Last week I started writing about wine in the Bible. I believe wine is used as a metaphor for God’s Justice. I want to continue that thought by looking in the Old Testament.
The Drink Offering – In Exodus 29:40, God tells the nation of Israel to use wine for a drink offering. Now, wine isn’t just collected from a stream. It doesn’t flow out of rocks. Wine takes a lot of work and time to become wine. Collect the grapes, press them, let the fermentation process take place, and then you get wine. It’s an item of great value because it requires a lot of time.
But God says that the drink offering is not to be consumed, it’s poured out. Think about that for a second. God comes along and says to use the best wine (that took a really long time to make) and just pour it out as a sacrifice. And I’m sure for many it was a great sacrifice.
It’s in this drink offering that I find the Justice of God.
1. God’s Standards Are Met – When the people obeyed and fulfilled the drink offering as part of the sacrifice, the sins of those people were forgiven. God’s own standards of justice were met.
2. God’s Holiness is Satisfied – That the drink offering is poured is quite significant. It is literally a sacrifice of time and money. Most things of value are not destroyed, they are consumed. But this wine is poured without being consumed. God’s justice is often thought to be poured out on those who deserve it. We all deserve God’s justice, but the pouring of the wine symbolizes that it is being distributed in a different direction.
3. God’s People are Saved – The sacrificial laws were intended to bring an unholy people into the presence of a holy God. God’s holiness demands justice. Without the sacrifices, His justice would have been poured out onto the people and they would have been destroyed. God’s justice is still poured out, but it is poured onto the sacrifice, and the people are spared.
If we lived in Old Testament days, you would want–even need–that wine to spare your life. But we live in the days of the church, and Jesus is our ultimate sacrifice.
So enjoy the wine responsibly:) But remember that what you’re drinking is far more than a classy Cabernet. It’s the representation of God’s justice that you don’t have to endure.