Examination of Isaiah 16
New American Standard Bible 1995
16 Send the tribute lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion. 2 Then, like fleeing birds or scattered nestlings, The daughters of Moab will be at the fords of the Arnon. 3 “Give us advice, make a decision; Cast your shadow like night at high noon; Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive. 4 “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you; Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.” For the extortioner has come to an end, destruction has ceased, Oppressors have completely disappeared from the land. 5 A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice And be prompt in righteousness.
6 We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride; Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury; His idle boasts are false. 7 Therefore Moab will wail; everyone of Moab will wail. You will moan for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth As those who are utterly stricken. 8 For the fields of Heshbon have withered, the vines of Sibmah as well; The lords of the nations have trampled down its choice clusters Which reached as far as Jazer and wandered to the deserts; Its tendrils spread themselves out and passed over the sea. 9 Therefore I will weep bitterly for Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah; I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; For the shouting over your summer fruits and your harvest has fallen away. 10 Gladness and joy are taken away from the fruitful field; In the vineyards also there will be no cries of joy or jubilant shouting, No treader treads out wine in the presses, For I have made the shouting to cease. 11 Therefore my heart intones like a harp for Moab And my inward feelings for Kir-hareseth. 12 So it will come about when Moab presents himself, When he wearies himself upon his high place And comes to his sanctuary to pray, That he will not prevail.
13 This is the word which the Lord spoke earlier concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord speaks, saying, “Within three years, as a hired man would count them, the glory of Moab will be degraded along with all his great population, and his remnant will be very small and impotent.”
Moab in its pride would face the judgement of God. They were a tiny nation compared to nations like Babylon and Assyria. Their pride was misguided and misplaced. But ultimately when God moved against Moab it would be in Zion, they would look for refuge. But the problem for the people of Moab is they did not desire to submit to the God of Israel. To find true refuge in the midst of any storm and uncertainty we must look to the Lord alone and surrender to Him alone.
Moab desires for Israel to hide their refugees. Today we have people who are refugees of war-torn nations. When war breaks out in a nation it has devastating effects on the people of the nation. It would be in Israel that true peace and safety would be found because the God of Israel is the one true God. No matter what we face in life we can always find shelter and protection in the Lord. God has not promised us a life of ease. He has told us to simply trust Him and follow Him.
Verse five points to the coming of the Messiah. It speaks of one who will come from the house of David. Who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness. When the Messiah comes and rules the earth the nations will come to know what true authority and rule looks like. The earth is mired because of sin and many of the rulers throughout history have simply been tyrants.
The Lord highlights the pride of Moab. It is pride that always leads to the destruction of a person or a nation. Wickedness and sin within the individual if left unchecked will lead to pride and arrogance. Because of pride the Living God would move against the nation of Moab.
No matter how hard Moab would pray and seek after their false gods it would not change the judgement that was to come. The Living God was bringing judgement and it would not only touch the lives of the people, but it would also impact the land itself. Their harvest would be impacted, and their wine production would be impacted. In their vineyards where there was much joy at the excess of wine, would now be weeping and wailing. God would rightly deal with the wickedness of the people. The root of all of it was their pride and arrogance against the Living God and against the people of His covenant.
The Lord says within three years. The Lord would use the nation of Assyria to bring judgement upon Moab. Like a court room the Lord has laid the evidence against Moab and now after presenting the evidence would bring judgement upon the nation. God never takes pleasure in judgement. But there comes a time when judgement is necessary. When the word of the Lord has been rejected. When people have continued in wickedness and sin unchecked. God is not up in heaven sleeping. God sees and observes all things. He continually sends forth His word to call people to Himself. He has created man in His image and desires that humanity would submit and surrender to His rule and reign.
What often destroys people is their pride. There is so much we can learn from simply studying the word of God. Those who fail to study history are bound to repeat it. What we find in the word of God is a record of God dealing in the course of man. It shows us the destructive nature of pride and arrogance. If we continue in pride unchecked, in the end we will indeed be destroyed by it.