The change in habits (Lam 5:13-5:14)

“Young men

Are compelled

To grind

At the mill.

Boys stagger

Under loads of wood.

The old men

Have left

The city gate.

The young men

Have left

Their music.”

The lives of the people left in Jerusalem have changed. The young men are now grinding at the mill, while the young boys stagger under the heavy loads of wood. The old men have left their discussions at the city gate, while the young men no longer are involved with music.

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The cup of wrath (Jer 25:15-25:17)

“Thus Yahweh,

The God of Israel,

Said to me.

‘Take from my hand

This cup

Of the wine of wrath!

Make all the nations

To whom I send you,

Drink it!

They shall drink.

They shall stagger.

They shall go out of their minds

Because of the sword

That I am sending among them.’

So I took the cup

From Yahweh’s hand.

I made all the nations,

To whom Yahweh

Sent me,

Drink it.”

This is sort of an introduction to Jeremiah’s oracles against the various nations. However, there will be more to come later in this work. Yahweh wanted Jeremiah to take a cup of wine that was the cup of wrath from his hand. Yahweh then told Jeremiah to make all the countries that he would send him to, drink from this cup. After they drank from it, they would stagger and go out of their minds. He then would send a sword to them. Thus Jeremiah, as usual, did what Yahweh had asked him to do. He took the cup to the various countries that Yahweh sent him. Then he made them drink from this cup of wrath. This sounds like a difficult task to carry around this wine cup of wrath.

The unconscious city (Isa 29:9-29:10)

“Stupefy yourselves!

Be in a stupor!

Blind yourselves!

Be blind!

Be drunk,

But not from wine!

Stagger,

But not from strong drink!

Yahweh has poured out upon you

A spirit of deep sleep.

He has closed your eyes!

You prophets!

He has covered your heads!

You seers!”

Somehow the inhabitants of Jerusalem have become unconscious, like drunkards. However, this stupor is not from drink or strong wine, even though they are blind and stagger around. Yahweh has given them a deep sleep. He has closed the eyes of the prophets and covered the heads of the wise seers.

The drinking priests and prophets (Isa 28:7-28:8)

“They also reel with wine.

They stagger with strong drink.

The priests reel with strong drink.

The prophets reel with strong drink.

They are confused with wine.

They stagger with strong drink.

They err in vision.

They stumble in giving judgment.

All tables are covered

With vomit.

No place is clean.”

Isaiah does not paint a pretty picture of these northern priests and prophets. They reel and stagger around because of strong drink. They are confused and wobble around because of their drinking habits. They have false visions and stumble when giving judgment. In colorful descriptive language, Isaiah says that their tables were so covered with vomit from drinking that there was no clean place on them.

 

The power of the wise God (Job 12:13-12:25)

“With God are wisdom and strength.

God has counsel and understanding.

If God tears down,

No one can rebuild.

If God shuts someone in,

No one can open up.

If God withholds the waters,

They dry up.

If God sends them out,

They overwhelm the land.

With God are strength and wisdom.

The deceived and the deceiver are his.

God leads counselors away stupid.

God makes fools of judges.

God looses the sash of kings.

God binds a waistcloth on their loins.

God leads priests away stripped.

God overthrows the mighty.

God deprives speech of those who are trusted.

God takes away the discernment of the elders.

God pours contempt on princes.

God looses the belt of the strong.

God uncovers the profound out of darkness.

God brings deep darkness to light.

God makes nations great.

God then destroys them.

God enlarges nations.

God then leads them away.

God strips understanding from the leaders of the earth.

God makes them wander in a pathless waste.

They grope in the dark without light.

God makes them stagger like a drunkard.”

God has wisdom, strength, counsel, and understanding. He tears down. He shuts people out. He sends water. He sends people out to do battle successfully. He controls both the deceiver and the deceived. He makes fools of judges, kings, and priests. He overthrows the mighty. He has control of speakers, elderly, princes, and the strong. He can make light into darkness and vice versa. He makes nations great and then destroys them. He enlarges and then strips them down. He makes the leaders of earth grope in the dark, wander, and stagger like they were drunk. God is all powerful.