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Jeremiah 49, Psalm 33

God’s cup, especially when mentioned by the prophets, represents God’s wrath against wickedness. The imagery conveys God has been holding back deserved action against sin, like a cup holds wine, until God refuses to relent any longer. So at appointed times, God’s wrath overflows and is poured out on transgressors. It seems God, when addressing Edom, acknowledges some imperfection in the justice of this cup when the Lord says, ““If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished?” (Jeremiah 49:12) This question presupposes that some will taste God’s wrath even though they don’t deserve it, at least in the way God’s opponents deserve wrath. Truthfully, this world is not a fair place, and there is a sense in which sin, as a power, causes trouble for everyone simultaneously, the wicked and the righteous. We cannot escape all the problems of the fall, the cheating of large businesses, the dishonesty of government officials, or an abusive parent. That is, some of us face consequences in life that cannot be fairly traced to our particular misdeeds or sins. That doesn’t negate that we are all transgressors and have lived without proper regard to God as creator and Lord. Nor do I mean that all of your negative circumstances can be properly called God’s wrath. Rather, I am pointing out that we understand how someone consequences due the evil of another can impact us greatly. So when God pours out wrath on wicked people, some that haven’t deserved such wrath will also experience consequences. God’s justice will prevail, for no wrath in the short-term compares to God’s wrath against evil and the perfect justice that will be given to all at the end of time. In the meantime, we can trust that our circumstances, fair or unfair are not decisive. We can leave recompense in the hands of God, who is gracious and does not give us what we deserve, but gives us inconceivably great blessings in Jesus, through faith.

Jeremiah Vaught