An Oracle Concerning Moab
15 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.
He has gone up to the temple, and to Dibon,
to the high places to weep;
over Nebo and over Medeba
On every head is baldness;
every beard is shorn;
in the streets they wear sackcloth;
on the housetops and in the squares
everyone wails and melts in tears.
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,
For at the ascent of Luhith
they go up weeping;
on the road to Horonaim
they raise a cry of destruction;
the waters of Nimrim
are a desolation;
the grass is withered, the vegetation fails,
the greenery is no more.
Therefore the abundance they have gained
and what they have laid up
they carry away
over the Brook of the Willows.
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 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.
Isaiah 15 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Burdens are tough as a bystander watching someone who has made poor choices reap what they’ve sown. This is particularly true when our hearts are sensitive to God and know that it could have been different had they simply followed Him in obedience. There are many people who have intersected with my own life that have found themselves in such a position. It is hard to watch so much of their life crumble and even a hardening of their hearts because of choices.
Isaiah held great sadness for the prophecy against Moab.
The founder of the Moabites was an offspring from Lot’s daughters due to an incestuous relationship. As Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, Lot’s wife looked back and was killed. Lot and his 2 daughters fled to a cave and settled south-east of Israel, modern day Jordan. Thinking it was the end of the world, these daughters got their father drunk and both took their turns with him. Their children would eventually create their own clan.
The Moabites were always a thorn to Israel, many times great enemies. Yet, there was this connection to the nation. First it was Abraham’s nephew. Due to this, God instructed the Israelite’s to not destroy the Moabites when they took the land. King David was one quarter Moabite as his grandmother was Ruth from Moab. Consequently for Isaiah as he was given the discipline coming to the Moabites he was filled with sadness.
The prophecy is descriptive. The solders fall under a night attack. Because of this they will be laid waste and destroyed. Attempting to flee for protection, one will flee to his pagan temple seeking help. There will be none to be found. They will become refugees carrying all their hands can of earthly possessions.
It is a powerful image of Isaiah being caught in deep sadness for this people group. As the messenger of God, he still felt emotional toward what God was about to bring upon such difficult people. I have said many times that we must seek to have the heart of God in all things – even those where people on some levels are reaping what they’ve sown or getting what they deserve. It doesn’t change the matter that these are lost and out of the will of God. It could have been different.
Our hearts even in such times must be drawn toward mercy as we weep over these who are so lost.
Isaiah 15 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Moab was the region on the east side of the Dead Sea. The total land surface would have been about 30 miles long and 30 miles wide.
As compared to the nation of Edom, where hostility ran deep, the relations with Moab and Israel were a bit ambiguous. There seems to be both a closeness and friction described over the sweep of Scripture.
Ultimately, the people of Moab had become proud and arrogant, and they would be humbled by the Lord. We know that Isaiah has written judgements for both Israel and Judah, so the temptation then would be to seek refuge in Moab. In fact, the purpose of this oracle is really to discourage any of God’s people from joining with Moab for purposes of comfort and security.
This is a practical application for us today. It may seem that being married to the world is a safer and more logical option than relying on faith. I think we really see this in the political sphere. Many Christians today exalt political leaders (and their stance on the issues) to a higher position than God. Although Jesus never sided with a political party, many today place their complete trust in this type of worldly power.
No matter how bad our world gets, we must remember that there is no political leader who will dethrone Jesus from His position of authority. Even those who claim to represent Jesus and stand for “good principles” should be weighed with wisdom and discernment. Though the Antichrist may not be a political power, he will come and deceive many! We must trust in Jesus alone for our deliverance and protection.