To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” A Psalm of Asaph. A Song. We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare [that] Your name is near. 2 “When I choose the proper time, I will judge uprightly. 3 The earth and all its inhabitants are dissolved; I set up its pillars firmly. Selah 4 “I said to the boastful, ‘Do not deal boastfully,’ And to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up the horn. 5 Do not lift up your horn on high; Do [not] speak with a stiff neck.’ ” 6 For exaltation [comes] neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. 7 But God [is] the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another. 8 For in the hand of the LORD [there is] a cup, And the wine is red; It is fully mixed, and He pours it out; Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth Drain [and] drink down. 9 But I will declare forever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 “All the horns of the wicked I will also cut off, [But] the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.”PSALM 75:1-10
THE CUP OF GOD’S WRATH
Some Psalms are Messianic Psalms in the fact that they prophesy about the first coming of Christ. Some Psalms, like this one, look even further down the time line to Christ’s immanent return. When He comes in power and judgement to usher in a New Heaven’s, New Earth, and a New Jerusalem where justice reigns and the curse of sin is no longer found.
That all happens according to God’s time table, not ours. Sometimes it is difficult for us to grasp why God is patient. It’s so hard to simply and actively wait on the Lord. We can mistake His patience as a lack of concern for all the evil in the world. We want God to act and move swiftly to right all the wrongs and to ring the bells of justice now. We long to see the wrongs righted. Yet, we wait upon the Lord and His timing because His patience has a purpose, “The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
But one day, His patience will come to an end and His justice will flow. There will be no time in that time to find repentance. Only those who come through Christ will escape the wrath of God that will be poured out. This is often referred to as “the cup of God’s wrath” or “wine of God’s wrath.”
The urgent message that every believer in believes and proclaims is that, “Jesus drank the cup of God’s Wrath so you don’t have to. Those who have come to Him in repentance receive forgiveness and have eternal life!” Indeed, read how the gospel writer Matthew wrote about Jesus’ prayer in the garden on the eve of his crucifixion: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You [will].” … Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done“(Matthew 36:39, 42).
Yet when God’s patience comes to an end. Jesus will step up and open the scroll mentioned in Revelation and the judgements and justice of God will roll and three times in the book of Revelation we will read hear about the cut of God’s wrath:
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives [his] mark on his forehead or on his hand, “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
…Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
… “Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her”– Revelation 14:9-10, 16:19, 18:6
Only those in Christ will escape the wrath of God for he has paid the penalty for our sin. We will be washed clean from our impurities and dressed in the righteous robes of Christ.
On a side note: We often don’t grasp what this wrath of God is. We might be tempted to think that its just His anger being poured out, or maybe it’s like a chaotic and emotional tirade, or maybe like a bowl of molten lava… but God’s wrath isn’t illogical, out of control, or just tangible heat, it’s far worse than that! The wrath of God is the absence of His love. It’s abandonment. It’s leaving you in your sin. There is no more umbrella of common grace. The wrath of God is the grace, love, mercy, kindness, hope, etc. of God removed. He will not spare you anymore.
Father, How great and terrible will the day be when your wrath is revealed against all those who have rejected You. Part of me longs for the day when you usher in a New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem, the other part of me is holy terror for the great revelation of your wrath that must come at that time. I am grateful for your patience that lead me to repentance and trust that in your sovereignty you will act at the exact right time. I am grateful for Jesus Christ who took on the wrath that I was due so that I might experience your grace, mercy, and kindness. I pray that I would be fervent to tell others about your grace and mercy today so that they too might find salvation in Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
There is a good Children’s Book by R.C. Sproul that deals with the Cup of God’s Wrath. You can find a brief review here.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.