Judgment on Moab
After Lot left Sodom and Gomorrah he and his daughters went to the mountain country. There his daughters got Lot drunk and had sexual relations with him their father. Out of that relation, one of the daughters had a son named Moab and became the founder of the Moabites. (Genesis 19:30-38) The Moabites settled in the plains southeast of Israel. Today the area is modern day Jordan.
There were times that the Moabites were enemies of Israel. The King of Moab, Balak hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel. (Numbers 22-25) In the days of the Judges, King Eglon of the Moabites oppressed Israel. (Judges 3-12-30) In the time of Saul and David, Israel was able to establish firm control over Moab but the later kings were not able to keep dominance over Moab.
But there was a connection between Israel and Moab as they were related as Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Because of this relationship God had told Israel not to destroy Moab. (Deuteronomy 2:9) King David was also a quarter Moabite. His grandmother Ruth was from Moab. David entrusted his father and mother to the protection of the King of Moab when he was a fugitive from King Saul. (1 Samuel 22:3-4) Because of all this, there was sadness on the part of Isaiah when he described the judgment of Moab.
Now God had announced judgment against the cities of Moab. “Most of these sites were originally part of Israel’s territory when Moses and Joshua defeated Sihon, King of the Amorites. All the cities north of the Arnon River . . . once belonged to the tribe of Reuben. Throughout the years, however, the Moabites had persistently pushed the Israelites out of these regions.” (Wolf)
We have a picture of the Moabite men fleeing the destruction of his city and going to the temple of his pagan god for protection and mourning. The people of Moab will be greatly distressed over the invasion that has come to them. Isaiah was not the only prophet that prophesied the judgment of Moab. Jeremiah also told of the coming judgment. (Jeremiah 48:1-13)
The people of Moab flee to Zoar. Zoar is the city that Lot and his daughters escaped from to hide in the mountains. It was there on the mountain that the daughters of Lot had their incest with him giving birth to Moab the founder of the Moabites. Zoar is called a heifer of three years old. This reference is made possible because Zoar had never been under the yoke of a stranger before.
The plains of Moab had been a wonderful grazing ground but now under the hands of God’s judgment, all the green grass has withered away. Now we see a picture of refugees carrying their possessions with them as they escape the judgment of God.
The pain of God’s judgment of Moab is plain for all to see. If any would have escaped the attack of the Moabites God would send lions upon them to finish His work of judgment.