Before a temple was built in Jerusalem, the people of Israel met in a portable structure called “the Tent of Meeting.” Inside the Tent was an altar for sacrifice as well as a number of other articles, including a bronze wash basin for the priests. God instructed Moses that whenever the priests entered the Tent of Meeting to offer sacrifices, they were to first wash their hands and feet with water from the bronze basin.
At the time that the Tent of Meeting was constructed, God’s people were in a wilderness area, and bronze was not exactly easy to come by. So where did they get it? The Bible says they made the basin “from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting” (Exodus 38:8).
The Bible doesn’t tell us whether Moses asked for their mirrors or whether the idea of donating them came from the women themselves. But either way, I personally believe they willingly gave them up for God’s house. These women were the ones who served at the entrance to the Tent, and while we really don’t know what their responsibilities were, the word “serve” tells us that their hearts were devoted to the Lord.
Women in those days were just like us today--they cared what they looked like. Glass mirrors had not yet been invented, so they used polished plates of brass. But when their precious mirrors were needed for God’s purpose, they willingly gave them up.
There’s nothing wrong with caring about how you look. I believe we honor God when we have an attractive appearance. But the hearts of these women were touched with the need for God’s meeting place so deeply that they were willing to give up one of their most treasured possessions for Him.
We as women today can still ask ourselves, “Which is more important to me—how I look or what God wants?” It’s a matter of the heart.