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Life Like a Wineskin

Close up of woman's hands cutting a cluster of ripe grapes off of a vine in a vineyard.

In my meditation of this month’s study of wine, I envisioned a wineskin and sensed that David’s tent was the new wine skin model of intimacy.  This is the Father’s delight for man and for the delight of His heart. I am glad that David is found to be a man after God’s heart because I would be ever-so-hopeless but not for the grace and mercy of God. Can I get an amen?! If we recall, the pattern and design of the Tent of Meeting that Moses received on the mountain in the desert, was very elaborate and involved strict adherence to protocol, ritual and demanded a lot of bloodshed for sacrifice.

This had been the model for generations until David broke from any sense of decorum, dancing until his clothes fell off and prostrated himself right before the ark. He positioned thousands of worshippers with the throngs of cymbals, stringed instruments and singers bombarding the atmosphere day and night. This “man after God’s heart” that is commended by God, is a man of repentance. David’s prayer in Psalm 51 reveals to us that what matters to God is a contrite heart, let us read as David confesses his sin before God… 

Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,and sinners shall be converted and return to You.

I don’t think the Mosaic law and tabernacle were supposed to have become so rigid and such an instrument of contention among the Jewish people. I think it was supposed to be the way to wash them from sin so they could approach a holy God who really wanted to be near to them. The offering of blood was supposed to come from a contrite heart, repentant of sin, so they could be reconciled to a holy God. It was intended to bridge the divide and bring them close once again. We see how David expresses his sin in verse 14…

Psalm 51:14

Rescue me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;

Then my tongue will sing joyfully of Your righteousness and Your justice. 

O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise. 

As we consider the following verses, we see that the burnt offerings and bulls offered on His altar were not done away with. On the contrary, God delights in it. It was the posture of the person offering it, as David describes, that was the only acceptable offering to God. He explains an acceptable offering as being a broken spirit, with sorrow for sin…

Psalm 51:16-17

For You do not delight in sacrifice, or else I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; A broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.

Psalm 51:19

Then will You delight in the sacrifices of righteousness,In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.

David’s posture of repentance moved God’s heart. It was no longer vain repetition and rhetoric. No longer the vanity of animals slain for the sake of protocol but here was a man who acknowledges his sin and God’s righteousness in passing judgment…

Psalm 51:4

Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight,So that You are justified when You speak Your sentence] and faultless in Your judgment. 

All throughout Leviticus we see this phrase “an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” As I was meditating on this phrase, I had the sense of God’s pleasure about people coming to sacrifice offerings on the altar meaning that they wanted God’s nearness. I cannot imagine, but only by the intercession of the Holy Spirit, what it feels like for God when He knows His people are rejecting Him.

We see in Joel 2, that the Father wants His people to repent from their sin so he can bless them. He pleaded with man through His prophets to repent so that He can be near. He pleads with man to be near so they can receive the blessings He had for them.

Joel 2:16-19

Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. [No one is excused from the assembly.] Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Have compassion and spare Your people, O Lord, and do not make Your inheritance (Israel) an object of ridicule, or a [humiliating] byword among the [Gentile] nations. Why should they say among the peoples,‘Where is their God?’” Then the Lord will be jealous for His land [ready to defend it since it is rightfully and uniquely His.]

Joel 2:28-29

“It shall come about after this that I shall pour out My Spirit on all mankind;And your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

The prophets prophesy about a time when wine will flow as a sign of blessing, the blessing of knowing and understanding “I am the LORD your God”. God says there will be an outpouring of His Spirit… 

Joel 3:17-18

Then you will know and understand fully that I am the Lord your God…And in that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine and the hills will flow with milk…

Amos 9:13

Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When the plowman shall overtake the one who gathers the harvest, and the one who treads the grapes [shall overtake] him who sows the seed [for the harvest continues until planting time]; When the mountains will drip sweet wineAnd all the hills shall melt [that is, everything that was once barren will overflow with streams of blessing.]

The intent of God’s heart from long ago, is spelled out clearly for us now. Abba is restoring David’s tent so that mankind may seek the Lord, and the Gentiles. These two categories “mankind” and “gentiles” means this was the purpose all along for both Jewish people and Gentiles  to repent and seek Him. We have now come full circle and we now have received the Lamb of God, the ultimate offering, who was postured in love and obedience to His Father and has FINALLY reconciled mankind back to a holy God once and for all.There is no more division, no more  distance and through the blood of Jesus we get to be prostrate before the throne of God with the throngs of worship bombarding heaven! 

Acts 15:16-18

‘After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom my Name has been invoked,’ says the Lord, who has been making these things known from long ago. 

Revelation 4: 5-8

From the throne came flashes of lightning and [rumbling] sounds and peals of thunder…In the center and around the throne were four living creatures who were full of eyes in front and behind [seeing everything and knowing everything that is around them] … And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes all over and within [underneath their wings]; and day and night they never stop saying,

“Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord God, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], who was and who is and who is to come [the unchanging, eternal God].”

Let's Pray:

Father, I delight in You. I delight in seeking Your face, in seeing You every day and every night. My desire is for You. My desire is for Your presence. Please remove anything that hinders me from fully entering Your presence and wash me with the blood of Jesus so that I can be near to You. Let the blessing of knowing You pour out upon my life and the let the new wine flow. Holy Spirit conform my life into a container. Let my life look like a wineskin, able to contain all the blessings of love poured out, wine poured out, blessing poured out, and Your Spirit poured out.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

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