“And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be with tambourines and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.” (Is. 30:32)
The phrase “in battles of shaking will he fight with it” is interesting. The word for shaking is sometimes translated brandishing, and in the rest of the Old Testament it usually means “lifting” or “waving.” When Aaron and his sons were originally ordained to the priesthood, a loaf of bread was put into their hands and they were to lift them up as a wave offering before the Lord (Ex. 29:23-27). The same word is used to refer to the offering of gold and bronze that was used to construct the tabernacle. As the priests began their ministry in the tabernacle, God explained that the portions of meat that the priests lifted up as wave offerings before the Lord were the portions for the priests to eat. It’s striking that when the Levites are appointed to serve in the tabernacle in Numbers, the people of Israel lay hands on the Levites assembled, and God says that this is a wave offering of the children of Israel (Num. 8:11-21). When the people lay hands on the Levites, God says that is how they are lifted up, to serve before Him. Pastor Leithart has already pointed out how music and singing is part of our warfare; here Isaiah also says God’s war will be fought through the wave offering, through the ministry of priests offering sacrifices and eating their portions. Israel of old thought they would find safety and security in what looked strong. In that day it was Egypt. In our day maybe it’s the military, maybe it’s keeping up with fashion, maybe it’s certain food fads or diets or health trends. People think that money will keep them safe, or certain lifestyles will set them free. But God’s power is found singing and eating together. When we lift up this bread and this cup, this is our wave offering, and this means that we are all priests to God. And when the pastor lifts his hands to bless the people of God, he is placing the Name of God on them, and he does that by lifting them up before the Lord as a wave offering. Here you are given your priestly portion to eat and drink, and then you are sent out as a priestly portion to be food for the world. And you do this as you go out singing and eating together in the joy of the Lord. This is wave offering warfare.