Exodus 38
Pulpit Commentary Homiletics


(1) The altar on which the sacrifice for Israel's sin was laid, and their own offerings accepted. Christ is the foundation and the power of all our service.

(2) The laver. It was fashioned from the mirrors of the women, The adornment of the outward was exchanged for inward purity, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. It stood there for the daily use of God's priests. They could pass into God's presence only as their defilement had been washed away. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." Are we being washed ere that hour comes when we must appear before him?

2. The construction of the court.

(1) God's grace makes a separation between the Church and the world. To break down this is to undo God's work.

(2) The wall of separation was fine twined linen. It is a separation not only between faith and unbelief, but between righteousness and unrighteousness.

(3) The world sees the results only, the means by which they are attained are hid from its view; but the results are a call to come and see.

3. The order in which they were made. The altar first, then the laver, and, last of all, the enclosing of the court. First, Christ and his sacrifice; next, the washing of regeneration by him through the Spirit; and, last of all, the gathering together of the Church. This is the Divine order. The true Church has ever this history. None have a right to be there on whom the work of altar and laver has not first been done.


1. The record of it is kept. There is nothing of all that is given for God's service, the history or place of which is forgotten.

2. The use to which it is applied. The gold is put to the highest use; the silver - the redemption money - is the foundation of the sanctuary; the brass is used for the altar, the laver, and the court. Each is put to its proper use, and a place is found for all. No gift can be brought to God which he will not employ. - U.

The women assembling at the door of the tabernacle (see Hengstenberg's "Egypt and the Books of Moses," - "The Institution of Holy Women ") gave up their mirrors for the making of the laver. Learn -

1. Peculiar devotion to God expresses itself in acts of sacrifice (cf. Mary of Bethany, Matthew 26:6-14).

2. Religion gives power to make sacrifices.

3. It weans the affections from the world.

4. It gives superiority to the motives of personal vanity. The mirror is peculiarly a woman's instrument of self-pleasing. It is her means of pleasing the world.

5. Religion teaches godly women to study simplicity in personal adornment (1 Peter 3:1-5).

6. Self-denial in outward adornment is valueless, unless" in the hidden man of the heart," there be the positive inward adornment of holiness (1 Peter 3:4). This was taught by the use to which Moses put the offerings - the making of the "laver." Regeneration is the true beautifier. - J.O.

This served a useful purpose -

1. As an account rendered to the people of what had been done with their gifts.

2. As gratifying a very laudable wish of the contributors to know how much the sum-total of their contributions amounted to.

3. As giving a just idea of the splendour and costliness of the building.

4. As a testimony to the liberality, willingness, and unstinting self-sacrifice of all classes in the congregation.

5. As specially indicating the destination of the atonement-money - the making of the "sockets" on which the tabernacle was reared (ver. 27).

6. As a lesson of exactitude in church finance. A church is not at liberty to deal in a slovenly manner with its receipts and disbursements. Careful accounts should be kept and published. This

(1) Gives confidence in the management;

(2) is an encouragement to giving;

(3) prevents charges of maladministration;

(4) is a prevention against waste. - J.O.

The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database.
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