When a country is at peace, prosperity thrives. Peace brings an attitude of confidence. Peace brings a “new normal” after war with those who cause suffering, torment, shame and death. Peace comes to us as the Son of Man and Son of God—Jesus. When He comes back again, He will establish a new government that will be good for all people of all nations. Jesus will make all things right. Jesus sets us right with God.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace!
Isaiah 16, The Message
A New Government in the David Tradition
16 1-4 “Dispatch a gift of lambs,” says Moab,
“to the leaders in Jerusalem—
Lambs from Sela sent across the desert
to buy the goodwill of Jerusalem.
The towns and people of Moab
are at a loss,
New-hatched birds knocked from the nest,
At the banks of the Arnon River,
unable to cross:
‘Tell us what to do,
help us out!
Give the refugees from Moab
sanctuary with you.
Be a safe place for those on the run
from the killing fields.’”
4-5 “When this is all over,” Judah answers,
“the tyrant toppled,
The killing at an end,
all signs of these cruelties long gone,
A new government of love will be established
in the venerable David tradition.
A Ruler you can depend upon
will head this government,
A Ruler passionate for justice,
a Ruler quick to set things right.”
* * *
6-12 We’ve heard—everyone’s heard!—of Moab’s pride,
world-famous for pride—
Arrogant, self-important, insufferable,
full of hot air.
So now let Moab lament for a change,
with antiphonal mock-laments from the neighbors!
What a shame! How terrible!
No more fine fruitcakes and Kir-hareseth candies!
All those lush Heshbon fields dried up,
the rich Sibmah vineyards withered!
Foreign thugs have crushed and torn out
the famous grapevines
That once reached all the way to Jazer,
right to the edge of the desert,
Ripped out the crops in every direction
as far as the eye can see.
I’ll join the weeping. I’ll weep right along with Jazer,
weep for the Sibmah vineyards.
And yes, Heshbon and Elealeh,
I’ll mingle my tears with your tears!
The joyful shouting at harvest is gone.
Instead of song and celebration, dead silence.
No more boisterous laughter in the orchards,
no more hearty work songs in the vineyards.
Instead of the bustle and sound of good work in the fields,
silence—deathly and deadening silence.
My heartstrings throb like harp strings for Moab,
my soul in sympathy for sad Kir-heres.
When Moab trudges to the shrine to pray,
he wastes both time and energy.
Going to the sanctuary and praying for relief
is useless. Nothing ever happens.
13-14 This is God’s earlier Message on Moab. God’s updated Message is, “In three years, no longer than the term of an enlisted soldier, Moab’s impressive presence will be gone, that splendid hot-air balloon will be punctured, and instead of a vigorous population, just a few shuffling bums panhandling handouts.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Background by Warren Wiersbe,
“The one place the Assyrians could not conquer was Jerusalem. Though the Assyrian army entered the kingdom of Judah and did a great deal of damage to the land, it could not capture Jerusalem. Instead of fleeing to Mount Zion, however, the Moabite fugitives fled south to the fords of the Arnon River and the rock city of Sela in Edom.”
Isaiah warned the people that they would need more than a request: They would need to submit to the king of Judah, which meant acknowledging the God of Judah. In that day, sending animals (the lambs) to a ruler was a form of paying tribute.
Isaiah was not impressed and neither was God with the appeals of the Moabites. He knew of their pride, arrogance, and rage, and he announced that the nation was destined to be destroyed. Why? Because they wanted Judah’s help, but they did not want Judah’s God.
Friends, we sometimes do that by our lack of gratefulness. How many times, in the heat of troubling circumstances do we turn to others for help, only to go on about normal life when the trouble is over? People help us who are prodded by God in them to be His hands and feet on earth. Do we recognize that all that is good comes from God? Do we give and live in gratitude to God for all He has done and is doing? We need to lay down all arrogance and pride when things are going well. May we humble ourselves before God with sincere hearts who seek His wisdom. Only then will we grow Christ-like character from all the challenges of this world.
Verse 5 is definitely a messianic promise, pointing to the day when Messiah will reign in righteousness and mercy on David’s throne. But Moab would not submit; they wanted deliverance on their own terms.
Moab’s pride kept them from submitting to Judah, and this led to their defeat. Their boasting would turn into wailing and their songs into funeral dirges. Moab would become like a vineyard trampled down and a fruitful field left unharvested. So sad.
What is our pride and arrogance keeping us from right now?
How is our pride hurting us?
How does arrogance hurt our relationship with God and others?
There is no room in our relationship for my arrogance and pride. I come to you with a more humbled heart this morning, thanking you for all You have done, are doing and will do in my life here on earth. You made all things right by your sacrifice. You give peace in the middle of storms, unending joy with love, mercy and grace no matter what our circumstances are at the moment. No one but You can do that for us. Thank you for your “new government” of all that is right, good and pleasing to You. Help us to love like you love without conditions, without expecting anything in return for ourselves but to simply love.
In Jesus Name, Amen