apart from God. But noticed that in order to be clear the priests had to depend a substance outside of themselves-the water. The priests did not create the water but they took advantage of the means God provided to become clean.
To be cleansed spiritually we also have to depend on something, actually Someone, outside of ourselves. God says “Then I will put clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will make you clean from all your unclean ways and from all your false gods. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:25-26. Yes, righteousness can only come from God but we do not receive the righteous of God by doing nothing. We have to accept and submit to the means God has provided for our souls.
So how can someone have a clean life? The Bible answers, “Young people can live a clean life by obeying your word.” Psalm 119:9 God is the only one who has the power to make us clean and we need to be humble and allow God to change our hearts because we do not have the power to become righteous by ourselves.
Picture originally found here