Why was the drink offering always poured out?
The first thing to comment upon is the fact that this offering was liquid and could hardly be burned at the altar. The typical meaning of the drink offering being poured out pictures the Lord Jesus who poured out His soul unto death, and as a blessed consequence God has had pleasure in rewarding Him. It has been suggested by some that it was poured over the sacrifice itself, but as far as the writer can see we have no specific reference to this in the Old Testament.
In the New Testament we have what I believe is an answer to the type of the drink offering, for in Philippians 2.17 Paul says, "Yea, and if I be offered (poured forth) upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice
with you all". The drink offering was not strictly speaking "a sacrifice". In fact, compared with the major offerings it was a minor offering being poured out beside the altar. It comes in last in connection with the sacrifice with which it is associated, as if suggesting that in the sacrifice offered something has been secured for God, and God has accepted it. Being composed of wine it speaks of joy (see Judg 9.13). It pictures the pleasure that the Lord Jesus has given to His Father in His lovely life and devotion unto death.
It might be of interest to say that the first mention of the drink offering is in Genesis 35.14. Here we see that Jacob poured his drink offering upon the pillar he had erected. Usually the drink offering is offered in connection with other offerings, but in this instance it was not. Jacob was moving in the right direction toward Bethel and was beginning to give God pleasure in his life. The believer should ask, "Is my life giving joy to God?". In Leviticus 23.13 we find the drink offering linked with the Feast of Firstfruits which typically foreshadows the resurrection of Christ. There is nothing like the resurrection to give joy to the believer. In Numbers 15 we are given more details of the drink offering. The fact that the measure of the drink offering increases with the size and value of the animal offered is instructive. The joy of the believer increases as he develops in appreciation of the person of Christ.
John J Stubbs
Can you please comment on the single usage of the phrase, "grieve not the holy Spirit of God" (Eph 4.30), and also the single usage of "Quench not the Spirit" (1 Thess 5.19)? I have heard it said that "grieve" is individual and "quench" is collective. Is this correct?
The fact that it is possible to grieve (cause pain or distress to) the Spirit is a distinct indication of His Personality. Again in the Old Testament we read, "But they (Israel) rebelled, and vexed (grieved, RV) his holy Spirit" (Is 63.10). He is not a mere influence, but a Person.
The conjunction "And" forms the connection with the previous verse in Ephesians 4, which reads, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth" (v.29); thus corrupt speech is one certain way of grieving the Spirit who dwells within the believer. However, the exhortation may also be linked with the preceding verses (25-28) as well as the verse (31) that follows. Thus lying, unrighteous anger, theft, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking and malice on the part of the child of God cause pain to the Holy Spirit. He is not insensitive to the conduct of the one in whose body He resides. He is "the holy Spirit of God" and anything that is not holy is distasteful to Him.
Paul goes on to say of the Holy Spirit, "whereby ye are (or were at the definite crisis of reception) sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph 4.30). It is a sure token of grace that any unfavourable attitude, word or action on our part does not alter our eternal security; the reference here is to the future redemption of the believers body (Rom 8.23).
"Quench not the Spirit" (1 Thess 5.19) is one of the brief exhortations that Paul gives to the church of the Thessalonians as he closes his first epistle. In vv.19-22 of ch.5 there are precepts which relate more to the collective gatherings of believers. Indeed in v.19 the public operations of the Spirit in our midst are in view. We learn that we are not to hinder the free action of the Holy Spirit; He must be given His rightful place in the assembly of the Lords people. However, we need to take into account that the Spirit will never act in a way that is contrary to the revealed mind and will of God in His Word.
David E West