In my last post, we continued to learn about Everlasting Salvation for Tziyon ~ Part 2 in Yesha’yahu 51:9-19. In this post, we learn about The Cup of Adonai’s Wrath in Yesha’yahu 51:17-23.
In this passage, Yesha’yahu called on Adonai’s people to wake up. They were slumbering under the influence of drinking Adonai’s cup of wrath.
17 Awake! Awake! Stand up, Yerushalayim! At Adonai’s hand, you drank the cup of His fury; you have drained to the dregs the goblet of drunkenness.
Isra’el used these words in a prayer to Adonai. Isra’el’s problems were not the result of Adonai’s slowness to act; instead, the people were slow to believe Adonai’s promises. The cup of His fury implies that He will appropriately measure out His judgment; those who fall under His judgment must figuratively drink from his wrath.
18 There is no one to guide her among all the sons she has borne. Not one of all the children she raised is taking her by the hand.
In the ancient Near East, it was the duty of the children to care for a drunk parent. Noach’s son Ham acted in a reprehensible manner when his father was drunk (see Genesis 9:18-29). Here Yerushalayim’s people did not take hold of her hand when she was drunk after drinking the cup of Adonai’s fury.
19 These two disasters have overcome you – yet who will grieve with you? – Plunder and destruction, famine and sword; by whom can I comfort you? 20 Your children lie helpless at every street corner, like an antelope trapped in a net; they are full of Adonai’s fury, the rebuke of your God.
A sad commentary on Yerushalayim’s destruction and desolation are provided in Lamentations 1:13, 22; 2:11-12, 19.
In verse 9, the people had said, “Awake, Lord. Help us.” Here, Adonai tells the people to wake up themselves and look around at the desolation and destruction caused by His chastening.
As hard as the chastening hand of Adonai fell upon His people, it was nothing in comparison to the way He dealt with her enemies. They were removed off the face of the earth entirely and appear only as a footnote on the pages of history. Therefore, next time you think you’ve got it tough because you’re being chastened by Adonai, you would do well to consider those people who are not part of His family. They’ll be lost eternally.
Adonai’s chastening is a sign of His love, of His commitment to the development of His people – be it in Yesha’yahu’s day or ours. If you’re continuing in sin and aren’t chastened, you’re not a son or daughter at all.
21 Therefore, please hear this in your affliction, you who are drunk, but not with wine; 22 this is what your Lord Adonai says, your God, who defends His people: “Here, I have removed from your hand the cup of drunkenness, the goblet of my fury. You will never drink it again.
After urging His people to learn from their situation, Adonai encourages them by giving them a promise for their nation. Adonai would defend His people as He did when Ashur besieged Yerushalayim (see Isaiah 38:6).
23 I will put it in the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Bend down, so we can trample you,’ and you flattened your back on the ground like a street for them to walk on.” ~ Isaiah 51:17-23 (CJB)
The tormentors were the Bavlim who brought about destruction, war, and famine. Once Yerushalayim has experienced the full force of Adonai’s judgment, once they have drunk of the goblet of His fury, He will take it away and give it to their tormentors.
In my next post, we learn that Adonai Commands Tziyon to Wake Up in Yesha’yahu 52:1-12.