John T. Willis

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Cup the Wine of God's Wrath--Jeremiah 25:1-38

Yahweh through Jeremiah frequently announced that Yahweh is about to punish his sinful people. Jeremiah 25 contains TWO such announcements: (1) The Foe from the North is about to descend upon Judah: 25:1-14; (2) Yahweh will force all nations to drink the cup of the wine of his wrath, and the first nation who will drink it is Judah (25:15-38). This blog contains a brief discussion of each of these announcements.

I. Yahweh is about to bring "the Foe from the North" to punish his sinful people Judah. Jeremiah 25:1-14.
a. The composer dates 25:1-14, and possibly the entire chapter, in 605 BCE, that is, the fourth year of Jehoiakim of Judah and the first year of Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon. In this same year, the Babylonians took a small group of young Judean lads into captivity to teach the language and culture of Babylon. These included Daniel, Shadrach, Meschech, and Abednego. See Daniel 1:1-7. 25:1-2.
b. For 23 year, Yahweh had announced the coming of the Foe from the North through the prophet Jeremiah, i. e., 627 BCE. See Jeremiah 1:1-10. Yahweh's people refused to listen to Yahweh's message to bring them to repentance. They forsook Yahweh and went after other gods, especially the Baals. 25:3-7. Hence, Yahweh's announcement of the punish of God's people is not a recent attitude or behavior.
c. Because God's people refused to listen to Yahweh's message, Yahweh declares he is "going to send for all the tribes of the NORTH, i. e., Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, Yahweh's SERVANT, to bring the Babylonians against Yahweh's sinful people and utterly destroy them and carry them into captivity. 25:8-10.
d. Yahweh declares that the Judeans "shall serve the king of Babylon 70 years. This is from 605 BCE to 536 BCE. 25:11.
e. Then Yahweh announces that after these 70 years, Yahweh will overthrow Babylon. This happened when Cyrus king of Persia overthrew Babylon in 539 BCE, and then sent the Jews back to Jerusalem and Judah in 536 BCE. 25:12-14.

II. Judah and all nations will drink the wine of the wrath of Yahweh. Jeremiah 25:15-38.
a. First Yahweh gives the cup of the wine of Yahweh's wrath to Jeremiah, and tells Jeremiah to make all nations drink of this wine. This symbolizes Yahweh's SWORD. 25:15-16.
b. Yahweh through Jeremiah briefly sketches the "history" of God's work from Judah in 587 BCE to the fall of Babylon in 539 BCE. God will punish Judah--25:17-18; Egypt--25:19; Uz, Philistia, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Phoenicia, Arabia, Elam--25:20-26b; and finally Sheshach, which is a cryptogram or athnach for Babylon--25:16c.
c. Then, Yahweh uses five figures to symbolize the fall of Jerusalem and the following Babylonian exile.
1. Drunkenness. Judah will drink the cup of the wine of Yahweh's wrath. 25:27-28.
2. Sword. Yahweh will bring his sword in the hand of the sword of Nebuchadrezzar II and the Babylonians to kill and carry into exile the Judeans.
25:29, 31, 33.
3. Lion. Yahweh is like a lion which pounces on his prey Judah. 25:30, 38.
4. Tempest. Yahweh will send a "tempest," a terrible wind, a sirocco, to destroy his people. 25:32.
5. Destruction of Judah's "shepherds." Yahweh will overthrow and destroy the wicked "shepherds" of God's people. These shepherds are the wicked kings of Judah and their leaders. Dominant, controlling, oppressive leaders often discourage and degrade God's people Yahweh will punish such leaders in due time. 25:34-37.

Yahweh does not punish sinful people immediately or capriciously or in a brief period of time. Yahweh attempts to bring people to repentance often and in various ways. But IF people insist on persisting in rebellion and sin against God, there is a time when Yahweh will punish his sinful people. This message is as relevant today as every.

Share YOUR ideas and insights with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


Post a Comment

<< Home