Isaiah 15:1-16:14 – Moab’s Fate

Read Isaiah 15:1-16:14

Moab was a region to the east of the Dead Sea. I understand that the inhabitants there had a relative connection to the Israelites. Generations ago, Lot, the nephew of Abraham, had an incestuous relationship with his daughter. The result of that relationship was a son named Moab. There had been plenty of power plays with the Israelites over the years as their territories were in close proximity.

We see that God is still caring for his own to some degree by calling out a prophecy of what the fate is for that side of the family. It doesn’t look good. There will be some Moabites who will be knocking on the doors of Israelites seeking refuge. We see that kind of behavior today. Groups of immigrants moving to other countries happens frequently as they seek asylum in other cultures.

But the Moabites, as a people, had to fear what was being proclaimed. History tells us that the Moabites were indeed invaded and attacked by the Assyrians. God allowed this punishment, and probably orchestrated it, because of how cruel the Moabites had been to his precious Israel. But now the Lord says, “Within three years, counting each day, the glory of Moab will be ended. From its great population, only a feeble few will be left alive.” This was fulfilled within a handful of years, and Isaiah was seen as a very good prophet.

How would you respond if you heard cries like, “Help us,” they cry. “Defend us against our enemies. Protect us from their relentless attack. Do not betray us now that we have escaped.” By escape, I wonder if they mean they have left their beliefs behind, too. Are they now open to hearing about the God of Israel instead? As receivers of these requests for protection, our tendency is to turn the other way. Instead, we should be turning toward those seeking answers and a new start to tell them about Jesus.

We have all run from something during our lifetimes. Maybe it was away from a bad relationship (been there, done that). Maybe it was from a job that was driving us crazy (been there, done that). Maybe it was from being bullied with no resolution in sight (been there, done that). We might, too, be looking for a fresh start, a chance for a “do-over.” I can tell you, my “do-over” is one answered prayer after another. It can only be because of God working in my life that I wake up each morning in the beauty surrounding us in our Mexican bungalow in the mountains!

I love how Isaiah gives us a moment of hope to cling to. We need to remember our troubles are only for time, they are not permanent. Listen to this promise! “When oppression and destruction have ended and enemy raiders have disappeared, then God will establish one of David’s descendants as king. He will rule with mercy and truth. He will always do what is just and be eager to do what is right.” We know that this is true if we believe that Jesus is our Christ, the Son of God, the way to heaven, the one who redeems us. Our measure of goodness and righteousness is found in Jesus. Our troubles are nothing we can’t get through with Jesus by our side.

Do you want a do-over or a second chance of some kind? Is it time you asked God to help you out with that?

Let’s pray … Lord, I come to you humbled once again by your grace and mercy. When I think of what these people in Moab went through, I am moved. I remember plenty of times I’ve run away. Please help me to stay close and not wander off again. I long for the protection of your wings. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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