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The mirrors of the laver

“And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Exodus 38:8

One of the objects at the tabernacle was the laver of brass. This laver contained the water that was used to cleanse the priests before serving in the tabernacle before YHWH (Exodus 30:18-21). A remarkable detail is that the laver was made of mirrors (lookingglasses). What is the deeper meaning of this?

The Hebrew word translated in this text with lookingglasses, is marah (strong 4759). Marah means vision and is always used in the context of visions of YHWH. Marah comes from mareh (strong 4758) and this means sight, or what is seen. So it has to do with sight; and when it comes to seeing the things of YHWH, it is about spiritual sight. And that is what Yeshua refers to when His disciples ask Him why He speaks in parables.

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:13-16

According to Yeshua, we can see, but not understand or perceive. And if we close our eyes to His truth, we do not see, we do not hear, we do not understand with our heart, and we do not receive His healing.

The laver had to be filled with water. What does water do to us spiritually?

“Husbands, love your wives, even 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, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

We are cleansed by the water of His Word, of His truth. And then we will see!

“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

If we drink the Living Water of His truth, we shall live!

What does this have to do with the mirrors of the laver? The mirrors the laver was made of refer to spiritual sight. Spiritual sight is necessary to see the things of YHWH. The priests had to cleanse themselves with water from this laver before entering the tabernacle of the congregation, before meeting YHWH Himself in the tabernacle. The more we are washed and filled with the Living Water of His Word, the more we will see Him.

“But blessed are your eyes, for they see…” Matthew 13:16

How do you use your (spiritual) eyes? Can you say, as Paul did:

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

A promise for those who seek YHWH

“If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” Job 8:5-7

This text contains a promise for those who seek YHWH earnestly. He will then make our habitation prosperous. Habitation refers to our mind. More specifically, this text says: He will make the habitation of our righteousness prosperous. In my previous blog I wrote that righteousness refers to His truth. If we seek Him earnestly, His truth makes our mind prosperous.

Seeking Him earnestly, is seeking His truth earnestly. And that is filling our mind and heart with His truth, so that His truth will replace more and more our own thoughts of lies and delusion (Isaiah 55:8). Seeking him earnestly is looking at the eternal things which are not seen (2 Corinthians 4:18). Matthew 6:33 says the same: seek first His Kingdom. Whatever we do, His Kingdom first. His Kingdom in our mind and heart, within us (Luke 17:21), should be our priority. And His Kingdom in our mind and heart is His truth in our mind and heart. The parables of Yeshua are always about this Kingdom, and are always connected with other texts throughout the Bible. Job 8:7 as well:

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Matthew 13:31-32

“Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” Job 8:7

If you seek YHWH earnestly, if you earnestly fill your heart and mind with the truth of His Word, then His truth will make your mind prosperous. And although the beginning is small, it will greatly increase.

Where do you look at?

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

What do you choose?

“But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.” Jeremiah 22:5

I often write about the spiritual meaning of house in the Bible (our mind). YHWH’s teaching is constantly repeating. We learn through repetition. That’s why we come across this ‘house’ in many places in the Bible. As here in Jeremiah 22.

With our ‘house’ we must serve Him. And that means that He wants His truth to be in our ‘house’. That He wants His Word in our house. For His Word is truth (John 17:17). And the context of this verse in Jeremiah is the same (see verse 2).

If His Word is not in our ‘house’, then our house will become a desolation. This refers to our fallen mind. We can fill our mind with His truth, or with lies and delusion. Verse 13 calls this unrighteousness and wrong:

“Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong”

And this is opposite the righteousness (truth) of His Word:

“Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”
Psalm 119:40, 138, 142

In verse 40 it says that righteousness (truth) quickens. The Hebrew word translated here with quickens is chayah (strong 2421) and it means life. We find this also in Proverbs:

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 21:21

Truth or delusion, life or death. What do you choose?

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; (…) therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life” Deuteronomy 30:15, 19, 20

The whole house

“Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel” Jeremiah 2:4

In the Bible, house is often used to mean family, or generation. For example, the house of David, or Joshua who states, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). Here, too, house is not meant literally, it is about the family, or generations of David and of Joshua, and not about their literal house. House is also used in the spiritual meaning of our mind. Is there a connection between the two?

Why does the Bible sometimes involve the whole ‘house’ in the consequences of one individual who has committed a serious sin? We see this with Pharaoh whose whole house was plagued because of Sarai (Genesis 12:17), or with Korah when he rose up against Moses (Numbers 16). The sons and even the little children were killed as well. These are my thoughts. Raising the children in your ‘house’, in your family, means that they adopt your thoughts. Of course we also develop our own opinions and ideas, but in our mind there are traces of the thoughts of our parents. The lies and delusions in the thoughts of the parents are passed on to the children. And so lies and delusions continue for generations. If a serious sin (and it all begins with the lies and delusions in our mind, the thoughts of our heart of Genesis 6:5) the whole ‘house’ bears the consequences, then the weeds of these lies and delusions through the generations are destroyed.

In our Western society at this present time we are quite individualistic. That was very different in Biblical times. YHWH is a God of generations, of families and of the collective. He makes His covenant with generations, with a collective. He calls the generations (Isaiah 41:4). In the ‘house’of Israel all families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 28:14). All families must give Him glory (Psalm 96:7). So the whole ‘house’. A ‘house’ that can be broken down by lies and delusions. But also a ‘house’ that is being baptized (Acts 16), and a ‘house’ that we build together into a house of God. When His thoughts have become our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

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To be carnally minded is death

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6

To be carnally minded is death. What is this mind this text speaks of? It is the same mind that caused the flood, as we can read in Genesis 6:5: the thoughts of the heart of man. So it is our own thoughts, or thoughts that we adopt from other people. And that is a burden, until the Son of man comes (Matthew 24:38). And it does not lead to life and peace.

A lot of thoughts can come our way. And we are quite capable of ‘making up our own mind’ as well. How is your peace? If you think it could be better, than this is your medicine:

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63

Minding the things of the flesh profits nothing. Our own thoughts, or the thoughts we adopt from others, are futile. The mind of the Spirit is life, His words are life. So fill your mind with His words of truth, and you will receive His life and peace. In all circumstances.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9

Do you understand?

“Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” Proverbs 28:5

The Hebrew word translated ‘judgment’ in this text is mishpat (strong number 4941). This word is derived from shafat (strong number 8199), which means judge. Due to the transliteration (pronunciation) in English we do not see much similarity, but written in Hebrew, mishpat is the same word as shafat plus the Hebrew mem (letter m).

Mishpat (judgment) can be used for judgments of earthly judges (for example Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 1:17, Judges 4:5, 2 Samuel 8:15). And we sometimes do not understand these (Eccl. 3:16). But the Bible is mainly about the Supreme Judge, “the Judge (shafat) of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25, Psalm 7:7). And the mishpat of the Supreme Shafat (Judge) is used in the meaning of law (Exodus 21:1, 24:3, Leviticus 18:5, 26:46, Numbers 36:13, Deuteronomy 4:8, 33:10, 2 Samuel 22:23, Psalm 19:9) and in the meaning of judgment (Psalm 10:5, 48:11, and see below). This word refers to His instructions, to His judgments, to the words from His mouth.

“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments [mishpat] of his mouth;” Psalm 105:5

And: “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”. Deuteronomy 8:3

So, we live by His mishpat. Mishpat is His truth and wisdom, that He wants to teach us:

“The meek will he guide in judgment [mishpat]: and the meek will he teach his way.” Psalm 25:9

“I have not departed from thy judgments [mishpat]: for thou hast taught me.” Psalm 119:102

So that all our mind and heart is filled with His mishpat, His Word, His truth:

“The thoughts of the righteous are right [mishpat]” Proverbs 12:5

And it proceeds out of our mouth as well:

“The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment [mishpat].” Psalm 37:30

Mishpat is His truth that saves us, that sets us free:

“he shall bring forth judgment unto truth [mishpat].” Isa 42:3

“When God arose to judgment [mishpat], to save all the meek of the earth.”

His Words, His truth, sets us free (John 8:31-32).

In the Psalms is a deep desire for His mishpat (Psalm 97:8, 119:20), they are called good (Psalm 119:39), they help us (Psalm 119:175).

His mishpat (judgment) is the habitation of His throne (Psalm 89:14), from which He rules. His Kingdom is ordered and established with His mishpat (judgment) (Isa 9:7).

When Yeshua spoke His words (mishpat) about His Kingdom in the form of parables, His disciples asked Him why He did this (Matthew 13:10-11). He replied:

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

He refers to Isa 6:9: “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.”

They did not understand, because they had to understand with their heart, and their heart was waxed gross (Matthew 13:15). His mishpat was not in their heart.

“Evil men understand not judgment [mishpat]: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” Proverbs 28:5

His law, His judgments, His instructions, set us free. Whoever seeks YHWH with all his mind and all his heart, will understand. He will understand all. Do you understand?

After His own heart

“the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” 1 Samuel 13:14

A man after His own heart. What can we know about His heart?

In my blog The two stone tables, I explain that the Ark of the Covenant refers to the mind and heart. In the ark was the Torah (1 Kings 8:9), written on the two tables of stone. This refers to His Torah that must be in our mind and heart (Deuteronomy 6:6-8; ‘between your eyes’ refers to our mind). What does this say about His heart?

In Exodus 20 we read what was written on the stone tables. It repeatedly says ‘Thou shalt not …’, or words of similar meaning. Except for one exception, in Hebrew each commandment begins with ‘lo …’ which means ‘not’. So these ten commandments indicate what is ‘not’ in the heart of God, and therefore what must ‘not’ be in our heart if we are to be a man (or woman) after His heart.

His heart:
Has nó other gods
Does nót make images
Does nót take His Name in vain
Does nót do work on the sabbath day
Honours father and mother (the only exception to ‘lo’)
Does nót kill
Does nót commit adultery
Does not steal
Does nót bear false witness
Does nót covet

So, these are the qualities of a heart that is after His heart. It may be that you think of some commandments: I do not break that one easily, that’s a piece of cake. I do not murder, I do not steal, I do not commit adultery … Then realize that these qualities of His heart are not (only) meant literally. That is what Yeshua explains to us in, for example:

Matthew 5:21-22: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Or:

Matthew 5:27-28: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

So not only do we kill when we literally kill someone, we also kill when we are angry with someone without a cause or when we scold. Because these are words that come from our heart:

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” Matthew 15:19

And ‘not’ making images is not only meant literally as well. Most of us will not easily make and bow to a tangible idol. But which (false) images do we have in our heart? Which lies and delusions in our heart prevent us from being a man or woman after His heart?

“Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.” Joshua 24:23

Affliction and pain

“Look upon mine affliction and my pain .…” Psalm 25:18

In Psalm 25, David points God to his affliction and his pain. It is striking that in this verse David does not ask God to take away his affliction and pain, but to take away his sins.

“… and forgive all my sins.”

So David realizes that his affliction and pain are related to his sins.

In this Psalm David repeatedly asks for His truth, to learn His truth:

“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me” Psalm 25:5
“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.” Psalm 25:4 (see also Isaiah 55:8)
“Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.” Psalm 25:8
“The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” Psalm 25:9
“What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.” Psalm 25:12

We need to be taught His truth to get rid of our sins. Because sin is lies and delusions (imaginations of the thoughts of the heart of man) (Genesis 6:5).

“Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.” Psalm 25:22

Knowing as we ought to know

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:1-2

These texts make it clear that knowledge does not necessarily lead to truth. And that applies to knowledge of His Word as well. We can ‘know’ a lot about it, but have we come to ‘know it as we ought to know’?

What is the purpose of His Word? 2 Timothy 3:16-17 gives a clear indication.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

So His Word must correct us, instruct us in righteousness. It has to change us from the inside out.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

His Word must change our mind.

We can study His Word, but if it is only intellectual knowledge, then we do not let His Word correct us and instruct us in righteousness. Then it remains with knowledge of the intellect, instead of knowledge of the heart. ‘All scripture’ must correct us and instruct us in righteousness. ‘All scripture’ is meant for spiritual growth of our mind and heart. And that means all those texts about histories, the construction of the temple, or the ark, or sacrificial instructions, etc. as well. We also need to understand how these texts can change our mind and heart.

An example I regularly use: when we read about Yeshua cleansing the temple (Matthew 21) as just an event in history, from which we can learn a lesson, but which is not addressed to us personally because we were not a merchant in the temple at that point in history, the text is much further away from us than if we realize that at the same time this text says that Yeshua says our ‘house’ (our mind) is a den of thieves. And it is a den of thieves because of the thoughts of lies and delusion of man in our mind and heart.

His Word repeatedly wants to show us how our mind is not yet equal to His mind, how our heart is not yet beating in the rhythm of His heart:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8

Here it becomes clear that our ways are not His ways, because our thoughts are not His thoughts. So we have to change our mind. His Word is meant for spiritual growth, it has to change our lives. And if we begin to see this in His Word, if we begin to understand more and more that His Word repeats the need of changing of our mind and heart, page by page, when you can see beyond the literal, than that’s going to change us. It makes us even more aware of what is in our mind and heart and does not correspond to His. And then we realize more and more the need of renewing our mind. It makes us see the lies that hinder us in ways that we may not even be aware of. And exposing and removing of these lies frees us, it heals us. It helps us to grow spiritually. It helps us to live by His will, and living by His rules, His Torah, is a result.

“And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.” Numbers 16:28

Treasure of the heart

“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” Matthew 12:35

This text speaks of treasures of our heart: good treasure and evil treasure. A good treasure brings forth good things, and an evil treasure brings forth evil things. What does that treasure refer to?

“to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3

The treasure refers to wisdom and knowledge. In this text to His wisdom and knowledge, which are in Yeshua. This is the good treasure. The evil treasure then, must be wisdom and knowledge that is not His: the ‘wisdom’ and knowledge of the 30 and 60 fold (spiritual) earth. The treasure we have to lay up is that good treasure. And we do not find these treasures on the 30 and 60 fold (spiritual) earth. We find these treasures in the (spiritual) 100 fold heaven.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

[30, 60, and 100 fold is the different spiritual fruit from the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.]

The person who finds this treasure is called ‘happy’.

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” Proverbs 3:13-15

There is no desire within ourselves that we can think of, that we can compare with these heavenly treasures of wisdom and truth (understanding). Our own knowledge (thoughts) of man is nothing compared to that. Do we realize that enough?!

“Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” Proverbs 8:10-11

The Hebrew word ‘musar’ translated here with ‘instruction’ is also used in Deuteronomy 11:2, Job 5:17, Job 36:10, Psalm 50:17, and more. The meaning of this word becomes very clear in Proverbs 1: it is connected with wisdom, understanding, judgment, knowledge and discretion. And according to verse 6, it makes us understand proverbs, words of the wise and dark sayings: the mysteries of the Kingdom! See also Psalm 78:2, referred to by Yeshua in Matthew 13:35!

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” Proverbs 1:5-6

“And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.” Luke 8:10

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” 1 Corinthians 2:7

From that good treasure in our heart, we will then bring forth good things. Not from our mind (strength) of man, but from His wisdom and truth in our heart.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7