This is the third oracle in the book of Isaiah for the city of Moab. The city was attacked and left in ruins at night. The entire city is mourning because of the destruction that took place. No more fruit or vegetation, the rivers are desolate after all of the violence that took place (v. 9) There’s even a lion right outside the city devouring anyone who’s trying to escape. All of the usual signs of mourning from the Old Testament are also there. Weeping, wailing, wearing sackcloth, hair and beards were shaved. Now we have subtweeting and complaining on social media.
But the Moabites weren’t alone in their grief. Even though these were the children of incest from Sodom and Gomorrah, we still see Isaiah and God in mourning for them (v. 5). As it is said in Ezekiel 33:11 God does not take pleasure in the death and destruction of the wicked. He is just and such consequences are still necessary without obedience, repentance, and faith in the one True God. But He still does not delight in such deserved wrath, as just as that wrath is. In fact, Jeremiah 48 is another prophet’s account of this judgment on Moab and in v. 29-31 Jeremiah says:
29 We have heard of the pride of Moab—he is very proud of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart. 30 I know his insolence, declares the LORD; his boasts are false, his deeds are false. 31 Therefore I wail for Moab; I cry out for all Moab; for the men of Kir-hareseth I mourn.
So let us remember such compassion in the midst of our calls for justice. Justice is deserved but is balanced with mourning over the fallen world that needs to be redeemed and restored. Justice is served through Christ taking that wrath upon Himself or that wrath paying sin its due penalty.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor