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Wine Cup of Fury and the Prophecy of Seventy Years

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Lesson #26

  • Memory Verse: Jer 25:11
  • We have already discovered that the book of Jeremiah is not arranged chronologically in time. This chapter actually occurs about seventeen or eighteen years before the previous chapter.
    • Jeremiah had been preaching in the Southern Kingdom of Judah for 23 years.
    • Why is this chapter out of sequence of time?
      • Of course we do not know exactly but the theme does follow the previous chapter.
      • In the previous chapter we saw God declare a difference between the good figs of Israel and the bad figs of Israel.
      • We also discovered that God said the Babylonian captivity would accomplish good for the good figs of Israel.
      • In other words, the faithful remnant would come through the Babylonian captivity victorious.
        • Like a father disciplining his children, God is not vindictive against those who acknowledge Him as their heavenly Father.
        • Instead they learn that idolatry and sin have severe consequences.
    • This chapter may be out of sequence because God gives the good figs a defined limit to their punishment as an encouragement.
  • Read Jer 25:1-11 The Prophecy of 70 Years
    • The name of Nebuchadnezzar (Nebuchadrezzar), King of Babylon, is spelled differently in this chapter in the King James Bible. Even though there is a different spelling of this name, it is the same person.
    • Notice the amazing thing God says about this king in verse 9.
      • This pagan king is God’s servant. How can God say that of a pagan conqueror?
      • God is in control of all situations and all people. He can use whatever means or whatever persons He desires to accomplish His perfect will.
      • That non-believing person may not acknowledge God or even desire to do God’s will, but in some way God will turn circumstances to accomplish what God wants accomplished.
        • This demonstrates God’s amazing power over man and circumstances.
        • This demonstrates God’s amazing knowledge to know the end from the beginning in everything.
    • The prophecy of 70 years (11)
      • In Biblical prophecy, every time a specific detail is added to the prophecy, the mathematical chance that it will come to pass is exponentially decreased. Therefore, the more details in a prophecy mean the less chance of fulfillment. It is called compound probability.
      • This aspect of added details is the unique miracle of Bible prophecy. Remember that the prophecies of God come to pass 100% of the time in all its detail. (Deu 18:21-22)
      • Remember that the number 7 has a special meaning in the Bible. It is the number of completeness or perfection.
        • The number 10 also has a special meaning in the Bible.
        • The number 10 is a governmental number of God’s standard. (The 10 Commandments).
        • Therefore, the number 70 is a combination of 7 X 10 or God’s complete work based on His governmental standard.
      • A close examination of the 70 years captivity:
        • Because there were three groups of Israelites from the Southern Kingdom that individually were taken captive to Babylon on three different dates, how can we know when the 70 years actually begins and ends?
        • Because God is 100% accurate, we must solve this problem to see the miraculous form this prophecy took.
          • The dates of the three groups taken into the captivity and the dates of return:

=1= 606 BC …Group 1 taken to Babylon included the prophet Daniel. This date begins the period of 70 years called The Servitude. (Jer 25:11)

=2= 597 BC …Group 2 taken to Babylon included the priest Ezekiel and King Jeconiah. This date begins the period of 70 years called The Captivity. (2Kin 24:15)

=3= 586 BC …Group 3 taken to Babylon included the king, Zedekiah, blinded and taken captive with the remainder of the people of Israel. This date begins the period of 70 years called The Desolations. (Dan 9:2)

          • The dates that three groups returned to the Promised Land from the Babylonian captivity:

=1= 536 BC …The first group was free to return to the Promised Land in 536 BC when the Persian King Cyrus made a decree to free the Jews and to permit them to rebuild the temple. This date ends the 70 year period called The Servitude.

=2= 527 BC …The second group was free to return to the Promised Land. This date ends the period of 70 years called The Captivity.

=3= 516 BC …The third group returned at the completion of the new temple in 516 BC. This date ends the period of 70 years of The Desolations.

      • Therefore, the three periods lasted exactly 70 years each. God is so miraculously precise!
    • The prophecy of 70 years and the Promised Land
      • God’s judgment was upon the people to remove them from the land and take them into captivity in Babylon for 70 years.
      • However, there is also a judgment on the land itself.
        • God told the people at the time of Moses that they were to let the land rest every seventh year. They were not to plant crops that year. (Lev 25:3-5)
        • The Israelites never kept this law because of their lack of faith in God’s provision during the year of rest.
        • Because of this failure on their part, God decided to give rest from cultivation to the land during the time the Israelites were in the Babylonian captivity. (11)
          • Read Lev 26:34-35
          • For approximately 490 years the Israelites did not keep the Sabbath rest for the land. In other words they neglected 70 Sabbath years of rest.
          • The 70 year captivity in Babylon will make up for the 70 years they neglected this Sabbath year rule.
      • After the lost Sabbatic years have been made up, God would return the Israelites to the Promised Land again and they would begin planting crops again.
  • Read Jer 25:12-38 The desolation by Babylon
    • Notice that even Babylon, that God used to serve His purpose, was not free from God’s punishment in the end.
      • Because Babylon attacked God’s people and killed many of them, Babylon would eventually answer to God for their despicable violence against the people of God.
      • By this we can see that no nation and no individual gets away with anything. There is a final accounting for one’s decisions and one’s actions even if it does fulfill God’s ultimate will.
    • How did God punish Babylon for their destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, their slaughter of many Israelites including children, and the 70 years of captivity of the Israelites? God permitted the rise of the Medes and the Persians to overcome the Babylonian empire and destroy them.
    • Jeremiah uses a unique prophetic phrase common to other prophets as well. This phrase is “the wine cup of fury”.
      • What is the wine cup of fury and what is the significance?
        • Read Psa 75:8
        • Read Rev 14:10
      • The spiritual illustration is that God holds a wine cup into which all sins are poured. When the cup gets full to the top, God permits the consequences of those sins to overflow into the lives of those that committed those sins. Sin carries with it God’s wrath.
      • In other words, God makes them drink the consequences of their sins.
        • This is the same concept as what you sow you will reap.
        • This concept in these two forms (sowing/reaping and drinking from the wine cup) goes through the entire Bible. What is the difference between these two concepts?
          • The wine cup of fury shows us God’s wrath against sin, because the wine cup is in God’s hand to pour out as He sees fit in God’s timing.
          • The planting and reaping does not show us God’s perspective. It only shows us man’s perspective as he receives the fruit of what he planted.
    • The nations against which God’s wrath will overflow:
      • Babylon will suffer judgment after the captivity. (12)
      • Judah is mentioned first in God’s judgment using Babylon as the means of punishment because judgment begins with God’s people. (18)
      • Egypt, its kings and people. (19)
      • The lands of the Philistines. (20)
      • Israel’s near neighbors on the East: Edom, Moab, and Ammon. (21)
      • The kings of the city/states Tyre and Sidon.(22)
      • Dedan (23)
      • Arabia (24)
      • Elam (Persia) and Media. (25)
      • All the kingdoms of the world. (26)
        • God punished Israel for her idolatry that she learned from the nations around her. Then God must also punish those nations for teaching Israel the idolatrous worship of foreign gods.
        • Of course when God’s list of nations that require judgment gets this extensive, we immediately think of the book of Revelation where all the nations of the world will gather at the end of the tribulation period against Israel at the battle of Armageddon.
        • This is a common practice with Bible prophecy. The prophet begins to see his close geographical area and then the Spirit of God expands the fulfillment to a greater degree in the last days.
        • Notice that it is not just Israel that has a responsibility to God.
          • All nations are responsible to the eternal God to answer for their treatment of their people.
          • All individuals are responsible to God, the creator, for decisions and actions that did or did not glorify God.

The believer stands before God at the judgment seat of Christ to receive rewards for the good things he has done for Christ since his new birth experience. (2Cor 5:10)

The non-believer stands before God at the great white throne judgment at the end of the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth for 1000 years. (Rev 20:11-12)

  • Application:
    • As far as the individual believer is concerned, he is protected from the final great white throne judgment by his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, the believer is not condemned in the final judgment because his sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ.
    • When a nation falls away from God to the extent that Judah fell from God’s grace, there is not a whole lot the individual can do other than continue to pray for his nation and continue to be a model of light in a dark world like Jeremiah.
    • However, the believer, like Israel, has the same responsibility to obedience to God to bear fruit for the glory of God so as to save some people for eternity with God.

Jeremiah 26, 27, and 28

  • Application of Jer 25
    • When you think about your family members and neighbors that do not know God, do you think about the fact that one day they will stand before God under judgment?
    • With that thought in mind, pray that God will extend salvation to them through a special move of the Holy Spirit to reveal their need of God in their lives.
    • If the Holy Spirit guides you to speak to them about Christ, be obedient to God.
  • Preparation for Jer 26, Jer 27, and Jer 28
    • Read Jer 26:1-24
    • Read Jer 27:1-22 and Jer 28:1-17
      • What is the meaning of the parable of bonds and yokes?
      • How does the parable in Jeremiah relate to Mat 11:28-30?
  • Memory Verse: Mat 11:29-30
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About Joyce

I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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