January 21, 2019

“Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”
-Jeremiah 48:11 

What does “settled on their lees” mean? As one may have guessed, it is an expression derived from winemaking. Lees are what we call “dregs,” particles of solid matter that fall to the bottom of the jar or bottle during fermentation. Back in ancient Israel, they liked to leave their wine on the lees to make it stronger, but there was a time limit to how long they could leave it there. Good wine left on its lees too long would become syrup forming a scum—to put it bluntly, it will be ruined. So, a diligent winemaker would periodically pour the wine from one vat to another, straining off the lees.
       The illustration shows that a person settled on his lees becomes stagnant, complacent, indifferent, and apathetic. Bad wine left on the lees becomes harsh and bitter as does the complacent Christian. A. W. Tozer once said, “ complacency is the number one enemy to spiritual progress. The church today has become settled on their lees; she seems  not stirred or moved! She will go week in and week out, year in and year out sitting in the same place, singing the same songs, saying the same prayers. The bride of Christ seems to go through the motions with her darling groom who gave his life for her. She continues to sit, sour, and soak as her beloved prepares a place for her. She has become so familiar that she is now complacent and has lost the passion for her love. And God comes with an indictment to all guilty of settling on the lees- “because you are lukewarm – I will spue thee out.” Oh child of God, do not be in this number! Has your worship become sour? Has your service to our King formed a scum? Stir up the gift that is in you. Let God pour you out and move you- Do not settle on your lees! 

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