JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 25: 15-38 WINE CUP OF WRATH
JEREMIAH – CHAPTER 25:15-38 – THE WINE CUP OF FURY
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
June 15, 2021, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Jer. 25: 15-16 NIV: This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. When they drink it, they will stagger and go mad because of the sword I will send among them.
I have no doubt the Lord is again making the nations drink from His cup filled with the wine of his wrath. All the nations have gone mad!
I believe the “sword” of death has been released in the United States through the “lawless one” with the shootings and killing in our streets and cities.
In a prophetic vision, Jeremiah sees a cup in the Lord’s hand---a cup filled with the wine of his wrath. Obviously, Jeremiah is to perform this act symbolically as part of the vision. It is implausible to think that he actually goes to the foreign rulers with this message. It would be impossible for him to get to all these locations. By His authority as God’s prophet, there is no distance in the Spirit, and He could indeed cause them to drink by His spoken word, which is the Word of God. The only other explanation would be that He was translated.
The effect that drinking this wine has on these nations will be dramatic. They will become crazed or act as though crazed and act like a madman. His instrument of judgment to all of these nations is the sword of Nebuchadnezzar.
25:17-26: So, I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it…and all the kings of the earth near and far, one after the other---all the kingdoms on the face of the earth, and after all of them, the king of Sheshach will drink it too.
Jeremiah complies as part of the visionary experience while standing before the LORD ---which we can presume he spoke to each of the nations by the Spirit, commanding them to drink. Significantly, the list of nations begins with Jerusalem and Judah in keeping with the principle of Amos 3:2: You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore, I will punish you for all your sins.
Great privilege means great responsibility. “To whom much is given, much is required” (Lk. 12:48b).
1 Peter 4:7: Judgment begins with the house of God.
If God judges his own people, he will certainly judge the nations.
Next on the list is Egypt (Vs.19). Judah’s neighbor is a major part of the power struggle brought about by the fall of Assyria and the rise of Babylon. From Egypt, the geographical sweep is extensive. Roughly half the nations listed here receive specific oracles of judgment.
The geographical context of these areas is quite wide. From Egypt in Northeast Africa, Jeremiah lists the kings of Uz (probably the Negev); the Philistine cities along the coast; The Transjordan states (Edom, Moab, Ammon) and back to the coastal regions in the north (Phoenicia). The coastlands beyond the sea refer to Cyprus and other islands. Jeremiah then traverses south across northern Arabia (Dedan, Tema and Buz; Akkadian-Bazu in Arabia). He skips Mesopotamia (the land of Babylon) and travels to southwest Iran (Elam and Media). He then summarizes by adding “all the kings of the earth.” As we will see when we get to chapters 50 and 51, the LORD has reserved for himself a special judgment for Babylon. The specific areas mentioned in these verses were all terrorized by Nebuchadnezzar.
The scope of the word (verse 26) underscores Yahweh’s lordship over the whole earth as well as the sinfulness of the peoples of the earth. He is the judge of all and all deserve judgment. When each of the nations have drunk, the king of Babylon (written in code as “Sheshach” will drink too.
25:27-29: Then tell them, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: drink, get drunk and vomit. Fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you. If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, this is what the Lord Almighty says, you must drink it! See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword on all who live on the earth, declares the Lord Almighty.
These verses expand the initial vision and commission. The divine directives are more detailed. Jeremiah is told exactly what to say to the nations, bringing them an order from the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel consisting of five imperatives:
2. Get drunk
5. Do not rise. (Rise no more)
How can they refuse to drink what the Lord of Hosts compels them to drink?
We can rule out that Jeremiah actually confronted kings from these nations, unless there was a G7 or in this case G13 kingdoms. No! I can comprehend that he was translated by dream or vision to each king of the nations. The question would then seem to be more or less rhetorical, since it is assumed that all the nations will refuse the cup, with the refusal being denied.
Their choice then is to drink willing or unwillingly. Either way, they will drink.
Now, in apocalyptic language, the prophetic eye of Jeremiah sees the Lord sweeping across the entire earth as in the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord is a “day” when the Lord visits the earth in judgment or blessing.
25: 30-31 (KJV): Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon His habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with the nations. He will plead with all flesh. He will give them that are wicked to the sword, says the Lord.
God is pictured as a roaring lion, thundering forth from heaven from his holy dwelling, shouting like those who tread the grapes. This image specifically refers to the end of the harvest season (Feast of Tabernacles), a time of great festivity and celebration.
The same God who wept and mourned earlier in Jeremiah, now raises a battle cry and roars against his pasture. His controversy is with all the nations. He will now enter into judgment resulting in the sword of war for the wicked. The disaster which began in Jerusalem and Judah, now spreads from nation to nation.
25: 32-33 NIV: This is what the Lord Almighty says: Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation. A mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth. At that time, those slain by the Lord will be everywhere---from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground.
Just as Jeremiah prophesied that in Judah and Jerusalem there would be too many dead to be buried or mourned (8:2), so it will happen to the nations. The dead are descried as “slain by the Lord,” an expression found elsewhere only in Isaiah 66:16, and eschatological passage that shares vocabulary similar to these verses.
We can compare this to the cup of the Lord’s wrath of Revelation 14 and 16 and the judgment of the nations in the last days. The language used to describe these historical judgments are characteristic of the judgements of the closing of this age. For Jeremiah, only one topic concerns him, the massive calamities and terrible suffering that await the nations of the earth as the king of Babylon wields his sword.
God now addresses the shepherds of the nations just as he addressed the shepherds of Judah (23:1-4).
25: 34-37 NIV: Weep and wail, you shepherds, roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come. You will fall and be shattered like fine pottery. The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape. Hear the cry of the shepherds, the wailing of the leaders of the flock, for the LORD is destroying their pasture. The peaceful meadows will be laid waste because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
Pastors and spiritual leaders bear special responsibility for their nations, and they are here specifically marked for slaughter. It is the LORD who is against them. Ministry is serious business. Shepherds will be held more accountable than those to whom they are sent. The sins of the sheep or of a nation do not excuse ministers from their call to preach the Word of God.
Had we as pastors preached through tears a message of repentance toward God and reverence to His Name and commandments, the world would not be in the condition it is today. If we had stood in the Word of God and preached, churches would not be compromising with the ‘cancel culture” and “liberals” to stay relevant and popular to gain numbers.
25:38: Like a lion he will leave his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.
Because of the fierce anger of the LORD, the divine lion has gone forth from his lair. The Lord doesn’t want His flock scattered, his sheep starved and uncared for. He will not tolerate the “moderators or mendacity” to be the mediators of His Word. God will not continue to tolerate those responsible for rationing the amount of the Word or determining the type of the Word so as not to “offend” popular people- culture.
“How have we gotten where we are?” That question was raised by Jeremiah before the captivity and re-iterated by Ezekiel after the captivity. Both were correct in saying, “blame the clergy.”
How can the Spirit approve what God does not?
“It is never easy being a true prophet, nor is it easy to be a false one! Jeremiah chapters 26-29 form a collage of faces of those who rose up against Jeremiah. He had a word for all of them and they stood as fools in history. Imagine a venue, where every prophetic voice, but yours, was wrong and filled with error” (Leonard Ravenhill).
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from KJV; NKJV; NIV. I entered into the labors of Michael L. Brown commentary on Jeremiah and The Road to Captivity by Dr. C. R. Oliver. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.