From Blood to Wine

     We previously spoke briefly about the blood and its Biblical significance.  Let’s turn our attention now to another red liquid found throughout the Bible, wine.  In the Old Testament, the subject of wine is found in the Pentateuch, historical books, wisdom books, and prophetical books.
     There are several aspects of wine in the Scriptures.  We’ll begin by focusing on the godly meaning and usage of wine.
     Wine was used as a drink offering according to Levitical law.  In the daily offering for example, two lambs were offered accompanied with flour, oil, and wine.
     The portion for the Levites given by the people in addition to animal sacrifices included:
     “…the firstfruits of your grain and your new wine…”  Deuteronomy 18:4a
     Plentiful wine was a blessing from God, and He would also chastise His people by limiting the availability of wine.
     Recall when Israel, analogized as the wife of God, was unfaithful and sought her needs from other nations, God spoke thusly:
    “For she did not know that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil…Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time and My new wine in its season…”  Hosea 2:8-9a
     Haggai, one of the last prophets, echoed the words in Hosea when the Israelites, upon returning from their Babylonian captivity, didn’t give priority to rebuilding God’s house.
     “Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.  For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine…”  Haggai 1:10-11
     But in the latter days, God will show mercy on His chosen nation.
     “It shall come to pass in that day…the earth shall answer with grain, with new wine, and with oil…”  Hosea 2:21-22
     Joel prophesied the similar future blessing.
     “And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine…a fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD…”  Joel 3:18
     Thus, wine was very important in God’s dealing with Israel. 
     Another aspect of wine was to bring cheer, gladness, and to make one’s heart merry.
     When the Psalmist was extolling the greatness and mercy of God, wine was mentioned as a blessing.
     “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man…and wine that makes glad the heart of man…”  Psalm 104:14-15a
     Solomon, the wisest man on earth during his time, concurred with the Psalmist.
     “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry…” Ecclesiastes 11:19
     Wine is often spoken of as being served at feasts and banquets.
      As Solomon personified wisdom, he explained that ‘wisdom’ was made readily available for any who thirsts, and would be served freely.
     “Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars…she has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table…she cries out from the highest places of the city…come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.  Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.”  Proverbs 9:1-3, 5-6
     Concerning the future blessings of Israel, Isaiah reports:
     “And on this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wine on the lees…of well-refined wine…and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces…”  Isaiah 25:6, 8a
     The Lord God desires to freely give of His best to His people, and one day it will be so.
     “Ho!  Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price…”  Isaiah 55:1
     In closing let’s refer to the New Testament and note Jesus’ words about the wine shared at His last Passover meal.
     “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”  Matthew 26:29
     His proclamation speaks of the fulfillment of Joel and Hosea’s words referenced earlier, i.e. “it shall come to pass in that day…”
     There are also very negative aspects of wine.  Too much of a good thing can have disastrous results.

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