Isaiah 16 (Listen)
16:1 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, by way of the desert,
to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
2 Like fleeing birds,
like a scattered nest,
so are the daughters of Moab
at the fords of the Arnon.
3 “Give counsel;
make your shade like night
at the height of noon;
shelter the outcasts;
do not reveal the fugitive;
4 let the outcasts of Moab
sojourn among you;
be a shelter to them
from the destroyer.
When the oppressor is no more,
and destruction has ceased,
and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
5 then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
and on it will sit in faithfulness
in the tent of David
one who judges and seeks justice
and is swift to do righteousness.”
6 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.
7 Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
let everyone wail.
Mourn, utterly stricken,
for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.
8 For the fields of Heshbon languish,
and the vine of Sibmah;
the lords of the nations
have struck down its branches,
which reached to Jazer
and strayed to the desert;
its shoots spread abroad
and passed over the sea.
9 Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer
for the vine of Sibmah;
I drench you with my tears,
O Heshbon and Elealeh;
for over your summer fruit and your harvest
the shout has ceased.
10 And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field,
and in the vineyards no songs are sung,
no cheers are raised;
no treader treads out wine in the presses;
I have put an end to the shouting.
11 Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,
and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.
12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.
13 This is the word that the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”
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.” (Isaiah 16:6)
The nation of Moab had a choice to make. As they faced God’s discipline, they could put their hope in God who would send a ruler (Jesus) whose throne would be “established in steadfast love”, who would be faithful, seek justice and do righteousness (see Isaiah 16:5). Or in pride and insolence, Moab could continue to trust in themselves. Today we sometimes face the same choice. In the ups and downs of life, in the hard choices, will we trust in God or pridefully seek to run things ourselves? As we face that choice, may these words encourage us: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:7).