This particular subject has been pressing on my heart and my mind for a couple of weeks now. I can’t tell you how profoundly these two words have touched me, how when I read them from the Bible I knew that God wanted me to learn something. Hang in here with me…
I have recently started to study the Bible inductively using Kay Arthur’s Precept Upon Precept inductive study method. I decided to start in II Timothy. When I read chapter 4 verse 6 my heart skipped, I knew I needed to dig. It says, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure has come.” My first question was “What is a drink offering”? Is this really an offering or is he just using a figure of speech? So I cross referenced it and found out that a drink offering IS a real offering given to God by the Jews. This piqued my curiosity. I HAD to know more. Why was Paul likening himself to a drink offering?
I did some digging on the Internet and found a very helpful and detailed article about the drink offering. It is long and detailed and filled with rich information so I’ll get to my point and post the article for you. A drink offering speaks to the joy of the completed work of Christ. A drink offering was always to accompany the sweet savor offerings, especially the burnt offering and the meal offering. Why? “Because the burnt offering speaks of the death of Christ accomplishing the will of God for the pleasure of God, bringing glory to His name”. And the meal offering presents “Christ in the perfect sinlessness of His Manhood, His perfect obedience, ever fulfilling the will of God from His birth up to, and including, His death on Calvary ’s cross.” So you can see that by pouring the drink offering over the burnt and meal offerings it would be so symbolic of Christ’s joy and completeness of his ministry.
Now think of all Paul did after his conversion. He did a mighty work for Christ but it was NEVER without suffering. Paul is a true example of perfect obedience. He lived his life to tell of burnt and meal offerings. It seems fitting that he would liken himself to a drink offering. After years of sacrificing his life to God, the rest of what was left of him was being poured out on that sacrifice like a drink offering sending a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord.
Why did this strike such a chord in me? Last year there were many times I felt emptied, like I had nothing left to give and yet, at times I felt full again. We experienced God’s blessings in the midst of trials and we were able to press on. But why was I feeling “emptied”? When I read this verse I knew. My life is to be a constant, steady, drink offering pouring out to God speaking to the Gospel of Christ. Because God called us to the mission field and we obeyed, God is now asking us to do what He requires us to do: continue to give our lives to him even through hardship. Continue to pour. In conjunction with the study of this verse I read two books on suffering so I knew God was teaching me something. Am I likening myself to Paul or any other Christians who have had it worse than we have? No. I am coming to you from where we are at right now. Two Christians being lead through the hills and valleys by the Lord.
This got me thinking even further. In II Timothy Paul is writing at the end of His life. The drink offering in the Old Testament is the final offering. Paul knows the end is near, the next verse is “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” I don’t want to be cryptic here. I’m not telling you all that I feel my life is ending or that our ministry is coming to an end, BUT what if it were? Our days on this earth are not guaranteed. What if I lived my life like I was always pouring it out to God as a drink offering? How much more glory could I bring to His name? What if you lived your life to be poured out to God? How would your life be different? If your answer is “it would be very different”, then ask God to show you what you need to do to start pouring.
Why would a God of mercy and love lead His people into a life of suffering even require it of us? That is a hard question. But think on this, if we never suffered for Christ’s sake, then what have we poured as an offering to Him?
Thank you Jesus.