There was one line that caught my attention in the middle of these prophecies of judgment.
“If those who did not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, will you go unpunished?”
God never said that only bad people will suffer, that suffering is earned, deserved, somehow, that pain is judgment. Sometimes it is, but not always.
What he does promise is that judgment will come to everyone. Eventually.
Some people, some nations, have and will face judgment within this life. Some will prosper until they die and only receive judgment in the life to come.
Sometimes that’s difficult to accept. We live a life full of questions like “What did I do to deserve this?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “What kind of God would allow something like this to happen?”
Those are really difficult questions. Especially when we are surrounded by well meaning people telling us things like “It’s all part of God’s plan.”
Maybe it is. Maybe it’s just the cost of living in a broken world. None of us are perfect, but that doesn’t mean that we ‘deserve’ the bad things that happen to us. Not exactly. It’s a complicated belief, isn’t? What I mean is: while we will all face a final judgment that is basically pass/fail, and we will all fail unless we claim the redemption of Christ, the bad things that happen in our life aren’t always direct consequences for our behavior the way time out or loss of privileges are direct consequences for my children’s poor behavior.
There will undoubtedly be natural consequences that we will not be spared just because we said sorry, and sometimes there are imposed consequences such as prophesized in this passage, but often, those who don’t deserve to drink from a bitter cup will have to drink from a bitter cup, simply because that is the world we live in.
But there is hope. Judgment is coming. Redemption has been provided for those willing to submit and accept. The world will be made perfect once more.
A little rabbit trail? Yeah. I’m not saying that’s the point of this verse. There are other passages that do actively make the point. I’m just saying it supports my position, and that this acknowledgment, this support, is what grabbed my attention as I read.