In the Old Testament, there was a type of worship offering which has intrigued me since I first read about it in the Word.
The drink offering.
It first appears as part of Israel’s worship towards the Lord in Genesis 35:4, when Jacob sets up a stone pillar as a testimony to God meeting with him.
Part of the offerings in the temple, not only was the best of the food in meat and crops offered before the Lord, so was the fruit of the vine made into wine.
There was crushing involved in preparing the drink offering, which showed intent, determination and purpose on the part of the offerer.
And God’s response to these as part of the offerings given to Him by His people?
A pleasing aroma (Exodus 29: 41, Leviticus 23:18, Numbers 15:7)
Except when it is offered to other gods instead of the One true God. (Isaiah 57:6, Jeremiah 7:18, 19:13;) which stirs Him up to anger (Ezekiel 20:28).
What was designed to be pleasant turns His stomach and breaks His heart when it is poured out in waste.
There are two instances when there were drink offerings made in the New Testament, one made only by Jesus and one intended solely for Jesus.
In John 2, Jesus and his mother are attending a wedding. The celebration usually starts with the best wine first, with the quality of what is served lowering over the length of the event. At this wedding, they somehow run out of wine. Embarrassing for the family and the event planner, somehow Mary finds out and asks Jesus to intervene.
Jesus sees vessels set aside for ceremonial washing, and instructs the staff to add water, dip a serving out and offer it to the master of ceremonies.
Through the obedience of their pouring that water, Jesus takes water and transforms it into the best wine the master of ceremonies (so likely everyone!) has ever tasted.
What is simply offered becomes so much more through Him!
The first miracle Jesus performed was a drink offering for His people, and to the glory of His Father.
In Matthew 26:7 and Mark 14:3, while Jesus is reclining, sharing a meal with friends, a woman (Mary, sister to Lazarus and Martha) enters to break an expensive jar of alabaster, pouring out the perfume contained within over the feet of Jesus.
Everyone other than Jesus appears to have been taken aback, apparently forgetting the many verses in the Word referring to perfume as a pleasing aroma, and this verse from Proverbs 27:9
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart.
Mary offered the most expensive gift she had, humbly at the feet of the One she loved, in obedience to what the Father was stirring in her heart through Holy Spirit’s whispers: Anoint Jesus.
The path Jesus was about to walk was leading Him to His death, which is why i believe Mary anointed His feet. The Father had already shown His pleasure in Jesus when Holy Spirit landed on Him like a dove at His baptism.
Now a humble servant was pouring out her devotion in the most costly way possible.
Not considering the cost to herself, she poured it all out for her King.
We too are meant to pour ourselves out for our King.
As He leads us.
If what you have to bring appears foolish in the world’s eyes, do it anyways.
Take a few moments, and ask yourself if where you are pouring yourself out is the best offering you can offer Jesus today.
May we hold nothing back, and allow Him to shape us as we learn to give Him our all, pouring it out in the sweetest acts of worship and devotion,
To give Him the pleasure of receiving our gifts of love.