The laver would be made of bronze and be placed between the altar and the tabernacle. When the priests came into the area of the tabernacle to serve, they would wash their feet and hands before they serve in the tabernacle. This would be a statute forever and required under the penalty of death.
Moses was also given specific instructions as to the composition of the holy anointing oil. It was to include liquid myrrh, cinnamon, cane, cassia, and olive oil. It was to be compounded by a perfumer. The tabernacle, the ark, the table and its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offerings, and the laver would all be anointed with this oil. Also, Moses was to anoint the priests with the oil as well in order to consecrate them–along with the furniture of the tabernacle–for service unto God. The recipe would be holy unto God, and was not to be used as a perfume or for any other purpose. If so, that individual would be cut off from his people.
What lessons can we learn from these instructions? First, when we come into the presence of God for worship or service, we must first seek to be consecrated and forgiven of any sin that may be in our lives. We should not lift up hands unto the Lord that are unclean. We should come before God with cleans hands and pure hearts. A prayer of consecration can serve the spiritual purpose that mirrors the physical purpose served by the laver. Second, we should seek the anointing of God before entering into service for Him. Ministers or laity that seek to serve God in any form of ministry should not do so in their own wisdom, strength or power. Instead, they should seek to minister under the anointing of God and in the power of His Holy Spirit. Let’s learn the lessons of the tabernacle and what they mean for us today!