‘’The nation was deaf to God’s Word (vv.4, 7, 8), but that Word would be fulfilled, not only to Israel, but to all the nations to which God sent it by His prophet. God is long-suffering toward disobedient people and gives them many opportunities for repentance, but eventually He must act. He will be like a host who makes his guests drunk (vv.15-29), a lion that attacks the flock (vv.30-31, 34-38), a whirlwind that sweeps across the nation and destroys it (vv.32-33).’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, pp.514,515.
Judgment begins at the house of God (29; see 1 Peter 4:17) with the people of God. But it doesn’t stop there. The sobering truth is that there is going to be a worldwide judgment, and how terrible it will be. These verses point repeatedly to this universal reality.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed: ‘’Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’’ (Luke 22:42). In that moment He knew the contents of the ‘cup’; what was in it and what it would bring to Him. Was He not God? Had He not spoken these words in the first place? That ‘’cup of the wine of wrath’’ has a ‘sharp’ taste. It is effectively drinking a sword. It brings death (16, 27; see also 33). But in the case of Jesus, drinking the cup didn’t end with His ‘’fall’’ (27). Afterwards, unlike anyone else who drank from the cup, He rose, forever. The resurrection of Christ shows that God the Father has accepted His work on our behalf. This is why Jesus came into the world at Christmas. He was born to die. He took our place on the cross, drinking to the dregs the cup of God’s wrath against sin. Rightly speaking it should have been put to our lips. But Jesus took it for us. If we trust Him and His work on our behalf; if we receive what He has done for us, we too will rise with Him to eternal life.
Here are two other significant points from today’s reading:
- Prophets (and preachers) are people under orders (15, 17). We do what we are told, go where we are sent and say what we are given. This is ministry;
- Kings and rulers serve a higher authority (17-26). However great and powerful they may seem to us, they are under the sovereignty of Almighty God.
Prayer: ‘’Oh make me understand it, help me to take it in, what it meant to you, the Holy One, to bear away my sin.