THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
Part XXV. Learning To Forsake Pride To Escape Divine Discipline
A. Though we believers today may not view it as such, the sin of pride in man is despicable to the Lord.
B. This is evidenced in the severe, relentless judgment that God would level against Moab for its pride in Isaiah 15:1-16:14, and we view that judgment for insight from the Lord (as follows):
II. Learning To Forsake Pride To Escape Divine Discipline, Isaiah 15:1-16:14.
A. In Isaiah 15:1-9, God's prophet Isaiah introduced a prophecy about the fall of Moab to Assyrian invaders:
1. The Assyrian invasion would be swift, seen in the fact that the cities of Ar and Kir, though 25 miles apart from each other, would fall in the same night, Isa. 15:1; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isa. 15:1-9.
2. Refugees would go to their places of pagan worship to grieve with shaven heads and beards, wearing sackcloth, disillusioned at the failure of their gods to deliver their cities from Assyria (Isaiah 15:2-3 ESV; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1063), with even the soldiers of Moab crying out in terror, Isaiah 15:4.
3. Though himself a part of Israel that had been long plagued by Moab, Isaiah grieved over Moab's plight since its people would suffer loss of possessions, leaving their land to flee south to Edom, Isa. 15:5-9; Ibid.
B. In Isaiah 16:1-5, the Moabites in Edom sought asylum in Jerusalem:
1. Moab in 2 Kings 3:4-5 had rebelled against subjection to Israel, ceasing to pay its tribute of 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams each year, so from Edom, Moab sent a tribute lamb to Jerusalem to signal her renewed servitude to Judah in order to gain asylum in Jerusalem from Assyrian pursuit, Isa. 16:1, Ibid.
2. Thus, fleeing like birds scattered from a nest, Moab sent messengers to Jerusalem, begging for asylum in Jerusalem (Isaiah 16:2-4a NIV). Isaiah saw this plea as a type of Israel's future Messianic Kingdom when the Messiah sits on David's throne to render just judgment and righteousness for all, Isaiah 16:4b-5 NIV.
C. However, due to Moab's long track record of great arrogance and pride against God and Israel (Isaiah 16:6), there would be no asylum for her, but only sure doom under Assyrian pursuit, Isaiah 16:7-12:
1. With the nation doomed for judgment due to its arrogant pride, Isaiah called for Moab to wail for herself, to let everyone in the nation wail, mourn, and be utterly stricken due to their destruction, Isaiah 16:7-8.
2. Even Isaiah himself wept with the weeping of the Moabites, drenching himself with tears, for over Moab's summer fruit and harvest the shout of joy would have ceased, Isaiah 16:9.
3. Indeed, joy and gladness would be taken from the fruitful field, no songs would be sung in the vineyards, no cheers raised and none would tread out the wine in the presses as shouting would be ended, Isa. 16:10.
4. Isaiah added that his inner heart moaned like a lyre for Moab and its city of Kir-hareseth, Isaiah 16:11.
5. In the end, when the people of Moab would go up to their high place to worship their false gods, they would only wear themselves out, for as they visited their pagan shrines to pray for deliverance, the effort would be to no avail since their gods were false and could not help them, Isaiah 16:12 NIV. [Incidentally, the futility of seeking help from their gods in their high places in Isaiah's day recalls Balak's former futile efforts to get Balaam to curse and so harm Israel from Moab's idolatrous high places, Num. 22:36-24:25.]
D. Consequently, God had Isaiah predict that Moab would be invaded and decimated by Assyria in three years after this prophecy had been made, leaving the Moabites "very few and feeble," Isaiah 16:13-14 ESV.
Lesson: For her arrogant pride in worshiping false gods versus submitting to the true God of Israel, and thus versus also to her treating Israel with honor, God would judge Moab to be severely and relentlessly decimated by Assyria regardless of her efforts in desperation to gain asylum in Jerusalem while under Assyrian attack.
Application: (1) If we suffer prolonged trials, much as Moab suffered relentless pursuit by cruel Assyria, may we examine our hearts to see if God is pointing to sin that we must confess. (2) If He exposes sinful pride in us, may we confess it as sin and turn from it. (3) May we not delay to repent of sin when God exposes it in us, for delaying the removal of sin brings God's inescapable, severe discipline. (4) May we always treat the Jewish people with respect and love, for God's Abrahamic Covenant is still in effect today like it was in Genesis 12:1-3, and the nations are treated by God as they treat His chosen people, what was seen in God's judgment on Moab! (5) If we harbor false crutches or "idols" as did the Moabites, we must repent, for in the day of divine discipline, such false gods cannot and will not help us, but only bring disillusionment, 1 John 5:21.