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"The Fall of the Cup of Wrath"
Wednesday AM Bible Study
July 13, 2005
These two chapters end with these words, "Thus far are the words of
Jeremiah" (51:64). They end the prophecies of Jeremiah recorded for us in
the book that bears his name. More is to come in the book of Lamentations;
but the formal prophecies of Jeremiah against the nations here come to a
close. The remaining chapter, 52, is a review of the events of Jerusalem's
Babylon was God's instrument of judgment. It was His "hammer" - His
"battle-ax" and His "weapons of war" - which He used to break nations to
pieces (51:20-23). But it was also a proud and arrogant instrument; and so
promises in these two chapters to break His "hammer" into pieces (50:23).
It's a reminder to us that it is God Himself who ordains all that occurs;
and that all nations - even the greatest - are but a drop in a bucket to Him
At the same time, we also see clearly that - even in judgment - God does not
abandon the people to whom He pledged Himself (50:4-7). They had lost their
way; but they were never out of His sight or out of His care.
I. THE JUDGEMENT OF BABYLON (50:1-16).
A. Judgment is promised through the Medes that is described for us in
Daniel 5 (occurring in 536 BC; see v. 3); but the desolation described must
also have later destructions in view.
B. At the same time as He brings judgment on Babylon, God also defends His
people (vv. 4-7).
C. The reason for God's judgment is because of the arrogance of Babylon in
its task of judging the nations (v. 11).
II. THE SCATTERING OF ISRAEL (50:17-34).
A. God reviewed the judgment He had already brought upon His people (v.
B. Now, He reviews His judgment on those who pridefully scattered His
people; and His restoration of them to their land (vv. 32).
C. God speaks of Himself wonderfully, as Israel's Redeemer (vv. 33-34).
III. THE SWORD AGAINST THE CHALDEANS (50:35-46).
A. God promises judgment upon the things that the Babylonians trusted in
B. God promises that it will become an uninhabited region (vv. 39-40).
C. God proves His greatness by brining a greater enemy upon the great
Babylonians (vv. 41-46).
IV. THE PEOPLE OF GOD UNFORSAKEN (51:1-23).
A. God raises up an enemy against those who are the enemies of His people;
proving that His people were not forsaken (vv. 1-5).
B. Babylon was only a means to an end - a golden cup of wrath; but the cup is
not the one that is exalted (vv. 6-10).
C. God now breaks His instrument of wrath by means of the Medes (vv.
D. In all of this, He proves that the God of Israel is above all; and
that Babylon was only His instrument of correction (vv. 15-23).
V. THE JUDGMENT OF BABYLON COMPLETED (51:24-64).
A. God describes the judgment to come (vv. 24-32).
B. God describes the reason for the judgment (vv. 33-58).
C. God commands an act to demonstrate the finality of the judgment (vv.