THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part XXXV: God's Punishment Of Moab For Denying God's Promises To Israel
A. A major school of theology known as Amillennialism holds that God's Genesis 12:1-3 Abrahamic Covenant does not apply to the literal nation of Israel, but is to be interpreted figuratively so that the Church becomes the true recipient of that covenant's promises. (John F. Walvoord, The Blessed Hope And The Tribulation, 1976, p. 12-15) Amillennialists thus consider Israel to be no more significant than any other Gentile nation.
B. However, Ezekiel 25:8-11 teaches that God severely punished Moab for that very view, so we view this passage for our insight and application (as follows):
II. God's Punishment Of Moab For Denying God's Promises To Israel, Ezekiel 25:8-11.
A. When Ezekiel announced God's judgment on Moab in Ezekiel 25:8, though the punishment of Edom is given in Ezekiel 25:12-14, both Edom (here called Mount Seir for its mountain range) and Moab had the same evil view of Israel, so both nations are critiqued in Ezekiel 25:8-11. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1276)
B. Thus, God opposed the saying by Moab and Edom that "the house of Judah has become like all the other nations," that there was nothing about Judah that made it more special than any other nation, Ezek. 25:8 NIV.
C. What made this saying so evil is that it actually profaned the name of God and thus undermined His character:
1. In claiming Judah was ordinary just like any other Gentile nation, Moab and Edom denied God's promises to the nation Israel in the Genesis 12:1-3 Abrahamic Covenant that presented her as a special nation, Ibid.
2. To clarify, that covenant promised (a) that God would make of Abraham a great nation, the nation Israel, what later constituted the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, (b) that God would bless Abraham, (c) that God would make his name great, (d) that God would make Abraham a blessing, (e) that the Lord would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him and (f) that in Abraham, God would bless all of the families of the earth.
3. Thus, for Moab and Edom to say that Judah was no more significant than any other Gentile nation was to claim that God's promises of special blessing to Abraham and his descendants in Israel and Judah were not true, what profaned God's name and thus demeaned His character in treating the Lord as a liar! (Ibid.)
D. For thus profaning God's name and hence His character by mocking Judah as an ordinary nation, God promised to level great punishment on Moab, demeaning her as a nation, Ezekiel 25:9-11 (as follows):
1. For mocking Judah and profaning God's name, the Lord would demean Moab, exposing her "northern flank to attack" by an invading nation, Ezekiel 25:9a; Ibid. God would destroy three cities in Moab, Beth Jeshimoth that guarded the ascent to the Medeba Plateau from the Plains of Moab by the Jordan River, and Baal Meon and Kiriathaim that were two fortress cities on the Medeba Plateau, Ezekiel 25:9b; Ibid.
2. In addition, God would cause Moab to be spoiled by Gentiles, by nomadic peoples from the East, the same fate the Ammonites suffered that left Ammon not even being remembered among the nations, Ezek. 25:10.
3. When God administered this punishment on the people of Moab, they would know that He was the Lord, a God to be honored and not have His name profaned in denying His covenant to Israel, Ezekiel 25:11.
Lesson: For mocking Judah by claiming she was an ordinary nation like any other Gentile nation, thus denying God's promise of importance to Judah in the Abrahamic Covenant, what also profaned God's name, God would demean Moab by causing her to be invaded and decimated of her goods by nomadic people from the East that she might realize that God was the Lord, not to have His name profaned nor His character undermined.
Application: (1) If God's reputation is tied to the LITERAL interpretation of the Abrahamic Covenant so that Israel is a nation of great importance, we must interpret the Abrahamic Covenant LITERALLY to avoid profaning God's name and undermining His character! (2) In addition, since dispensational theology is unique among all theologies in that it alone clearly distinguishes the literal Israel from the literal Church, holding the Abrahamic Covenant to be literally fulfilled (Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, 1970, p. 44-45, 137-140), we must hold firmly to dispensational theology in honor of God's name and character! (3) By application, we must ALSO hold to the literal interpretation of ALL of the REST of SCRIPTURE: if we must not profane God's name and undermine His character by interpreting His Abrahamic Covenant literally, to be consistent with how we handle the REST of God's Scripture revelation, we must interpret ALL the REST of SCRIPTURE LITERALLY!