Preparation for Worship (2/14/15)

Scripture to consider: Isaiah 15–16

15.1 A prophecy against Moab: Ar in Moab is ruined, destroyed in a night! Kir in Moab is ruined, destroyed in a night! 2 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. 3 In the streets they wear sackcloth; on the roofs and in the public squares they all wail, prostrate with weeping. 4 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.

5 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. 6 The waters of Nimrim are dried up and the grass is withered; the vegetation is gone and nothing green is left. 7 So the wealth they have acquired and stored up they carry away over the Ravine of the Poplars. 8 Their outcry echoes along the border of Moab; their wailing reaches as far as Eglaim, their lamentation as far as Beer Elim. 9 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.

16.1 Send lambs as tribute to the ruler of the land, from Sela, across the desert, to the mount of Daughter Zion. 2 Like fluttering birds pushed from the nest, so are the women of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.

3 “Make up your mind,” Moab says. “Render a decision. Make your shadow like night—at high noon. Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees. 4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you; be their shelter from the destroyer.”

The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. 5 In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it—one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.

6 We have heard of Moab’s pride—how great is her arrogance!—of her conceit, her pride and her insolence; but her boasts are empty. 7 Therefore the Moabites wail, they wail together for Moab. Lament and grieve for the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth. 8 The fields of Heshbon wither, the vines of Sibmah also. The rulers of the nations have trampled down the choicest vines, which once reached Jazer and spread toward the desert. Their shoots spread out and went as far as the sea.

9 So I weep, as Jazer weeps, for the vines of Sibmah. Heshbon and Elealeh, I drench you with tears! The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit and over your harvests have been stilled. 10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards; no one sings or shouts in the vineyards; no one treads out wine at the presses, for I have put an end to the shouting. 11 My heart laments for Moab like a harp, my inmost being for Kir Hareseth. 12 When Moab appears at her high place, she only wears herself out; when she goes to her shrine to pray, it is to no avail.

13 This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord says: “Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.”

Thought to ponder:

“The God on whom we rely knows what suffering is all about, not merely in the way that God knows everything, but by experience.”

D. A. Carson, 159

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