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©Michael Player

Chapter 2:15-20 (ESV)

Posted on May 20, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 2:15-20 (ESV) - “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—
    you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
    in order to gaze at their nakedness!
You will have your fill of shame instead of glory.
    Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
The cup in the Lord's right hand
    will come around to you,
    and utter shame will come upon your glory!
The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
    as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who dwell in them.

“What profit is an idol
    when its maker has shaped it,
    a metal image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
    when he makes speechless idols!
Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
    to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
    and there is no breath at all in it.
But the LORD is in his holy temple;
    let all the earth keep silence before him.”

Question to consider: What does it mean to drink the cup of someone’s wrath?

Today we continue to go through the curses (woes) God spoke against Babylon which they would reap from their years of sowing pride and greed in conquering nations and taking what is not theirs to take. The land once inhabited by the Canaanites was promised to Abraham and his descendants. Of course, in order to get to the point where the LORD ripped the land from Israel, they had lived in disobedience almost five hundred years. The LORD gave them several chances to repent which He did according to His decree in Leviticus 26. The land was given seventy Sabbath years to rest from the wickedness perpetrated upon it by the Israelites while they lived in exile in Babylon.

The first woe was not against those who used peer pressure to make their friends get drunk. The cup of wrath was the same of which Jesus spoke in Gethsemane, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) Babylon poured out their wrath on their enemies, and their captives were stripped bare and paraded around naked to humiliate them. The LORD prophesied against them that they would have their fill of humiliation by their own enemies who would strip them naked and reveal their uncircumcision. Jesus bore the full cup of God’s wrath for the sins of the world. He also was stripped naked and bore our shame along with our sin on the tree. 

In particular, the LORD warned Babylon that the violence they did to Lebanon would be revisited upon them. Lebanon was known for their great cedar trees. Babylon in their conquests left a path of destruction, consuming their trees for their battlements and destroying their beasts out of fear. The Romans, while ruthless, learned that it was better to preserve as much as possible the vineyards and lands. They allowed countries to exist as vassal states, and the people were allowed to worship their gods as long as they kept peace and paid tribute to Rome. This funded their war efforts and kept nations from rising up against them. Babylon had not learned this and thus destroyed lands that had taken generations to cultivate and humiliated their enemies.

The final woe was against all who worshiped empty idols. Trusting in their own creation when the LORD actually inhabited His holy temple was an act worthy of judgment.


Dear heavenly Father, may all who read this understand that putting their trust in things they create is foolish and futile. May we instead put our trust and hope in You and receive the righteousness of Christ by faith. Amen.