Isaiah 16

Isaiah 16 has the prophet giving us insight into what’s going on in Moab under God’s punishment.  ” Like fleeing birds, like a scattered nest, so are the daughters of Moab”.  They are confused, weak, and vulnerable. Their only option is to submit themselves to Jerusalem and its King again. The Moabites once paid tribute to Israel but stopped doing so when King Ahab of Israel died. Isaiah counsels Moab to resume this payment of tribute.  They have to get back under Israel’s authority if they want to survive God’s judgment.

Isaiah pleads for Judah to care for the Moabites under this situation.  “Give counsel; grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; shelter the outcasts; do not reveal the fugitive; let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a shelter to them from the destroyer”.  Isaiah pleads with the rulers of Judah to hide the outcasts of Moab. His sympathy is probably due to the connection between Moab and the royal house of David.  He wants Judah to be a place of refuge and protection for the people of Moab.

This is a picture of what the church should be, when people are under the strong hand of the Lord in the world. We should be a place that will hide the outcasts and receive him who escapes, never to betray them.  Instead, unfortunately the church seems to be a place where we shoot the wounded and hand over the outcast to society to destroy.  We miss the purpose of the church, which is to be a place of God’s love and protection for all His people.  It’s time we become the church God designed, rather than a place of execution.

Isaiah calls out the sin of Moab and makes it clear why they are being judged.  “We have heard of the pride of Moab — how proud he is — of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence; in his idle boasting he is not right”.  Moab was a relatively small nation, but they were prideful none the less.  God judges pride.  The people of Moab took pride in their vineyards and God used other nations to destroy those and break down all that Moab had held up.  Whenever pride is not broken by humility, it has to be broken by God’s strong hand.  It will not stand!

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