For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine foams and is red, well mixed; and He pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth must drain it and drink its dregs.
 BUT I will declare and rejoice forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
 All the horns of the ungodly also will I cut off [says the Lord], but the horns of the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall be exalted.
For God so greatly LOVED and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life (Amplified Bible).
Most people recognize this Bible verse. I remember a few years back when watching a football game on television, in the end zone crowds, someone would hold up a banner reading….JOHN 3:16.
I’m not sure why so much attention is given to John 3:16 and not so much to John 3:36:
“And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. BUT whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the WRATH OF GOD abides on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.]”
Here is one idea. It is much more palpable and sweet to discuss God’s LOVE and MERCY for sinners. We appreciate sermons on heaven and what it might be like, but we don’t want our minds to dwell on HELL, at least not very long.
BUT what we need to get straight in our thinking about who GOD is…where there is LOVE, FORGIVENESS, and MERCY….there’s also anger and judgement.
I am not, in this POST, going to write for your reading all the aspects of hell. But I am going to give some healthy attention to the judgement nature of GOD.
Psalm 75:8: “For in the hand of the Lord there is a CUP…”
There are some 32 cups mentioned in the Bible, and 12 of these are symbolic:
4 deal with GOD’s JUDGEMENT…
4 deal with BLESSING and FELLOWSHIP…
And the others deal with…
REWARD or PUNISHMENT to those who side with the enemy (the devil).
Personally, I like to hang my hat, so to speak, on the idea that GOD is a GOD of LOVE, GOD is LOVE (1 John 4:8). He would rather SAVE than JUDGE.
But to prove His love and mercy, He demands and carries out justice against sin.
THREE OF THE CUPS:
The CUP of WRATH: “Upon the wicked He will rain quick burning coals or snares; fire, brimstone, and a [dreadful] scorching wind shall be the portion of their CUP” (Psalm 11:6 AMP).
In my spirit, I’ve often asked in conversational prayer the question, “With all that is going on around us Lord, what would cause Your judgement to be poured out on the disobedient, the ungodly?” And as I patiently waited for answer, I was prompted by this thought; “when the innocent come under attack, God always responds”–when babies are killed by the millions in the name of abortion, GOD will respond! When the aged are a “problem to society” and euthanasia becomes a solution, GOD will respond!
What is the SIGN of a Wicked Generation?
Is it Drugs? Is it Gang Violence? Homosexuality, perversion? It begins when the sign of a people, moving toward judgment of GOD has no ability to defend themselves.
GOD will pour out the Cup of Wrath–
If we listen carefully, we just might hear the blinded mob from Sodom and Gomorrah crying out from the pit of Hell, “America Repent!”
GOD IS a GOD of JUDGEMENT!
His WRATH on Display:
God is a just God, And God is angry with the wicked every day. ~ Psalm 7:11, NKJV
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath ~ Psalm 2:4, NIV.
Arouse yourself, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath, who have drunk the cup of intoxication and staggering to the dregs. ~ Isaiah 51:17, AMP.
Then I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations drink, to whom the Lord sent me. ~ Jeremiah 25:17, NAS.
…to make her drain the cup of His furious wrath and indignation. ~ Revelation 16:19 b. AMP.
And the RECIPIENTS of God’s Wrath:
For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against ALL UNGODLINESS and UNRIGHTEOUSNESS of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. ~ Romans 1:18, AMP.
Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them. ~ Romans 1:32.
The Cup of SALVATION: “I will lift up the cup of salvation and deliverance and call on the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:13).
The BLESSINGS Salvation brings…
Assurance – (John 6:37-40).
Joy – (Matt. 18:13; John 1:45).
Seasons of Refreshment – (Acts 3:19).
Heavenly beings to stand in amazement – (Ephesians 3:10-12).
SALVATION CHANGES THINGS…
Not just behavior but… (Romans 6:17-18).
SALVATION GIVES YOU…
A position of authority – (Luke 15:22-24).
An Abundant life…”I came that they [YOU] may have and enjoy life, and have it in ABUNDANCE (to the FULL, till it OVERFLOWS)” (John 10:10 AMP).
Salvation gives you the PRIVILEGE of being chosen and appointed by GOD Himself ~ (1 Thess. 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:13).
SALVATION MAKES ONE WHOLE...Gives meaning.
“If we are being put on trial [here] today and examined concerning a good deed done to benefit a feeble (helpless) cripple, by what means this man has been restored to health” (Acts 4:9).
Opens one;s eyes – (John 9:1-7).
Saves and hides a multitude of sins – (James 5:19-20).
Saves one to the “uttermost” [completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity] – (Hebrews 7:25).
The Cup of BLESSING:
Psalm 16:5: “The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup; You hold and maintain my lot.”
Psalm 23:5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.”
1 Corinthians 10:16: “The cup of blessing [of wine at the Lord’s Supper] upon which we ask [God’s] blessing, does it not mean [that drinking it] we participate in and share a fellowship (a communion) in the blood of Christ (the Messiah)? “
So there you have it. THREE CUPS mentioned in God’s Word and the significance they have to all mankind.
BIBLICAL WINE DESCRIPTIONS AND THEIR MEANING:
Several years ago, my wife and I traveled to Central Texas to visit family and get my 98-year-old dad resettled in an assisted care facility. And while we were there, my niece’s husband Marc, took us to his place of employment at Inwood Estates Winery where they make wine from Texas grown grapes.
Marc took us all on a tour through the winery, explaining technical terms to wine making (storage at the right temperature, aging, color, fermentation process, etc.). At the end of the tour, we all enjoyed a sampling from a wine storage tank.
And the wine is RED–Psalm 75:8–
The Hebrew word used here -chamar-may mean either to “boil up,” or to be red; from the idea of boiling or becoming heated.
The Septuagint (GREEK translation of the Old Testament); “and He pours out from it and all the earth must drain it”–describing that He draws it off, as is done with wine.
The true picture being revealed here is probably the fermentation process; that the meaning may be, the WRATH of GOD seems to boil, fermenting the liquor.
It’s full of mixture–verse 8–“well mixed”.
It was quite common in wine making of old, to mixed the wine with spices, increasing its strength…or as we might say, drugged. This was done frequently to increase the intoxicating quality of the WINE presented.
So the Psalmist is giving us the idea of the WRATH of GOD, being poured out like WINE, whose strength or power of intoxication was increased in effect by DRUGS.
And He pours it out of a CUP, in order that His enemies may drink it, then stagger under the demonstration of HIS WRATH; as men stagger and pass out under the influence of spiced or drugged wine.
BUT the dregs–the “lees”–the settling s–
The “dregs”– is what remains after the WINE is racked off (Isaiah 25:6). This would contain the strongest part of the mixture, the idea being, they would drink the WRATH OF GOD from the top to the very bottom of the glass. To the very last drop!
“drain it” or “wring them out” (AMP & KJV):
In Biblical times, WINE was poured out and kept in skins. The picture, they would ring out these skins to get out “ALL” that was in them, leaving nothing remaining. Then DRINK…not merely the WINE, but the “dregs”, the “lee”…all that there was!
Who are the “they s” in the verse?
All the Wicked of the Earth–
WICKED PEOPLE everywhere. The expression, “The Wrath of God” is not confined to one nation, or one people, but where ever wicked people are found, He will punish them.
God is just in His dealings… to ALL PEOPLE.
Who are “ALL PEOPLE” the psalmist talking about?
The reference isn’t talking about Christian “backsliders”; believers who don’t go to church every week, drink a glass of wine, slip on spiritual banana peels on occasions. Asaph [A Psalm of Asaph] is referring to the unrighteous, the non-believers, the ungodly in the world.
GOD “EXALTS” THE RIGHTEOUS (Verse 9-10):
“…the righteous shall be exalted.”
Notice the language here. It is the testimony of the singer (Asaph). He is making a VOW…to testify forever…what God has done! He is singing with JOY in the midst of what’s going on around him–“When the earth totters, and all the inhabitants of it, it is I Who will poise and keep steady its pillars. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!” (Psalm 75:3).
Who is the “I” referring to? Not Asaph, but JESUS! Remembering who is in control of what’s going on, certainly brings JOY to my singing!
The word DECLARE in verse 9, means to make oneself conspicuous of the message heard.
John the Baptist was very conspicuous; in his diet of bugs and honey; he wore a leather suit and his MESSAGE was simple and consistent. Because of whom he was, what he did, the world stirred. Roman kings and religious priests came to him, confessing and repenting of their sin.
Cutting Off the Horns…(Verse 10).
Now the next phrase is really important. God is going to break or cut off the horns of the wicked. In my detective work this week, the description given certainly grabbed my attention.
I found in research, that dehorning animals is a tough process and it’s much easier to accomplish when the animal is very small. Waiting until it’s older, the job is more difficult and risky to the life of the animal. The animal has to be immobilized, holding the head very carefully.
Now on a younger animal that’s just beginning to grow horn buds, a hot iron is pressed around the buds, and the skin and cells are singed. With the older animal the horns are carefully cut away and then cauterizing the exposed blood vessels. Have you got a vivid picture with expression on your face? I did while researching the process and the Spirit wants to make things clear to the reader.
So the term of DEHORNING is used in verse 10 because it is the ending of the wild nature of the people we are entrusted. It means they will have to TRUST their care-giver for protection and not to be able to use deadly force on others. It means that they will have to submit and not fight their shepherd.
On the other hand, the RIGHTEOUS will have their horns EXALTED. If they have horns, they can keep them because they will be given the responsibilities of watching the flock. When the horns grow, they are honored. This demonstrates what’s happening in our lives today.
“WE GIVE praise and thanks to You, O God, we praise and give thanks; Your wondrous works declare the Your Name is near and they who invoke Your Name rehears Your wonders” (Psalm 75:1 AMP).