Jeremiah 48 has the prophet continuing in his writing of the coming judgments to the enemies of Judah. Jeremiah now turns his attention to Israel’s neighbor to the east, on the other side of the Jordan. The ancestor of Moab came from the incestuous pairing of Lot and his daughter. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel”. God of Israel is also God of all the earth, and spoke with authority in judgment over Moab. He is also the Lord of hosts, the God commanding fearsome heavenly armies that will take care of winning the battle.
The Babylonians will come and destroy this nation. “Moab is destroyed; her little ones have made a cry….Flee! Save yourselves”. The people will realize that resistance has no hope, and the best they can do is try to run but that won’t work either. Where does God’s anger come from? It is a common theme across people everywhere. “Because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken; and Chemosh shall go into exile with his priests and his officials.” Chemosh was an ancient God of the Moabites and part of their downfall. God does not tolerate idols.
God is using the army of the Babylonians to do His work. And He expects them to do it well. “Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed”. The armies of Babylon were the unknowing servants of God, executing His judgment upon Judah, Moab, and other nations. They were to do their work completely. God has His hands on the controls, even of godless nations like Babylon. There is nothing on this planet God does not control. We need to remember that and put our faith and trust in Him.
Jeremiah goes on to further describe Moab’s issue – “the pride of Moab—he is very proud—of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart”. Scripture is clear that pride comes before a fall. The Moabites were right there, proud of who they were as a nation and what they believed they had done. None of that happened without God, but they weren’t giving glory where it was due, they were heaping it on themselves. God will deal with pride. But in spite of the complete nature of the judgment to come against them, God promised a measure to mercy unto to Moab in the latter days. He is still and has always been a God of grace and mercy.