Pull up a chair to the study table and let’s mine a few nuggets from Scripture. Yesterday we took a look at Zechariah 12-14, to discover references to the house of David and the nations going up to Jerusalem to worship the King and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. Thus, it is believed that Jerusalem becoming a cup of reeling (trembling) happens just before the Millennium.
Not to minimize all that is going on regarding Jerusalem these days, as Jerusalem has always been…and will always be…a hot spot. After all, Jerusalem is the center of the nations! (Ezekiel 5:5) But we’re not yet at the point in history that is described by Zechariah 12-14.
So, let’s focus on the idea of “cup of reeling.” I was curious to know if this idea was unique to this passage, or if it was found elsewhere. So I searched, to find that variations appear in several other passages. Follow along…
Let’s look first at Isaiah 51, where we find that God’s own people once drank from the cup of God’s wrath, the chalice of reeling (verse 17). Here, we find the Lord exhorting Jerusalem to arise, for He is about to contend for them! Verse 22 says, “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, The chalice of My anger; You will never drink it again.”
Oh, what a promise! Never again will Israel drink of that cup! Instead, God’s anger shifts elsewhere. See verse 23! Those who torment and “walk over” Jerusalem will inherit the chalice of His anger!
Jeremiah 25:12-29 also speaks of a cup. First, the prophet speaks of the judgment of Babylon following the captivity of the Jews. (Verses 12-16) But then, Jeremiah records something interesting in verse 18: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah are named among those to whom the cup of the wine of God’s wrath is given.
Context is important. If go to the beginning of Jeremiah 25, you find that this is Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding the Jewish captivity in Babylon. Indeed, just as the prophet Isaiah described, the Jewish people partook of a “cup of reeling” during the Babylonian exile. But the promises of Isaiah 51…that they would never drink of that cup again…were still to come!
In Obadiah 1:16 we are told once again that those who come against Israel in that pre-Millennial era will drink and become as though they never existed.
So now, back to Zechariah 12:2: “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around…” I believe here we find a supreme example of God’s abounding mercy to His chosen people. They drank the cup when they worshipped idols and were taken into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity. Yet, God sustained them. They drank the cup when they were oppressed during the crusades, the Holocaust, and throughout history, yet God sustained them.
God gave them a city, and He put His name upon it. Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, and they are back home there. While Isaiah 51 promises that they will never drink from the cup of reeling again, their beloved city will become the cup of reeling and the heavy stone that will injury those who try to move it.
But that will not happen until all the nations gather against Israel (Armageddon), when they will be defeated by the Lord. But in the end, all nations who are left will finally go up to Jerusalem to worship the King and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths)! (Zechariah 14)
We (born again followers of Jesus) will be there with King Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom! That is a cup I’m anxious to drink. How about you!