Weapons of War – 1

Boisterous with Wine

Bread and wine administered separate from a meal and in meagre doses portrays God as stingy. Besides this fact, the Biblical image of abundant wine as liquid fire is important for war. Peter Leithart, commenting on Zechariah 9:15, writes:

“In this context of warfare and triumph, food and drink play an important role. Yahweh’s people, His weapons, would “devour” their enemies, drink wine, and become boisterous—as filled with wine as the basin at the foot of the altar was filled with blood, filled with wine like the blood-caked “corners of the altar” (9:15). What Israel would find exhilarating was partly the “wine-blood” of her enemies, who had been slaughtered before her. But the passage pictures Israel drunk with another kind of wine: filled with the wine of Yahweh’s Spirit, Israel would be bold, wild, untamed, boisterous in battle. This suggests one dimension of the symbolism of wine in the Lord’s Supper: it loosens our inhibitions so that we will fight the Lord’s battles in a kind of drunken frenzy. If this sounds impious, how much more Psalm 78:65, where the Divine Warrior Himself is described as a mighty man overcome with wine? Yahweh fights like Samson, but far more ferociously than Samson. He fights like a drunken Samson! Grape juice, it must be said, simply does not carry the same punch. Deprived of wine at the Lord’s table, it is no wonder that we fight our battles so timidly, no wonder we stay so nerdy and are constantly plagued by bullies.”1

1 Peter J. Leithart, Blessed Are The Hungry, p. 110-111. WEPOW

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