These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

Jeremiah 25:15-38: International Judgment

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Jeremiah.

Reading about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane is painful. The night before Jesus was crucified "he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will'" (Mt 26:39). What was the cup Jesus was praying about? It no doubt had to do with the upcoming experience of the cross.

When we turn to this passage in Jeremiah, we can begin to get a glimpse of the pain Jesus must have felt. Jeremiah writes about the cup of God's wrath that was to be given to all the nations of the earth in order to bring judgment. The cup Jeremiah writes of was too much for the nations to drink. How then was Jesus Christ alone able to stand it? As you study this difficult passage, keep in mind the physical, spiritual and eternal issues at stake.

Warming Up to God

Violence is all around us. What wars or other forms of violence are on your mind as you begin? Take time to pray about the situations that concern you.

Read Jeremiah 25:15-38

Discovering the Word

  • The central image of these verses is a cup. What does the cup stand for?
  • There is an extensive list of nations in verses 18-26. What is God's point in mentioning them one by one?
  • The nations don't have a choice about this coming war. What is the reason for God's wide-ranging judgment (vv. 27-29)?
  • Verses 30-33 emphasize the sounds of war. What will be heard, and what will the sounds mean?
  • What justification can there be for God to cause such terrible experiences?
  • Jeremiah uses the images of shepherds and a lion to describe the leaders and God. How does that help the leaders understand their situation (vv. 34-38)?

Applying the Word

  • Consider wars in the twentieth century—World War I, World War II, Vietnam, the Gulf War or others that come to mind. How do you think leaders of nations involved viewed their participation in these wars?
  • In most wars, one or even both sides claim that God is on their side. How might you respond to such a claim in light of Jeremiah's prophecy?

Responding in Prayer

Pray for victims of violence and war around the world.

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