113-116 Isaiah Chapter 16
Sending the lamb to the ruler of Moab is the idea that the land of Moab should resume paying their tribute to Jerusalem. By doing this they are again submitting themselves to God. Mesha the King of Moab paid tribute to Jerusalem until King Ahaz died. After that King Mesha stopped paying the tribute. Isaiah now counsels Moab to start paying the tribute to Jerusalem. Isaiah gives us a powerful word picture of the confused state of the Moabite people in the hand of God’s judgment. They are as wandering birds thrown out of the nest, confused and weak, and vulnerable. The only choice they have is to once again submit themselves to Jerusalem and its king.
We now see the compassion of Isaiah as he pleads with the rulers of Jerusalem to give refuge to the outcast of Moab. This sympathy is probably due to the fact of the relationship between Moab and the royal house of David. It was the desire of Isaiah that Judah was a place of safety and protection for the people of Moab while under judgment. This is exactly what the Church should be when people are under the strong hand of the Lord in the world. The Church should be a place that the outcast can hide and never be betrayed.
Now we see a change in focus. First Judah was counseled to receive the outcast of Moab and now Moab is counseled to receive the outcast of Judah. This may be a far-reaching prophecy of Moab being a refuge for the Jews escaping the fury of the Antichrist after the abomination of desolation. When the Antichrist seeks to destroy the Jews they will take refuge in places like Moab. (Revelation 12:6; Revelation 12:13-14)
In those end times the throne of the Messiah will be established and the Messiah Himself will sit upon the throne. His reign will be wonderful, He will judge and seek righteousness.
This is the only place the sin of Moab is made known. The sin of Moab is pride, and this is significant. Moab was a fairly small and unimportant nation. We can see how the empires of Babylon and Assyria could fall from pride but it is harder to see the pride in smaller places. In truth, the smaller nations can be just as prideful. “Like Assyria and Babylon, Moab was extremely proud. Isaiah piled term upon term to show that the nation’s relative insignificance did not make it immune to pride.” (Wolf)
The pride of Moab is also referred to by the Prophet Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 48:1-13) God judges the proud nation and Moab would wail for Moab. Their pride was in their vineyards and God used the lords of the nations to break them. They destroyed everything the Moabites took pride in.
The Moabites took great pride in their vineyards, but God used the lords of the nations to break them down and to destroy everything Moab took pride in. “Even though Moab had been advised to seek help from Zion’s King, the seer foresaw at the same time the futility of this advice on account of Moab’s pride. Whenever pride is not broken by humility, it will have to be broken by justice.” (Bultema)
As before mentioned Isaiah was not happy to speak of the coming judgment of Moab. As far as Isaiah was concerned gladness was taken away and joy from their plentiful fields. Isaiah is so distraught for Moab that he says “my heart shall resound like a harp for Moab.”
Isaiah also knows that Moab is looking for the answers in the wrong places. Calamity had come to Moab and Isaiah was watching the people seek help from the wrong place. This is the same attitude that Jesus had when He wept for Jerusalem. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 23:37-39) The Holy City that rejected Jesus did not bring joy when He knew of the destruction that was to come to them. Jesus knew when their calamity came they would turn to the wrong places for help.
Isaiah prophesied that the judgment would come upon Moab in three years. Moab would be humbled and their glory would be despised. “Apparently King Sargon of Assyria conducted a major operation against the Arabians in 715 B.C., and he may have devastated Moab in route to encountering those tribes.” (Wolf)
God gave Moab a time frame for His judgment that was a warning to Moab. They had time for humble repentance. The judgment of the Moabites was a lesson to the Jewish people of how the Lord judges the proud. The Judgment of Moab was the assurance to the Jewish people that the Lord would deal with a nation that was worse, as He had dealt with Israel.