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Read Isaiah 15

A Prophecy Against Moab

15 A prophecy against Moab:

Ar in Moab is ruined,
    destroyed in a night!
Kir in Moab is ruined,
    destroyed in a night!
Dibon goes up to its temple,
    to its high places to weep;
    Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba.
Every head is shaved
    and every beard cut off.
In the streets they wear sackcloth;
    on the roofs and in the public squares
they all wail,
    prostrate with weeping.
Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,
    their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz.
Therefore the armed men of Moab cry out,
    and their hearts are faint.

My heart cries out over Moab;
    her fugitives flee as far as Zoar,
    as far as Eglath Shelishiyah.
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping as they go;
on the road to Horonaim
    they lament their destruction.
The waters of Nimrim are dried up
    and the grass is withered;
the vegetation is gone
    and nothing green is left.
So the wealth they have acquired and stored up
    they carry away over the Ravine of the Poplars.
Their outcry echoes along the border of Moab;
    their wailing reaches as far as Eglaim,
    their lamentation as far as Beer Elim.
The waters of Dimon are full of blood,
    but I will bring still more upon Dimon—
a lion upon the fugitives of Moab
    and upon those who remain in the land.

Go Deeper

The burden of Moab, which stretches through chapter 15 and 16 is one in a series of messages concerning the Gentile nations that surrounded Israel. For many of these tribes and countries, it meant a punishment and being permanently wiped out as a civilization, and for others it came as a judgment, restoration, and reappearance at a later time. The prosperous nation of Moab, which was a tribe formed by the offspring of Lot’s relationship with his daughter, is the object of Isaiah’s message in this chapter. We see the need for God’s judgment as they worshiped the idol god, Chemosh, and according to Jeremiah 48:29 (and even in the next chapter of Isaiah), “We have heard of Moab’s pride – how great is her arrogance! — of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart.”

In chapter 16, we learn that the punishment of Moab is finite and near, but the most remarkable aspect of this passage falls on verse 5, when the heart of God “cries out over Moab”. We see that although God’s judgment is always decisive and complete, he does not rejoice in punishing His people, even towards those who deserve it. David said of God in Psalm 103:10 that “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” God is slow to bring judgment, and even when that time comes, we see God’s tenderness towards His creation. And for the Moabites, the plan of God for Moab culminates in the next chapter with Isaiah’s ultimate messianic prophecy: “In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it.”

In fact, the mercy of God does not just extend to those who love Him. Matthew 5:45 says that “He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” In that agrarian society, He gave sunshine and rain to those who loved Him and those who despised Him in equal portions. As believers today, we can be sure that there will be an exacting judgment on the wicked one day, but He calls us to be generous, slow to anger, and loving to our enemies out of our love of God’s intentional creation and our ultimate belief in His sovereign purpose.


  1. In an ever increasingly polarized society, do you find the number of people you consider your enemies also increasing?
  2. What are practical ways to love our enemies? 
  3. What do you think of God often blessing both the righteous and the wicked? How does it contrast with your own idea of fairness?

Did You Know?

Moab is now modern-day Jordan, which is located east of the Dead Sea.

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3 thoughts on “Isaiah 15”

  1. What a devastating picture Isaiah paints of Moab with his words! Mourning, weeping, shaved heads, clipped beards, sorrow, sackcloth, cries, terror, fleeing—all point to utter destruction. Yet v7 says says the desperate refugees are still clinging to their possessions as they flee the terror consuming them. For this oppressive enemy of Israel, time has run out. Reading this has stirred my heart for those who are enemies of the cross, to prayerfully, peacefully pursue them with the hope of the gospel. Time is of the essence, so today let’s be intentional and have those life-giving conversations that could actually change someone’s life for both now and eternity.

  2. My flesh, like these that we are reading about, get in my way everyday. Every day I feel like I am failing due to not having a conversation about someone’s eternity. I do prayfully go into situations where I am asking God for direction and that His love is shining through along with His words not mine. I guess I want daily results and that is not happening. I read an article this morning with these two gentlemen’s quotes and thought they were spot on with my brain today but also with where we as followers of Christ are and need to be getting daily with a fresh supply of God and His Word to hid in our hearts. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
    Dwight Moody was right: “We are leaky vessels, and we have to keep right under the fountain all the time to keep full of Christ, and so have fresh supply.” Charles Spurgeon elaborated: “No man can be renewed without as real and true a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s energy as he felt at first, because the work is as great, and flesh and blood are as much in the way now as ever they were.”
    Thank You God for a right spirit, Your Holy Spirit within me to speak Your words to others and to shine forth. Thank You for loving me even when life doesn’t happen like I plan or think it should. God guide my path and let me see people through Your Love Goggles in Jesus name amen

  3. …and upon those who remain in the land.(v9) Ella is right…we need to be more about pursuing the lost—time is of the essence! V5 My heart cries out over Moab (this world)…
    This passage is prophecy for us…for those who will be left behind. How in v2-4, they are grieving and repentful now. All their wealth that became their idols are gone v7…everything is meaningless.
    Have you ever thought about how meaningless your will’s will be if the rapture occurs? Not any of our assets or our inheritance will be safe—even family that’s left behind who has a right to claim it, won’t be able to. But the gospel will survive the rapture. History will be the only thing people will have to comfort them. The drought we’ve seen this summer will be nothing compared to the end times. This should encourage us to labor for God today!

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