By Patrick Hawthorne
As many of you are aware, the Lord has been taking me onto a new path of Bible prophecy. For years, He had me focus on His grace. It seems like a weird combination until we realize the truth of Psalm 89:14. “Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.” Our Heavenly Father is as much about justice and judgment as He is grace and love, mercy and truth. Therefore, in order for me to truly understand the prophetic justice of God, I had to first learn of His grace and His love. By first learning grace, I am able to maintain balance when writing of His judgment. This leads me to today’s topic, “The Cup that You DO NOT Want to Overflow!
“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” (Isaiah 1:4).
The world, including the United States, is on a collision course with God’s judgment. We know this statement to be true because it is written in the book of Revelation. To be clear, the world, as a whole will one day face the wrath of God. But why does God wait? Why doesn’t He bring judgment immediately upon all evil doers? Why does He allow certain people or groups of people to rape, pillage, and murder seemingly without any consequences for their actions.
I, for one, am grateful that He does not pass immediate judgment. Otherwise I would not be here at this moment sharing this message, and you would most likely not be reading it. We must understand that God is quick to mercy and slow to judgment for our benefit. Let us be honest to the truth. All have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Yet, God does have a line – a breaking point – when He will drop the gavel of justice. How do we know when He has reached the limit? We won’t! But His limit, which only He knows, is measured through a cup in which unrepented iniquities are stored.
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: Revelation 14:10
Someone reading this might wonder, “What is the difference between sin and iniquity?” Sin is missing the mark, either intentional or unintentional. It is basically falling off the wagon into something that we know is not right for us. Iniquity, on the other hand, is not only falling off the wagon, but wallowing in the mud hole while intentionally ignoring the Holy Spirit who is trying to help us up and out.
All too often, the iniquities of a nation are brought about by laws that not only violate God’s laws but also take delight in those who follow them. A prime example is laws that promote abortion. Not only have some law makers taken joy in these laws, many have cheered on those who push the laws past their limit. These laws, which are in violation of Gods law, are by design intended to show that we – mankind – know better than God the definition of right versus wrong.
Can the cup of God’s wrath be emptied without judgment? Yep…Sure can. It is called repentance. A good example is found in Jonah. Nineveh, whose cup was reaching the full point, was given the opportunity by God to reverse course. He did this by sending the prophet Jonah to tell them to change, or else. Taking serious the charge, the city repented thereby holding off Gods judgment for a time. That was an example of the mercy and truth side of God going before the justice and judgment side.
Again, justice and judgment are the habitation of God’s throne: Mercy and truth shall go before Him. The desire of God is to not have to pass judgment but to bless. By putting our focus on Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us how to live soberly, righteously and Godly, we can thereby exchange the cup we don’t want filled for the cup of His blessings that we desire to overflow. Be blessed.