The current and following chapter in Isaiah contain a prophecy against the nation of Moab. The descendants of an incestuous relationship involving Abraham’s nephew, Lot, the Moabites often stood against Israel. They called upon their false God, Chemosh, and used whatever means they could to harm God’s people.
The book of Numbers tells the story a Moabite king, Balak. He tried to retain the services of a pagan prophet, Balaam, in order to bring about the demise of the Israelites. Balaam instead prophesied about the victory of Israel and about the distant coming of a Messiah from their number.
It was the Moabites and their King Eglon who in the days of the judges oppressed Israel and extracted from her the produce of the land. They fattened themselves at Israel’s expense, but the people of God were delivered from them through the provision of a judge, Ehud.
Many years later a famine came upon the land of Israel, leading a couple from Bethlehem to sojourn in Moab. When the trouble was over and Naomi the Israelite had lost both her sons and her husband, she returned with Ruth the Moabitess. Ruth would be an ancestor of King David, and from David’s lineage the Savior of the world would eventually be born.
God cared even for the Moabites. Of course He did not approve of their demonic gods and their high places of false worship. He hated the way that they turned against His people with violence. Yet here in Isaiah 15 the prophet gave voice to Jehovah’s heart of sympathy for Moab in her distress.
The Lord Himself joined the “armed men of Moab” in crying out for the descendants of Lot: “My heart cries out for Moab.” He brought to mind her pleasant places, her roads and rivers, her fields and vegetation. He looked ahead to the destruction that would come from the Assyrian Empire. According to His own decree, Moab would soon be no more. Even many of those who would flee would yet be appointed for death.
Today, the land of Moab is long gone. Their future generations were mixed together with the people of many other nations who were conquered by the Assyrians. Throughout the earth there are other foreign powers who will soon face the judgment of God. Our hearts go out to them.
The Lord has provided only one way of peace for all the people groups of the earth. All who dwell upon the earth must find forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He is the one sacrifice appointed for the sins of those who put their trust in Him. All who call upon His Name shall be saved.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
God of the Nations, You can destroy a powerful city in one night. We should repent of all sin. Every people in every land should flee from the wrath to come, Everyone should run to Jesus Christ. Our only safety is in Him. The sign of guilt is upon the hands of men. Only the blood of the Lamb of God can cleanse us.