READ: Isaiah 15-17
BACKGROUND: This section contains prophecies against Moab & Damascus for their wickedness. It also reflects and reveals God’s heart – that he does not delight to judge them and bring them down but instead longs that they would turn to him. And he promises that one day a throne of love will be established where all things are set right.
15:1 – Moab was a country East of the Dead Sea who was a continual enemy of Israel.
2-3 – Shaved heads & beards and sackcloth were symbols of great mourning.
9 – The “lion” in question is a likely reference to the powerful Assyrian army.
16:1 – Moab – often an oppressor of Israel – is advised to pay tribute and submit to the king in Jerusalem.
3-4 – Now the Moabites are seeking refuge in Israel from their “destroyer” – which, again, is likely Assyria.
5 – What a picture! “In love a throne will be established…” The “one from the House of David” who will establish this throne is the Messiah – Jesus.
9-11 – The Lord weeps over the judgment and destruction that will be brought to Moab because Moab has turned from him. He wants to save them. They refuse to be saved.
17:1 – Damascus was the capital of Syria (Aram).
4-11 – The prophecy shifts from Damascus to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
11 – This pain will be brought on by the Assyrian invasions.
THINK: After my softball games this season we’ve been going to Dairy Queen with a few of our friends from the team. Frankly, this has been one of the only highlights of the season so far because the team has been so bad, but that’s another story altogether. Anyhow, last Thursday, as we were sitting down to enjoy some of the delicious tastiness of the new cake & frosting blizzard, one of the guys in the group said, “Hey, does anybody remember Nerd blizzards?” Instantly I was taken back to some awesome childhood memories. I loved Nerd blizzards growing up. What could be better than small, hard candies mixed with soft-serve? It was really fun to stop and remember something that I’d forgotten about – to recall all of the great memories of being a kid at Dairy Queen with my family. But it made me think, too, about how easy it is to forget. If my friend hadn’t brought it up, those memories would have stayed buried.
It’s easy for us to forget spiritually too. In Isaiah 17:10, God says, “You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock of your fortress.” God is pleading with us to take the time to intentionally remember who he is and what he’s done for us because if we’re not intentional it’s easy to forget. Not to forget that God exists. But to forget what that truly means for us. If we’re honest, we have all forgotten God our Savior from time to time. We’ve had huge spiritual highs from camp or a retreat or a missions trip and then come crashing down from them once we got back. And, if our memory is jogged – like mine was with the Nerd Blizzard – memories coming flooding back. But if our memory isn’t jogged then the feelings, emotions, and experiences of these amazing times of closeness to God simply stay buried and we forget. It is easy to forget. It is so good to remember.
PRAY: Take some time to think back to some of the moments in life when you felt closest to God and you felt his presence most powerfully. Remember those times – let the memories wash over you. Thank God for them and ask him to reveal himself to you anew and afresh.