Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The Coming Destruction Of Moab
“How say ye, We are mighty and strong men for the war? Moab is spoiled, and gone up out of her cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.” (Jeremiah 48:14-15)
For centuries Moab had been a nation of raiders and warriors, fighting with their neighbors. Sometimes they were controlled by Israel, sometimes they controlled part of Israel. At the current time they were an independent nation having escaped being conquered by both the Assyrian Empire and the Egyptians. The Babylonians were occupied with defeating Assyria and Egypt and the Moabite raiders assumed they could raid with impunity. The Babylonian territory was better defended than they expected and they lost a lot of men in the raids.
“The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast. All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod! Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon, come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong holds. O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and espy; ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth, and say, What is done? Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled, And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath, And upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Bethdiblathaim, And upon Kiriathaim, and upon Bethgamul, and upon Bethmeon, And upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.” (Jeremiah 48:16-24)
Neither Egypt or Assyria had considered Moab a serious threat, and had left them alone. As a result theuy had served as a buffer state for their neighbors. The Babylonian attack would remove that buffer state leaving their neighbors exposed and fearful. They would destroy Moab’s strongest fortified cities and force the people to flee, shocked by their defeat. The entire country would be uprooted.
“The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD. Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the LORD: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. For was not Israel a derision unto thee? was he found among thieves? for since thou spakest of him, thou skippedst for joy. O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole's mouth.” (Jeremiah 48:25-28)
For centuries, the Moabites had despised the Jews, making fun of their religious practices and moral standards. They had tried repeatedly to get the Jews to turn to their religion and had fought against them, helping their enemies repeatedly or attacking when they were already fighting other groups. Their power is to be destroyed and they will lose their freedom for their treatment of Israel and rejection of God.
“We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart. I know his wrath, saith the LORD; but it shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it. Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kirheres.
O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: thy plants are gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage. And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting. From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, as an heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate. Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, saith the LORD, him that offereth in the high places, and him that burneth incense to his gods.
Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kirheres: because the riches that he hath gotten are perished. For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth. There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD. They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him. For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.
Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men's hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD. ” (Jeremiah 48:29-42)
In their pride, the Moabites had thought they had no need of God, and have stood against his people, doing everything they could to destroy them, confident they could get by with it. They will experience what they have done to others, from the edge of Israel to the most distant Moabite community. They will no longer offer sacrifices to Chemosh or their other gods. The entire land will be desolate and Moab would cease to exist as a nation or even a separate people because they have set themselves up against God.
“Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD. He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.
Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives. Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.” (Jeremiah 48:43-47)
Moab’s pride will be destroyed and every attempt to break free will only lead to further entanglements and judgment. The peoples they turn to for help will turn upon them destroying every vestige of the nation. Moab would be ruled by the Nabateans and other groups, and is now part of Jordan. In the last days, when the Lord returns, God will again bring the Moabites together as a people for one last taste of God’s judgment.