What Can We Learn from the Judgment of Moab?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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This message came to me concerning Moab: In one night the town of Ar will be leveled, and the city of Kir will be destroyed

Isaiah 15:1

Chapters 15 and 16 of Isaiah reveal the coming judgment of Moab. Why would the prophet focus on a nation other than Israel? What can we learn from the judgment of Moab?

First, we need to know something about Moab. The nation of Moab lay to the east of the Dead Sea. It traced its history back to the man, Moab, who was the son of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Lot impregnated his own daughters, one of whom gave birth to Moab (Gen. 19:36-37). The nation of Moab was in a sense a cousin to Israel, though their relationship wasn’t particularly friendly, partly because the Moabites were pagans. Moreover, during the eighth century B.C., Moab drew close to Assyria, Israel’s enemy and destroyer. Thus Moab earned God’s wrath and pending judgment.

We learn several things from the judgment of Moab. First, we’re reminded that the Lord is a God of justice and judgment. He does not wink at sin, even the sin of pagan peoples. Second, we see in the oracles against Moab an implicit assumption that God is sovereign over all nations. He is not simply the God of Israel, but the God of Heaven and Earth. All human institutions, whether governments, businesses, churches, or high school football teams, are subject to God’s authority. Of course, many institutions fail to recognize this truth, just as many people reject the Lord. But, nevertheless, our God is King of kings and Lord of lords.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What difference does God’s sovereignty over all things make to you? How might you live if you truly believed that God was sovereign over every aspect of your life?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I must admit that sometimes it’s hard for me to grasp your sovereignty over all nations. I don’t have any problem confessing this or believing it in principle. Yet when I see what’s happening in our world, when I see wars and oppression, it’s difficult to understand why you stand back. I suppose that, in some ways, it would make more sense to me if you judged the nations, much as you judged Moab.

But I’m giving my perplexity to you. I realize that there are many, many things I won’t fully understand during this life.

I do pray, Lord, adding my prayers to those of millions of believers throughout the world, that you will bring justice to this world. I pray especially for nations steeped in injustice, for Burma/Myanmar, for North Korea, for the Sudan, and for many others. Let your kingdom come, Lord, on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.