Awesome Hands – Part 114: “Wash your hands and your feet”

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Awesome Hands – Part 114, “Wash your hands and your feet”

March 31, 2017

Many biblical concepts come up when examining the act of washing our hands and feet. Of course there are sanitary reasons to wash our feet and hands, but from a biblical perspective, we know that the Lord was very particular about this washing before approaching Him in the tabernacle.

In our study today, we are going to examine some of the reasons why this commandment was given to the priests and Moses and also why and how it is spiritually applicable to us today.

Closing our Exodus and moving to the “laws”

As with all of the “Awesome Hands” studies we find ourselves moving to the next mentioning of the Hebrew word “yad”, but we are actually going to cover the next few times it is mentioned so that we can build upon a biblical theme within this particular study.

Today we are going to mention Exodus 38:21 in passing and then focus on the surrounding verses found in Exodus 40:31 and Leviticus 1:4.

Exo 38:21  This is the sum of the tabernacle, even of the tabernacle of testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest.

Exodus 38:21 is actually the next mentioning of the word “yad”, but there isn’t much mentioned here that we haven’t already covered in the previous studies concerning the materials of the tabernacle. However, I did want to mention it before moving to Exodus 40:31.

Now we find ourselves looking at Exodus 40:31, which will be the end of our coverage of Exodus. We will be moving from our Exodus out of Egypt into the laws by which the Lord gives us to live.

The literal laws we are going to read are for the whole of Israel, but we are going to be given very specific laws, which we can also apply to our walks today, which deal only with the priests of the Lord.

Exo 40:30  And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal.
Exo 40:31  And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat:
Exo 40:32  When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the LORD commanded Moses.
Exo 40:33  And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.

We now find that Moses, Aaron and Aaron's sons all wash their hands before the Lord at the laver and then once again as they come near to the altar. After this washing is accomplished, Moses puts the finishing touches on the tabernacle.

vWhat happens next will help to guide the rest of our walk with the Lord for the remainder of our lives. If we pay close attention, the Lord is going to tell us just how involved in our lives He always is.

Whether we are on the highest peak or in the lowest valley, the Lord is there. Whether we approach death or are in the summer of our lives, the Lord is there. There is simply nothing that can or will separate us from the Love of the Lord, and just what is the Love of God?

Rom 8:33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The focus of Romans 8 is God’s elect and the role Christ Jesus has in their lives. When we know that, and apply everything we read here in Romans 8 (and the rest of the bible) to US, then we should see a great fire of Light go off in our minds at just what the Lord is doing with us.

Before any of us were every born, the Lord reached through the tunnel of time and touched us with the Word of JUST WHO WE ARE TO HIM and what it is he is doing in our lives.

Here at the beginning, just before telling us that He is our Father and His LAWS must be followed, He tells us He will always be with us. What Father DOES NOT give His children RULES to follow in His household?

Exo 40:34  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Exo 40:35  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Exo 40:36  And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
Exo 40:37  But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.
Exo 40:38  For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, THROUGHOUT ALL THEIR JOURNEYS.

The act of Moses and Aaron and his sons washing their hands has wonderful significance for us today, because it reminds us that the Lord alone has made us clean so that we can approach Him. I am well aware that Jesus Christ is the God of the old testament, but I am also aware that this is hidden from the world.

However, we must know this Truth if we can ever recognize that without the Lord delivering the Israelites from the Egyptians, and then providing all the materials for the tabernacle, we could never have this laver in which to wash our hands and feet.

Why is this important at all to realize? Well, it shows us that it has all been orchestrated by the Lord 100%.

Why is that important? This is important because it is just like when my wife and I had our children. When they were first conceived, and being nourished in my wife’s belly, they were being cared for. We were doing what we thought was the best for them before they were ever born.

When they were born and couldn’t remember a thing, we were feeding and clothing them, changing their diapers, entertaining them, loving them, and overall preparing for them, as best we could, a life in which they could accelerate and grow.

All of these days and nights of preparation were brought to a point of when our children’s “eyes are opened” to the what their lives are about. Slowly but surely their minds are able to perceive just is happening in their lives and what they are about, memories take hold and “suddenly” they start to decide on things they want to do.

In reality, none of this happened suddenly but moment by moment and step by step. This is how we see the Lord working for all of us, and now at this moment for the Israelites of “here we have this tabernacle thing built” and we are approaching you Lord, the “RULE BOOK” comes out.

This book of laws comes out at the precise time that God’s children can begin to OBEY or NOT the things that are contained within this proverbial book.

Lev 1:1  And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
Lev 1:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.
Lev 1:3  If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.
Lev 1:4  And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
Lev 1:5  And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Lev 1:7  And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:
Lev 1:8  And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:
Lev 1:9  But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

The burnt offering is a very intense offering. It is the beginning of the offerings to the Lord that show our connection with the realization that we have to make an offering to the Lord in order to approach Him in any way.

There are many details that are contained within these few verses that really open up to us what this offering is all about.

These burnt offerings have nothing to do with sin but rather open up to us the concepts that will be presented by Jesus Christ and His actions about how it is we approach God the Father. We cannot approach Him empty-handed, and Jesus Christ never sinned yet was MADE SIN.

The burnt offerings could be of a young bull without blemish, a young ram, a young he-goat, a turtle dove or a young pigeon. We are only focused on the offering “of the herd” contained within the above verses, but I wanted to mentioned that there are other animals of various degrees which were used as burnt offerings.

If it were a bull, ram or goat, the offerer had to bring the offerings to the “door of the tabernacle” which happens to be right at the brazen altar. This altar would have been a very bloody scene indeed. Blood, animal parts, very strong odors and fire would all be very present among other things.

When it came time to offer the burnt offering notice that the offeror, as contained within the verses we just read, had very descriptive things that had to be done. The offerer must place their hand on the head of the animal about to be killed. The offeror must kill the animal. The offeror must flay it. The offeror had to wash the intestines and the legs.

Then the priests had their roles as well. They had to gather the blood and sprinkle the altar with it. They had to out the head, fat and remainder of the animals there. The also had to place a meat offering upon the burnt offerings. Then they had to move the ashes to the east of the altar and carry them outside the camp to a clean place.

Obviously, this is a lot of detail, but the offerer had to completely identify with the atonement that was being made by their animal that was being offered.

So, who is this unblemished male? Jesus is a Head that has a body. What does the New Testament tell us about His body, and in particular, how does His body relate to these verses today?

Does the placement of the offerer's hand on the Head tell us anything to help us understand that WE are the ones who sacrifice the King of kings and Lord of Lords?

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

If it is questioned that it is us who identify with our Head, let us understand that the Lord causes us to be the very offering that is being offered by creating in us a WILLING HEART to be offered up WITH CHRIST.

Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Lev 1:3  If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

I contest with you today, you being anyone struggling with giants in your land, that you listen to that faint still voice coming from within you and place your hand on the door and OPEN IT UP.

Jesus Christ is waiting on the other side.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  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.
Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Who among us is too good to get their hands dirty in a blood sacrifice? Are you willing, rather, has the Lord given you a willing heart, to sacrifice ALL THAT IS IN YOUR WORLD so that the door may be opened and the Lord may come in to your world?

What exactly is 'the world'? I proclaim to you all that the world is not only, and definitely not mostly, what the world thinks it is. There is something that makes up this world we all live in and here it is:

1Jn 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The “world” out there is of no concern to us. These verses aren’t telling us to not go to work, don’t watch a movie, don’t listen to “worldy songs”, etc., etc.

These verses are telling us to not LOVE the WORLD or the things IN THE WORLD. What is in and of the world? It is nothing more than can be contained in 'the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the PRIDE OF LIFE'.

All that is in the world tells us that not matter what is “out there” it is already “in here” in my world. Therefore, anything “out there” in the world is there because the world is in us all. Picking on one particular thing or one another as a “fine detail” only helps us feel better in some way than another person, when in reality we oftentimes glaze over or ignore the real issues within.

What, then, are we placing our hands on in sacrifice as an atonement to the Lord? We are placing our hands on OUR LORD. We are accepting that HE ALONE can and DID “ENTER INTO PERFECTION”. He alone went to the altar, which is the cross and table of the Lord, and now He asks us to come join Him.

Mal 1:7  Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
Mal 1:8  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 1:9  And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 1:10  Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
Mal 1:11  For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 1:12  But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.

Isn’t it interesting, to say the least, that the altar and table are interchangeable in these verses and verse 7 tells us that “ye offer polluted bread upon the altar of the Lord”. What BREAD do we offer that is polluted upon the altar of the Lord?

Mat 26:26  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

The body follows the Head. Why is it in our lives that it is easy for us to “place our hands on the Head” and “thank Him” for His sacrifice for us, take joy in it, but not actually believe nor think that we ourselves are PART of the SACRIFICE?

Mat 16:24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

I say nothing in this study to discourage any of us but rather to give HOPE in what our lives can and will be with Jesus ruling our hearts and minds.

How can I make such a claim after stating that lust and pride is in all of us?

Listen, whatever it is you battle within your world Christ has ALREADY DEFEATED. When we place our hands on “the head of an animal sacrifice”, we are placing it ON OURSELVES. The world tells you that Christ sacrificed Himself so that we do not need to be sacrificed, but that is UTTER false doctrine. We are crucified with Him!

The wages of SIN if DEATH. Though we are not talking about the sin offering within this study, we are talking about why it is NECESSARY that we are crucified, but the reason we are crucified is so that we can RISE out of DEATH being shown how to escape it because of Jesus Christ DOING IT FIRST!

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

What is it you struggle with in your life? Is it anger, lust, envy, lack of humility, cruelty, coveting, lack of faith, lasciviousness, slothfulness, gossiping, money, vanity, thievery and on and on it can go? So, what is it you struggle with?

Whatever it is I tell you to LAY IT ON THE ALTAR NOW, because that’s where it is going one way or another. You can continue to live your life with and in it OR you can accept that Christ HAS GIVEN you all things NOW.

Ask the Lord for Faith to believe these things, and He will give it to you, but giving you Faith to believe He can and will deliver you DOES NOT MEAN that you do not still need to die daily to those things that will battle you at ever turn.

Why? It is the TRIAL of YOUR FAITH that is precious to the Lord so He is going to TRY YOU.

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Pe 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Let me read that again but only this time in a standard English version.

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5  who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
1Pe 1:7  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1Pe 1:8  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
1Pe 1:9  obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10  Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
1Pe 1:11  inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.
1Pe 1:12  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

I am preaching to you the good news that the salvation of your souls can be TASTED now in the bread and blood of Christ. The things we read about in Exodus concerning the tabernacle, and the verses in Leviticus pertaining to the burnt offerings, were revealed to the prophets as belonging to US.

Though we will and are tested in various trials, the Lord DOES DELIVER us from these things and will not tempt us without providing a way out. That way out is Jesus Christ, and He is placed on the altar by His priests AFTER He is slain by the one who needs to make atonement.

Atonement is acknowledgment that a sacrifice is needed, but we need to realize that we are a body following the Head onto the altar to be “burned by fire”. I dwell happily there.

Isa 33:13  Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.
Isa 33:14  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Isa 33:15  He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
Isa 33:16  He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
Isa 33:17  Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

1Jn 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

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