New Wine That Tastes Sour

You have made love for hire on every threshing floor. The threshing floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.  Hosea 9:2

    Have you ever been so desperate for a breakthrough that you did everything you could to manufacture it yourself through whatever means you thought it might come to you?  Israel was so hungry for blessing and prosperity again that they practiced idolatry on the threshing floor, the place where they processed grain.  They really believed it would help the harvest.  Not only was it sinful, it was superstitious.  God cursed it.  He will not share His glory with anyone, especially with some sinful ritual.

    What is it that eludes you today?  More money?   No amount of problem solving outside of prayer will bring a provision that will perfectly fit the puzzle you’re constructing with your life. Manipulating a distant relative will cause the money to burn in your hands.  Extorting a raise from your boss will do the same.  Need recognition?  No heroic act originating from self-centeredness will bring the adulation that will fill your soul to overflowing. The praise you receive by setting others up to adore you will be short lived.  Tomorrow, you’ll need to do it again to get the same thrill.  The only One who satisfies us is God, in Christ.  The only pathway to contentment is resting in His love and abandoning all other striving.

    The new wine overflows.  It is the new covenant of Christ’s love, demonstrated so powerfully on a hill, on a cross.  His blood flowed freely to offer a new way to live to anyone who has the courage to put Him to the test.  No longer is love for hire.  It can not be earned but is received as a gift.  This good news is not for the fainthearted.  Only as we give up our propensity to earn it and feel better about ourselves will we know the power of this gift of Love.  Only when I identify with the Servant who denied Himself and walked a difficult path of obedience will my life flow with new wine.  “A breakthrough” will be the last thing I think about.  Yet, that is often the very hour He gives it.

Oh Jesus, the sweet wine of Your love quenches my thirst completely.  

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