Tag Archives: Jeremiah 48

Poured Out, Changed, Improved

“Moab has been at rest from youth,
    like wine left on its dregs,
not poured from one jar to another—
    she has not gone into exile.
So she tastes as she did,
    and her aroma is unchanged.”
Jeremiah 48:11 (NIV)

Wendy and I enjoy wine with a good meal. We’re not experts by any stretch of the imagination, but I have learned some of the basics of pairing a wine with the food we’re eating and getting the most out of the wine we drink. Just last night I put a couple of beef filets on the grill and Wendy made some sweet potato medallions. We opened this big, bombastic Spanish red wine, a Cariñena. It was aptly named El Bombero, and its bold flavor was a wonderful compliment to the richness of the steaks.

One of the things I’ve learned about wine is that it changes after you uncork the bottle. In fact, some of the experts I’ve read believe that almost any wine will taste better if you “decant” it, or transfer it to a glass decanter, and let it breathe for an hour or so before you drink it. Wine often has an initial sharp taste from being shut up inside the bottle for a long period. That sharp or sour taste smooths out, and the true flavor of the wine opens up when it’s transferred to another vessel and oxygen has a chance to work its natural magic.

Today’s chapter of Jeremiah’s prophetic works is a message of condemnation for the ancient nation of Moab (located just east of the Dead Sea). Moab’s mountainous regions were known for their wine and vineyards, so Jeremiah leverages their wineries for the purposes of a word picture. The Moabites had not changed and had not been “poured out” into exile as other nations in the region had. But, Jeremiah’s prophetic word tells Moab she would be “decanted” when the Persian army came through.

As I pondered Jeremiah’s word picture this morning I meditated on my own life journey. One of the unexpected realities of my own journey is how much change I would experience as I reached this stage of life. When I was young I had this notion that a person sort of reaches maximum personal maturity somewhere in early adulthood and then just maintains. To be honest, I have observed fellow adults for whom this appears to be their reality. I had no idea how much, in my experience, the spiritual process of being poured out, matured, and changed is cyclical and perpetual.

Wine that stays corked, bottled up, and unchanged retains a sharp and bitter taste. I’ve observed that humans are much the same way. There is a benefit to wine being poured out, decanted, and allowed to patiently sit so that change can bring out the blessings of maturity and aging. So my spirit  benefits from a similar process as I continue on life’s road.

Chapter-a-Day Jeremiah 48

Broken Piano
Image by quinet via Flickr

Lush Moab stripped
   of song and laughter.
 Jeremiah 48:33a (MSG)

As I read through Jeremiah’s epic prophesy against Moab this morning, I must confess my brain was a bit on auto pilot. After 48 chapters of prophecies against this country and that people, they all start to sound the same. “Idols crushed, blah, blah, blah. No hope at all yada, yada, yada.” But then I read verse 33 and it struck a chord in my heart.

No music. No laughter.

A few months ago, my daughter and I sat on the couch and watched a DVD of old family videos. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane, and the common theme that struck me as we watched was music, dancing and laughter. Like all families, we have had our own host of problems, issues, brokenness, tragedy and difficulties. What family doesn’t? But, we had a faithful God and we consistently had music, dancing, and laughter – and together they will see you through some long, dark valleys.

Moab had a lot of punishment heaped on them. Disaster, war, famine, exile, and death are terrible events for anyone to endure. Yet, for me, not one of them is as worse as their music being muted, and their laughter stolen.

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