At various points in the prophetic oracles, God has a word to speak to the daughters of Jerusalem. What we see in the beginning of Isaiah 16 is something different. Now the fear of the daughters of Moab is described. Does God cry for Moab in her distress?
At least one daughter of Moab was a great heroine in the history of Israel. The Moabitess Ruth showed great love to her mother-in-law Naomi in the days of her deepest troubles. In a time when it would have seemed much easier to abandon Israel’s God and to cut off all ties from her deceased husband’s family, Ruth instead was extremely loyal to her mother-in-law, and specifically indicated that Naomi’s God would be her God.
Moab was a nation that would not acknowledge the special status of the descendants of Jacob. Nonetheless, when the time remaining for Moab was very brief, the cry went out from Isaiah for Israel to have mercy upon them. The outcasts of Moab were to be safe, at least for a moment, as sojourners among Israel. The people of the Lord were to be a “shelter to them from the destroyer.” Moabites were to discover protection under the banner of Jehovah.
There was no denying the sin of Moab. The nation was proud and insolent. Nonetheless, it would appear that the One who is the Lord of the nations had regarded the helpless condition of Moab. Some of her people would receive at least a moment of the mercy of God.
How should a person avail himself of a season of opportunity from the Lord? Anyone who would know the steadfast love of God should repent and find peace in the Lamb of God without delay. For Moab, the time remaining was very short. The few survivors needed to immediately forsake all false gods and to put their trust in Jehovah.
The love of the Lord for this unworthy nation was unexpected. Was God grieving for Moab? How could this be? Moab wearied herself out worshiping false gods. Yet the true God had a place in His holy affections for the ungodly.
There is much about the plan of the Lord for the people that worshiped Chemosh that we do not understand. We do know this: In the coming of Jesus, a light has now dawned for the world. Our hope cannot be based on our association with any nation. No ethnic or national relation will ever bring us eternal security. God’s heart was apparently moved concerning the imminent misery that would overtake the people of Moab, yet there would be no salvation for Moab simply because she was Moab.
We need to be part of a glorious endeavor that will never fail. God has provided everything that we need through the gift of Jesus. It is time for us to be a part of the body of Christ.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, the trouble that will come upon men one day will quickly overwhelm them. We taste that even now in the many trials that are a part of this age. One day there will come One who will be swift to do justice. Surely the nations of the earth have provoked You for centuries. You have provided so many good gifts to the sons and daughters of Adam, but we have worshiped false gods, and deliberately ignored You, the Creator and Sustainer of all Your creatures. We confess our sins before You, and we plead for those who have not yet called upon Your Name. Rescue many by Your kind provision of mercy through Jesus Christ.