God now gives a vision to Isaiah about Moab and the impending destruction they will face. The Moabites were descendants of Lot (Gen 19:37) and even though they were not enemies the Moabites and Israel were hostile toward each other. The Moabites will need to be delivered from destruction and Isaiah not only sees what they are going to face but he tells them how they can seek deliverance. The main theme in chapters fifteen and sixteen is that deliverance is found in God and God alone. The deliverance that the Moabites needed many in our world need as well and so as we study the Moabites we will see how we and the world we live in falls into the same traps as they did as they seek other gods to deliver them instead of seeking God.
Isaiah 15:1-9 An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar of Moab is
laid waste in a night, Moab is undone; because Kir of
Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone.
has gone up to the temple,[a] and to Dibon, to the high places[b] to weep; over Nebo and over Medeba Moab wails.
On every head is baldness; every beard is shorn; 3 in the streets they wear sackcloth; on the housetops and in the squares everyone wails and melts in tears.4 Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
their voice is heard as far as Jahaz; therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud; his soul trembles. My heart cries out for Moab; her fugitives flee to Zoar, to Eglath-shelishiyah. For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of destruction;6 the waters of Nimrim are a desolation; the grass is withered, the vegetation fails, the greenery is no more.
7 Therefore the abundance they have gained and what they have laid up they carry away over the Brook of the Willows. 8 For a cry has gone around the land of Moab; her wailing reaches to Eglaim; her wailing reaches to Beer-elim. For the waters of Dibon[c] are full of blood; for I will bring upon Dibon even more, a lion for those of Moab who escape, for the remnant of the land.Footnotes:
They sought Deliverance from other gods
The place they went to find deliverance was to their god Chemosh (Chemosh, was the god of the Moabites Num. 21:29; Jer. 48:7, 13, 46). These were religious people who prayed earnestly for divine intervention but they were praying to gods who do not exist. Of course this did not lead to them being delivered but only to wailing because the very thing that you think will bring relief does not bring you the relief that it promises. Wailing, having shaved heads and beards, wearing sackcloth and wailing loudly were all signs of great distress and remorse. The entire nation will be crying out and Isaiah said their cries will be so loud that they would reach up to 20 miles away.
Acts 4:11-12 This Jesus[a] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.[b] 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men[c] by which we must be saved.”
They were looking for deliverance from other gods but the true God was letting them know that deliverance would only come through Him. God has made a way for us to be delivered from our sin and guilt but that way is not through any other god or by human works but only through Jesus Christ.
The abundance they have gained will be carried off (7) It is amazing the amount of money, time and energy we put in stuff that one day it will all disappear. The god of stuff is one of the things we all tend to turn to for deliverance whether it be new clothes, a new house, a new car, new technology and for some people even a new spouse. The amount of storage rental facilities we have proves that we have more stuff than we can even keep in our houses.
American Consumerism (Taken from A Practical Guide to Culture, Stonestreet and Kunkle PG. 224-225)
- The average American home contains 300,000 items.
- The average American home has tripled in size over the past 50 years
- On average American women have 30 outfits that was 9 in 1930
- On average, American family spends $1,700 a year on clothes and disposes of 65 pounds of clothes a year.
- There are more televisions sets than people in the average American home (go ahead count)
- America has more shopping malls than High Schools.
- Americans spend 1.2 Trillion dollars a year on non-essential goods like jewelry, alcohol, candy, recreational vehicles, gambling and more.
- Americans report more symptoms of depression and anxiety than over the past 50 years
- Antidepressants have increased 400% in the past two decades.
The God of stuff does not bring deliverance and one day those who put their hope in it will watch it all be carried away.
Matthew 6:19-20 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
What gods are you turning to for deliverance besides turning to Jesus Christ?
Isaiah was burdened for their Deliverance
My heart cries out for Moab” Have we become so engrossed in our own world that we have lost compassion for what the rest of the world is going through? Remember this was not a country that was friendly to Israel but yet Isaiah was still burdened for them because he received a vision from God that showed the destruction they were going to go through. God has told us in His word the destiny of those who do not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and I wonder if we care about their destiny?
Romans 9:1-5 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,[a] my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
Paul was so burdened about the destiny of others that he wished he could take their place in hell. We cannot ignore the concept of Hell because the Bible is clear anyone who does not place their faith and hope in Jesus Christ will spend eternity away from Him. (Matthew 13:42,50; 25:46; Mark 9:43; 2 Peter 2:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:13-14; 21:8)
“In a Night the cities will fall” Isaiah was shown how quickly this would happen and it would be as if they did not see it coming. Just like today peoplesuddenly and un-expectantly step into eternity thinking that they had more time on this earth. Devastated, silenced and ruined is how Isaiah describes their fate. The devastation will be so bad that the rivers will be filled with blood and no one will escape because a lion will come and attack anyone who remains in the land.
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
To not warn someone about what is coming is not loving it is cruel but our society has made it where they do not want to hear the truth and encourages everyone to keep their beliefs to themselves. We must speak the truth regardless because God has made it clear that deliverance is only found in Jesus Christ and all those who do not place their faith in Him will be cut off from God for all eternity.
Isaiah would warn them about the attack but they would not listen because they thought that their gods would save them.
Isaiah 16:1-14Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. 2 Like fleeing birds, like a scattered nest,so are the daughters of Moabat the fords of the Arnon. 3 “Give counsel; grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; shelter the outcasts; do not reveal the fugitive; 4 let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a shelter to them[a] from the destroyer. When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land, 5 then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.”6 We have heard of the pride of Moab— how proud he is!—of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence; in his idle boasting he is not right.7 Therefore let Moab wail for Moab, let everyone wail. Mourn, utterly stricken, for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth. 8 For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have struck down its branches, which reached to Jazer and strayed to the desert; its shoots spread abroad and passed over the sea.9 Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vine of Sibmah; I drench you with my tears,O Heshbon and Elealeh; for over your summer fruit and your harvest the shout has ceased. 10 And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field, and in the vineyards no songs are sung, no cheers are raised; no treader treads out wine in the presses; I have put an end to the shouting. 11 Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab, and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth. 12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.13 This is the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”
Isaiah shared the way of deliverance
Sending a lamb was a gift or an act of submission. One day Isaiah promises them that the oppressor will be completely removed
The throne will be established with steadfast love One who seeks Justice and and is swift to do righteousness, (5)
Isaiah now goes back to predicting a king that is above every king , Jesus Christ. But it is Moab’s pride that keeps them from going the way of salvation (6) Isaiah reminds them again that their gods cannot save them (12) They did not choose the path to deliverance but put their hope in another nation and did not follow the way of God. All roads do not lead to God so either Jesus is the way (John 14:6) or He is not the way.
1 Timothy 2:1-7 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Who are you praying for to come to know Jesus Christ as their deliverer? Who are you praying to come to the knowledge of truth? Are we so busy we cannot even pray for those who do not know Jesus ?
Deliverance has a time Limit
“In Three Years” God had set a time when the opportunity for deliverance will no longer be available.They were given 3 years to repent and change and seek the true God by turning from all their false gods.
The Prophet Jeremiah talks about the destruction of the Moabites in Jeremiah chapter 48
Jeremiah 48:42 Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people, because he magnified himself against the Lord.
People tend to think they have all the time to turn to God and stop living for themselves. The desire to be the god of our own lives is so powerful that even if we know that we should submit to God we think we can do it later.
2 Peter 3:3-4;9-10 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies[b] will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed
The Moabites destruction was swift as if they did not see it coming because they believed that what they were doing would bring them deliverance. Their pride destroyed them because it was their pride in their own ways and their own thinking that led them to turn away from God and trust in other things for deliverance. God’s heart breaks for people who are lost without Him and our hearts should be broken as well. God has warned people about the future and He has given us the responsibility to share with them about what is going to happen if they do not put their trust in Jesus. People are seeking deliverance in other things and we need to be heartbroken for them but also have the courage to share with them even if we and our message are rejected because our message is simple because we just have to point them to Jesus.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.