Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - January 31, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 22:39-71

Genesis 40

Psalm 31

Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Luke 22:42-44 "And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this Cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from Heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Have you ever wondered what this dreadful Cup was, which the Saviour prayed might pass from Him? What was this "Cup" that was so agonizing that it caused Christ to sweat great drops of blood? The answer is "your sins and mine" of course. But, after investigate the "Cup", I found there was much more to it. 

This Cup is known as the of the "Wine of the Wrath of God". It is also known (in Torah) as the "Cup of Jealousy". There is actually much to learn about it, with many deep spiritual lessons, by looking at the Cup of Jealousy to glean prophetic insights from this amazing shadow-picture.

In Numbers 5:12-28, we find the Statute of the Cup of Jealousy. If a man believed that his wife was being unfaithful, and that her pregnancy wasn't his child, he could find out the truth by bringing his wife to the Sanctuary for a sobering Test. It was simple - pass or fail. It  was also fool-proof, because God Himself gave the "grade". 

The priest would take a special Cup and draw consecrated water from the Sanctuary laver. He would then take a small amount of dust from the Sanctuary dirt floor and mingle the dust into the water. Then the woman was given this cup and instructed to drink. If she were innocent and had been faithful to her husband, she and her unborn child would be blessed greatly. There was tremendous blessing in the Cup - for the innocent.

If, however, she had betrayed her husband and deceitfully and treacherously gone out on her marriage vows so that she was now carrying another man's baby, then the woman was cursed and there was death in the Cup. 

What possible beauty could we find in such a story? What possible lessons for us today? This is the kind of story that - at first glance - one might read over quickly just to get credit for actually having read the whole Bible through...  This is a "Wow-that's-aweful!" "turn-your-head-and-look-the-other-way" kind of story. So, why point it out? The story of the Cup of Jealousy brings the Saviour's experience in Gethsemane to life with living color. It is the backstory, which one needs to understand to fully appreciate what our Saviour did for you and for me.

But see, here's the thing...  That woman who is suspected of betraying her husband is you and me. According to the Bible, God’s people, who have sinned and spent time serving false gods, are the woman suspected of adultery. And Christ is the Husband - the Heavenly Bridegroom - to which we should have always been faithful. Those idolatrous things, which we have valued and loved more than God, are the "lovers", with whom we have committed spiritual adultery.
Jeremiah 3:1-6    "...But thou hast played the harlot (acted like a prostitute) with many lovers; yet return again to Me, saith the LORD (Yahweh)... Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no Latter Rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead (think like a whore), thou refusedst to be ashamed..."
What does it mean to commit adultery in our relationship with God?  In 2 Peter, we find that sin is spiritual adultery against our Heavenly Husband.
2 Peter 2:14-15  "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children. Which have forsaken the right Way, and are gone astray..."

Lest any of us wonder, we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). Therefore every one of us is the adulterous woman. If put to the test, none of us could safely pass the Jealousy Cup Test. So will we have to drink it? This was just a Statute, which is no longer practiced! Right?

The Bible tells us that God is going to judge us the same way a woman that breaks wedlock is judged!  That means that we have to drink from the Cup of Jealousy!
Ezekiel 16:38  "And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy."
And remember, for the adulterer (which we all are) there is Death in the Cup! In the end, it is drinking of this Cup (called the Cup of the Wine of the Wrath of God), which brings Eternal Death to the wicked!
Revelation 14:9-10  "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation..."
Revelation 16:19  "...And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the Cup of the Wine of the fierceness of His Wrath." 
Psalm 11:6   "Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest.  This shall be the portion of their Cup."
Scripture also tells us that everyone who is lost will have to drink the Cup of Wrath all the way to its dregs.  
Psalm 75:8   "For in the Hand of the LORD (Yahweh) there is a Cup, and the Wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He poureth out of the same: but the Dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them."  
The dregs of a cup is the residue which settles to the bottom of the cup. Drinking a cup to its dregs means drinking every last drop ‘till nothing remains in the cup.

Drinking the Cup of Wrath is the consequence for committing idolatry, which is spiritual adultery. Thus, unrepentant sinners must drink of the Cup of Jealousy. And to the guilty, there is punishment, suffering, and death in the Cup - Eternal Death.
So, since we are all sinful and have committed spiritual adultery against our God, what hope have we against such a dreadful Test? When the Cup of Wrath is pressed to our lips, we will be found guilty and deserving of the Death it contains. But that isn't how it will turn out for those who are covered and cleansed in Jesus' (Yahshua's) precious Blood. He drank the Cup for you and me! He, Who didn't deserve Death - took your Death and mine - so that we may live, even though we have been the unworthy and unfaithful bride. Our Saviour drank of that terrible Cup - all the way to the Dregs - for you and for me.
Isaiah 51:22  "Thus saith thy Lord the LORD (Yahweh), and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the Cup of Trembling, even the dregs of the Cup of My Fury; thou shalt no more drink it again." 
 The only One Who could have opted out of experiencing what the most dreadful Cup contains was Christ. He was sinless! The reality of what He did for you and for me is so great that it is beyond our comprehension. And He did it willingly - knowing what was in the Cup! Why? Because He knew that if He didn't drink it, draining all the Death out of that Cup on our behalves, we would have no hope. We couldn't possibly drink the Cup for ourselves without reaping the reward of agonizing Death which it contains for every spiritual adulterer.
John 18:11  "Then said Jesus (Yahshua) unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the Cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"
But Drinking the Cup of Heaven’s Wrath, that Cup of Jealousy, was no easy task. Every fiber of the Saviour’s Being wished not to drink of it. So terrible was the experience of the Cup that it trembled in His Hand.
Matthew 26:38-39  "Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. And He went a little farther, and fell on His Face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from Me; nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt." 
How could anyone look at the Cup He drank and minimize the Judgment and Wrath of God against sin? If the sinless Son of God was in an agony when He considered the content of the Cup of God's Wrath, if the pure Son of God cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" as He drank the last Dregs of the Cup of God's Wrath, then what is it going to be for a sinful man or woman, a boy or girl, to fall into the hands of the living God unrepentant and unbelieving and die in sin? 

Do you live now in the pleasures of sin? What will it be when the Almighty and holy God presses to such a person's lips the Cup of Wrath which impenitent sinners shall receive from His hand? I call you to flee this wrath. Repent! Do not think that you are up to the challenge of drinking safely the Cup of Jealousy. No guilty one may safely drink of this Cup. It contains Death.

But there is a wonderful word of comfort to the people of God. Our Death and the Curse were in that Cup. But, He took our place, and drank the Cup of Jealousy to its Dregs, taking the Death and Curse on our behalf.  
Romans 8:1 - "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Yahshua)."
How wonderful is our God!? Because of Him, one day soon, when you look down the Dregs of the Father’s Cup of Justice, you will find blessing and peace, instead of drinking to your damnation.  This is the amazing gift God gives to every repentant idolater. 

So, what about you? Have you accepted Christ as your personal Saviour? Have you claimed His drinking of the Cup on your behalf? Have you repented for your sins? Have you turned away from your idolatrous practices and left behind your spiritual adultery? If so, you need not fear the most terrible Cup. Your Saviour drank the Cup before you. He drained out its poisons drinking it down to the Dregs. Now, for you, holds a future of Blessing.  

Such awareness fills me with thanksgiving! It makes me want to live every moment for Him - the One Who did so much for me. Every moment of every day - both now and in Eternity - may I always live thankful! Don't you agree? 

Be sure to add a COMMENT on this blog, sharing with us anything you found meaningful in your reading of today's Scripture passages. We will all love to hear from you (please keep the Comment relevant to today's reading - Thx!)