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The Cup of War

Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 1

1. Introduction

Unlike the prophet Isaiah, who was a prophet to Yahudah (Judah) and Jerusalem (Isaiah 1:1), or the prophet Ezekiel, who was sent specifically to the people of Israel (Ezekiel 2:3, 3:4-7), Jeremiah prophesied to the whole world! His predictions concern every nation. His prophecy about the Cup of War is in fact a judgement of the Almighty YaHuWaH on all peoples right down to this day. We see reports of this prophecy's fulfillment in every news bulletin: war, war, WAR! No nation, however insignificant, is exempt. The catalog of war and trouble is long and growing. Will it ever stop? What is its purpose? Does YaHuWaH care about humanity? And if He does, what is He doing about it? Jeremiah's message is for us; so take note.

YaHuWaH, the Elohim of Israel said to him:

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

  • WAR: Nation after nation is embroiled in war. Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Biafra, Iran, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Israel, Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel etc. The list grows every year.
  • Economic Problems: Stock market crashes, rising interest rates, national and personal debt.
  • Natural Disasters: Tornadoes, floods, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, tidal waves, forest fires, the greenhouse effect, pollution.
  • Social Problems: Crime, education, unemployment, homelessness, the prison service.
  • Health Problems: AIDS, cancer and other terrible diseases and plagues.
  • Unbelief: Blatant sin, empty churches, blasphemy.
  • Personal Problems: Unfaithfulness in marriage, incest, divorce, child abuse, disobedient children, drug abuse, drunkenness and gluttony.

The Bible has much to say about these and other troubles. The newspapers, radio and TV tell the same story over and over and over and over again. the record is seemingly endless!

2. Troubles Come to Everyone

We must not assume that troubles only afflict the wicked and that once you put your faith in YaHuWaH all your troubles will end. Many have thought this and have given up the faith when events proved otherwise. The fact is: Troubles come to all people - good and bad: no matter what their color, creed, social or economic standing. Everyone experiences trouble. The Bible says:

Job 5:6 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;
7: Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
Mark 13:7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
8: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

3. The Cup of War

Jeremiah 25 is one of the most wide-ranging prophetic chapters in the Bible. It contains a prophecy about the Cup of War! A cup which is passed to all nations - in turn. No nation is allowed to escape: all must drink from this deadly Cup of War! The cup is filled with unrest, turmoil, revolution and bloodshed. It is a fearsome prophecy to say the least; and it is coming to pass at this very moment. The Almighty says that every nation in the world is scheduled to drink of this cup. No nation is allowed to escape. All must drink! This means that all the peace initiatives of the politicians will be unable to prevent the Cup of War from reaching their nation. Because every nation must drink!

Jeremiah 25:15 For thus saith YaHuWaH Elohim of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
16: And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.
17: Then took I the cup at YaHuWaH 's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom YaHuWaH had sent me:
18: To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;
19: Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;
20: And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,
21: Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon,
22: And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea,
23: Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners,
24: And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert,
25: And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes,
26: And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the Earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.
27: Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith YaHuWaH Tz'va'ot, the Elohim of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.
28: And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith YaHuWaH Tz'va'ot; Ye shall certainly drink.
29: For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by My Name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith YaHuWaH Tz'va'ot.

4. When the Cup Reaches Your Country

Obviously there are good souls in every country: believers who have done their best to live righteous lives. What should they do when caught up in this kind of trouble: when the Cup of War reaches their homeland? Bear in mind that escape from trouble is not always possible. It often happens that true believers find themselves caught up in the whirlwind of war! What should they do? The Bible spells out the actions we should take - NOW - before that time arrives. It may be that you will be hid in the day of YaHuWaH 's anger.

Psalm 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Zephaniah 2:2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of YaHuWaH come upon you, before the day of YaHuWaH 's anger come upon you.
3: Seek ye YaHuWaH, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of YaHuWaH 's anger.

These texts tells us that we should call upon the YaHuWaH before the fast-approaching time of trouble: it may be He will He will deliver us. But there is no guarantee: note the words "it may be." A believer's main concern then - and now - should be to continue in the faith and not give up - even though terror is all around: because the whirlwind of war will not last forever. A time of everlasting peace is not far away. The Prince of Peace has promised to return and that day is very near. So hold fast. Be like the prophet Habakkuk who wrote:

Habakkuk 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18: Yet I will rejoice in YaHuWaH, I will joy in the Elohim of my salvation.
19: YaHuWaH Master is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.
To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

5. The Promise to the Obedient

There is, I am glad to report, hope for the faithful and the obedient. They are not altogether forsaken. YaHuWaH is pleased when His people walk the pathway of righteousness. He rewards them. Read the story of the Rechabites in Jeremiah 35. Yes, the Most High rewards obedience. In short, no matter how bad the situation becomes, YaHuWaH will always spare some souls from the families of the obedient (the Jonadabs in the church) to do His work and carry forward His message. All may not be spared the calamities to come: but some will. Faithful obedience is the true believer's best safeguard in the time of trouble. This is a vital fact to remember when the Cup of War reaches your nation.

6. Trials have a Purpose

Tribulation is the inevitable outcome or harvest of mankind's sin. Tribulation is, nevertheless, permitted by the Most High in order to show the universe that every departure from His perfect Torah has resulted in chaos and trouble. Tribulation and war has now become the 'educational environment' in which the human race is being compelled to learn several important spiritual lessons. They are:

  • That man's wisdom, even at its best, is sheer folly in the sight of YaHuWaH.
  • That human nature is inconceivably selfish, weak and sinful: and when left to itself, always ends in strife and bloodshed.
  • That the only reliable moral concepts, laws and directions for true and lasting peace originate in YaHuWaH. All other paths and laws lead to turmoil and war!
  • That YaHuWaH is an infinite and loving Being, who is still interested in the salvation of lost souls: no matter how sinful they may be.

With these facts in mind you should let your troubles to:

  • Drive you to YaHuWaH. He is your heavenly Father and He loves you. He wants you back in the fold.
  • Pray for salvation. You have before you the opportunity to live for all time! Please don't throw it away.
  • Endeavor to build a worthwhile character, patterned after the Almighty's Son.


            Trouble, why friend I see thee right,
            Thou art not cause for fear or fright,
            Without thee character would be unknown,
            Midst tortured souls thy seeds are sown.

            But alas! when thou draweth near,
            Our faculties loose power with fear,
            We see thee as a cursed foe,
            Seeds of sorrow sowing sow.

            Yet great men all have tasted thee.
            Thy priceless gifts no eye can see.
            Thou mouldest men as men should be;
            Men to face eternity!

Throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity we shall not only look back on our present troubles as stepping stones to understanding the foolishness of sin: but also view them as 'spiritual windows' through which we have recognized YaHuWaH 's boundless love, mercy and kindness: qualities of which we would have been blissfully ignorant had not sin blighted the universe. With these facts in mind rise above your troubles and tribulations. Learn from them: yea master them! The end result will be that for you tribulation will be viewed like a war veteran's badge of distinction, to be worn for all time! Praise be His holy name!