For Yahweh, the God of Israel, says to me: “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from my hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. They will drink, and reel back and forth, and be insane, because of the sword that I will send among them.”
Then I took the cup at Yahweh’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, to whom Yahweh had sent me: Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, with its kings and its princes, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse, as it is today; Pharaoh king of Egypt, with his servants, his princes, and all his people; and all the mixed people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, all the kings of the Philistines, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod; Edom, Moab, and the children of Ammon; and all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the isle which is beyond the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who have the corners of their beard cut off; and all the kings of Arabia, all the kings of the mixed people who dwell in the wilderness; and all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes; and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the world, which are on the surface of the earth. The king of Sheshach will drink after them.
“You shall tell them, ‘Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says: “Drink, and be drunk, vomit, fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.” ’ It shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at your hand to drink, then you shall tell them, ‘Yahweh of Armies says: “You shall surely drink. For, behold, I begin to work evil at the city which is called by my name; and should you be utterly unpunished? You will not be unpunished; for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth, says Yahweh of Armies.” ’
As far as curses go, I think you could call this an epoch curse. Isn’t it amazing that as the people in Israel became more rebellious against Jeremiah and tried to fight against Him, God merely caused Jeremiah’s message to get worse and more expansive. Here we learn that Jeremiah was to force the nations to drink a cup of God’s wrath that would make them drunk. Evidently, they were to begin attacking one another until, eventually, everyone is involved. Could this have been a prediction of the world wars that were to come? It is possible but those wars are over. I think that world wars are just a beginning. Once again, we learn a great deal more when we read the last book of the Bible about what is going to happen. There will be wars of all wars at that time and destruction the likes of which we have never seen. I believe that God is warning the world that things are going to get worse and worse and ultimately end in a great destruction.
I believe that this destruction of the nation of Israel and of Jerusalem triggered the beginnings of the final judgment against the world. It would appear that God used Jeremiah to alert the whole world of that fact. Starting with the wrath against Jerusalem, wrath was going to spread to the ends of the earth. When the people of the world ask why they should be involved, God answers that if He’s going to punish Israel, He’s certainly going to punish the rest of the world too. The implication here, is that Israel was bad, but that just makes the evil nations that were never a part of God’s program to look even worse. After all, these nations participated in leading His nation away from God.
The simple fact that we keep reading about is that no man on earth can avoid the punishment he deserves because of sin. That goes for whole nations as well. Either we come to God on His terms and be saved, or we must be punished.