Our next portion is Isaiah 15
When we have experienced salvation, through Messiah Yeshua, and we have received the baptism/infilling of the Holy Spirit, we desire to live lives that are praiseworthy before G-d. When G-d teaches us or commands us to do something we have a desire to do it, we have a desire to obey. As we mature spiritually, we desire, more and more, to submit to G-d’s will – knowing it and walking in it. To know G-d’s will, we need discernment. The Holy Spirit does give us discernment (John 14:26), but we also receive discernment through reading the Word of G-d.
Prophecy is a catalyst for preparation. It helps the man/woman of G-d to prepare themselves for the future. Prophecy helps us to understand what the expectation of G-d is. Prophecy helps us to discern the movement of G-d, which, in turn, allows us to participate in His purposes. Deception or disobedience can hinder us from participating in His purposes.
In the next couple of chapters, Isaiah prophesies concerning judgment. This judgment is falling upon nations, peoples, areas, cities and individuals who do not want the things of G-d.
One of the nations that are going to experience the judgment of G-d are the Moabites. This nation came about through the incestuous union between Lot and his daughter (Gen 19:30-38). Lot’s daughters saw an inadequacy in the things of G-d. Their misperception caused them to take things into their own hands. They acted without revelation and without instruction from G-d. Moab had a very ungodly origin, and that ungodly origin manifested itself in disobedience. When the children of Israel wanted to enter into the Promised Land, Moab did not assist them but instead wanted to destroy them (see Numbers 22-25). The Moabites taught and led the Israelites into idolatry (incest). Moab was a nation that was involved in idolatry for the sake of material gains (profit) – Jude 1:11, 2 Peter 2:15, Rev 2:14. Balak hired Balaam to be a stumbling block to the Israelite people.
v1: Burden: This word means to ‘lift up and to place on another.’ The purpose of this is to place stress, anxiety or pressure on someone else in order to bring either destruction or repentance to them. Most of Moab walked on the path of destruction, but a remnant of them repented, forsook idolatry and embraced the G-d of Israel (eg: Ruth).
- In (a) night: This is going to happen swiftly.
- Ar of Moab…Kir of Moab: Cities in Moab
- Laid waste and destroyed: The cities in Moab are going to be stripped bare and all their assets are going to be removed. These cities are going to be made silent and still – there will be no signs of life.
v2: Temple: This is not referring to the temple in Jerusalem but is referring to a pagan shrine.
- Dibon: Some scholars believe that this was the capital city of Moab – the city that housed their high places of worship and idolatry.
- Moab will wail: They are not weeping because they are repenting. They are weeping because they have been defeated.
- Nebo: Deut 34:1-8, Jude 1:9. When Moses died on Mount Nebo, satan was unsuccessful in retrieving his body from Michael the archangel. Satan was not allowed (then) to hinder the purposes of G-d on this mountain, and nor will he be allowed to hinder them in the future.
- Medeba: Another important and strategic place in the kingdom of Moab.
- Heads: This could mean upon their leaders or upon their high/chief places.
- Baldness: Biblically this is associated with shame.
v3: Clothe themselves with sackcloth: A sign of death and mourning.
- Weeping bitterly: They will experience great remorse due to the fact that they had been defeated. This is not a weeping associated with repentance.
v4: Heshbon and Elealeh…Jahaz: Key places within the kingdom of Moab
- Voice (Shout): This is a loud cry, like a scream. It is a word used to depict suffering and remorse – however, it is not a G-dly remorse but a regret for having to face judgment.
- The armed soldiers of Moab: These were the battle-hardened, best, warriors on the frontline.
v5: My heart: Referring to anyone who sees this destruction happening in Moab. Hearts will be grieved for the destruction that Moab is experiencing.
- His fugitives shall flee to Zoar: When Lot and his daughters fled from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, they asked to flee to this small city called Zoar (Gen 19:19-23). G-d spared this city for their sakes.
- A three -year- old heifer: This was a prime time to slaughter a calf. The imagery being employed here is that Moab, in the prime of her empire, was going to be taken down, quickly destroyed.
- They will raise up a cry of destruction: They proclaim peace, but then sudden destruction overtakes them. This same terminology is used in 1 Thess 5:3.
v6: The waters of Nimrim will be desolate: The water supply will be destroyed.
- Green grass…(Wild) grass: Different kinds of grasses are mentioned here. Lush lawn grass and prairie grass. Prairie/wild grass is usually higher, hardier and stronger than the lush grass that we get on a lawn. Even this wild grass is going to wither due to a lack of water.
v7: What they have laid up: What they stored away for difficult times (food, weapons etc) will be taken away from them.
- Carry away: Taken away, removed in order to be destroyed. This is G-d’s judgment and an expression of His wrath.
v8: The cry has gone all around the border of Moab: When people stand on the border of Moab, and see the judgment of G-d falling on her, it is going to cause them to cry out because they are witnessing a terrible thing. This terrible thing though is, however, serving its right purpose – judgment expresses G-d’s righteousness.
v9: Him who escapes: The refugee. Those who are escaping or fleeing.
- Lions upon him…and on the remnant of the land: Noone will escape from Moab, and no one will remain in the land of Moab. Destruction has been decreed for the people who fall into either scenario. Moab is a warning to us. We must not be those who stand in opposition to G-d’s purposes.