“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 7:1 KJV).
The Spirit of the Lord is speaking to the church and if we will hear the voice of the Lord, we will grow as a body of believers and advance into those things that God has prepared for us. We are in a process of change. We must not settle, be careless and satisfied, or become complacent, but we must move forward “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
From the Harvest to the Wine-Press: The wine-press was a place of crushing “treading” the ripe harvested grapes into vats. This was a place of mixture of the flesh of the grapes with the juice. The flesh of the grape was called “the lees.” This process was a time of great rejoicing with shouting and praise to God for His bountiful harvest.
The Process of Being Poured Out: To refine the wine the wine makers put the wine through a series of pouring from vessel to vessel with each pouring making the wine more pure with the lees (dregs) being left behind. Paul alludes to this (see II Tim. 4:6; Phil. 2:17; II Cor. 12:15). The prophets used this metaphor as an illustration in their prophecies:
Jeremiah 48:11: “Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his lees, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither has he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”
Zephaniah 1:12: “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.”
The Story of Lot: Lot, the nephew of Abraham, was the father of the Moabites. The Apostle Peter calls Lot a “righteous man” whose soul was “vexed” by the unlawful deeds of the wicked (see II Peter 2:6-9). However, in Lot we see a sad story of complacency with the worldly nature that became the hallmark of his descendants in Moab and Ammon.
The Genesis account of Lot begins in chapter 11 when he left Ur of Chaldees with Abram to journey to Canaan by way of Haran. Lot prospered in Canaan to the extent that there was contention between the herdmen of Lot and Abram (see Gen. 13:6-7). However, when Abram gave Lot the choice of the land he “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Gen. 13:12).
While in Sodom Lot was captured by the armies of the four kings from the East (Gen. 14:12) and had to be delivered by Abram’s armed men (Gen. 14:16). When we are complacent and live among the wicked we are always at great risk of being taken captive by the enemy and in need of rescue.
In Genesis 19 we have the story of Lot’s rescue from Sodom by the angels sent from the Lord by the intercessions of Abraham (see Gen. 18:17-33). In the face of imminent danger of destruction, we see Lot’s complacency (Gen. 19:16) “as he lingered, the men (angels) laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.” The NASB says, “But he hesitated,” so the angels forced him to leave the city.
The Lord is speaking to us: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty: (II Cor. 6: 17-18).