|David pours out water - Caspar Luiken|
TO CHEW ON: "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand." 2 Timothy 4:6
Paul uses the image of a drink offering to speak of his own impending death.
These liquid offerings were part of Old Testament worship.
- Jacob worshiped God that way when he returned to Bethel, the place God had first met him on his flight from home (Genesis 35:14-15).
- A drink offering was part of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (Exodus 29:40), the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:13), and the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:18).
We can't help but think of other pourings.
- David poured out the precious gift of Bethlehem water—his way of acknowledging God was worthy of the best and most desirable (2 Samuel 23:15-17).
- Mary poured out precious perfume, the most valuable thing she had, on Jesus' feet (John 12:1-8).
- Paul's picture of his life as a libation here implies that he may expect to be martyred (as in poured out blood).
- He uses the drink offering image in another place as well. In Philippians 2:17 the picture is of his drink-offering-life poured over their sacrifice and service. It's as if his life and theirs work together to complete the sacrifice—a "living sacrifice" he calls it in Romans 12:1.
Can we live drink offering lives? They will seem wasted, perhaps, as David's poured out Bethlehem water and Mary's perfume seemed a waste. But in the apparent waste is new and surprising life. Read words of Jesus:
"Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:24,25.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to live my life like a drink offering—poured out for You. Amen.
MORE: Pour My Love on You (by Phillips, Craig and Dean)
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.