Word from Jerusalem – January 2018

The January edition of Word from Jerusalem looks back on the 2017 Feast of Tabernacles, where celebration of the 50th year of Jerusalem’s re-unification was the focus.  However, there are many other great articles such as:

  • Thousands Come to Show Christian Love for God’s City – lots of photos of the celebration!
  • USA Tour to the Feast
  • Articles highlighting ICEJ Aid projects such as bomb shelters, ambulance equipment and bullet/knife-proof vests to Israeli security personnel
  • A Museum of Memory – a report from the Haifa Home for Holocaust survivors
  • Is it Safe to Visit Israel?

Enjoy this edition!

“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling…”

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!

 

Has Jerusalem Become a Cup of Reeling?

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The prophet Zechariah warns that Jerusalem will eventually become a cup of reeling (“cup of trembling,” in some translations).  For decades Israelis and Palestinians have fought over Jerusalem and, just weeks ago, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Undoubtedly, Jerusalem has been a global hot spot and continues to be today.

President Trump’s announcement prompted me to read and meditated upon Zechariah 12-14 and, though I don’t claim to be a theologian, I have gleaned a few nuggets over the past few weeks which I will share with you.

The chapters are prophetic and refer to a time when “all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it [Jerusalem]” (Zechariah 12:3).  For sure, Jerusalem is a hot topic, but at this point, it seems a stretch to say all the nations of the earth are gathered against it.  That will happen (perhaps sooner than later), but we’re not there yet.  In fact, right now we see the five nations (Russia, Iran, Turkey, Sudan and Libya) mentioned in Ezekiel 38 gathering, which could be rumblings of fulfillment of Ezekiel’s War of Gog and Magog prophecy.

So, when does that occur?  The passage references the house of David several times, but reveals the season of this prophetic event in Zechariah 14:16 when we are told “all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths [Tabernacles].”

This passage is talking about the season leading up to and including the Millennium, when Jesus will reign as King of Kings over Israel (house of David).  So, indeed, we are seeing signs of the foundation of that prophecy, but there is much to come before that!  (Namely, the aforementioned War of Gog and Magog, and the Tribulation.)

So, has Jerusalem become a cup of reeling?  Not yet!  Or at least not to the extent it will become during the days of Armageddon!

Speaking of “cup of reeling” (or “trembling”)…I’ve spent a short time studying that phrase as well, and you may be surprised by some nuggets I’ve uncovered!  Come back tomorrow when we’ll hunt together for treasures!  See you then!

The Spirit and the Bride say “Come!”

Ahhhh…finally!  I’ve been waiting to share this because it just gives me “God bumps” to think of all that we’ve studied.  If you haven’t been with us over the past few days, this will have no impact without the foundation.  So please catch up on these posts before proceeding today:

The Bible tells us that Jesus will not return until His people invite Him back with these words: Baruch haba b’shem Adonai!  (Transliterated Hebrew meaning, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!)  (Matthew 23:39)

But we just learned that Revelation 22:17 may provide a clue as to what we, as believers, will say:  “Come!”

The Millennial Kingdom…the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant…the Feast of Tabernacles will undoubtedly be the grandest time of worship and celebration every known to mankind.  In fact, we’ll be in our glorified bodies, so “mankind” has no clue what it will be like!  Nonetheless, I like to think about “practicing” for that day of worship to our King.

Here is a fitting video that leads me straight into the presence of the King!  I hope it leads you there too!  Enjoy…and see you in the Kingdom!