Michael Colunga (26 Apr 2013)
"The theology of the drink offering..."

Hello, John and Doves,
Here in the southwest U.S.A., we're experiencing a bit of a drought--a season of La Niña, if you will.
That made me sensitive to the story of David and his thirst for water from "the city of David," Bethlehem.  Read the story:  2 Samuel 23:13-17.
I saw this passage in a new light as I was reading Gino (19 Apr 2013) "RE: Walt: Gate of Hell"
The theology of the drink offering...
   To arrive at the meaning and rationale for the drink offering, it is helpful, first, to note, as Kurtz points out, that the drink offering was never to be offered except in the land of promise. (J. H. Kurtz, Sacrificial Worship of the Old Testament [Grand Rapids: Baker, {1863} 1980].) The instructions in Leviticus are prefaced with "when you enter the land which I am going to give to you" (v. 10), as are the instructions in Numbers 15. If the sacrifices are God’s food (literally, bread), then the libations are evidently God’s drink. The law of the drink offering, therefore, tells us that God would not drink wine with His bread until His people entered the land.

This makes sense in terms of biblical theology. Drinking wine is a sabbatical activity; it is a sign and a means of rest and celebration. Specifically, the libation is a sabbatical offering, particularly as described in Leviticus 23. Only after the Lord had defeated the enemies of His people, and given His people a restful dwelling in the land, would He accept the wine of the libations.

This connection of victory and rest with the drink offering is highlighted by the context of the laws of Numbers 15. These laws were delivered immediately after Israel rebelled at Kadesh Barnea, and then rashly attacked the Amalekites when God was not with them. God punished the Israelites by leaving them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years (Num. 13–14). Immediately after this defeat, God gave Moses instructions on the drink offering. In the context, the drink offering is a promise of eventual victory and settlement in the land. It is a sign also of God’s faithfulness to His covenant with Israel. Israel was to suffer in the wilderness for 40 years, restless and wandering; for 40 years, they were unable to eat and drink and rejoice before the Lord (Dt. 14:22-27). If God’s peculiar people were to be 40 years without wine, then God Himself would refrain from drinking wine for those same 40 years. Wine is an eschatological drink: it requires time for it to reach its maturity. So, God fasted from wine until His people reached their eschaton (the final end of their wanderings), the land where huge clusters of grapes grew. He wandered with His people, sharing in their sufferings, for the joy that was set before Him. Though the Israelites would wander for a generation, they could take comfort in the assurance that God was wandering with them.

It is written,
    16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20  NIV
From the Tanakh:
Psalm 121

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

1I look up to the mountains—

does my help come from there?

2My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth!

3He will not let you stumble;

the one who watches over you will not slumber.

4Indeed, he who watches over Israel

never slumbers or sleeps.

5The Lord himself watches over you!

The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

6The sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon at night.

7The Lord keeps you from all harm

and watches over your life.

8The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,

both now and forever.

[New Living Translation]