Isaiah 15:1-9 The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence;
He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off.
In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.
And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh: their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz: therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be grievous unto him.
My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction.
For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing.
Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows.
For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beer-elim.
For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land.
My heart will cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee to Zoar, Like a three-year-old heifer. For by the Ascent of Luhith they will go up with weeping; For in the way of Horonaim they will raise up a cry of destruction (Isaiah 15:5)
Whose heart was crying for Moab? In the context of Isaiah 15, it was God Himself. The question is, how could God’s heart be crying since He was the One carrying out the judgment? Wasn’t God being hypocritical?
God is not hypothetical. Judgment was to be meted against the sins of Moab (particularly for drawing close to Assyria), because God is holy. However, God’s holiness does not mean that He is cruel or uncaring. In fact, in Chapter 16:1-4, God provided refuge and help for whoever managed to flee the destruction. Sometimes, we forget that the Moabites can also be said to be part of the people of God, even the descendants of Lot (Gen. 19:37). It must have grieved God’s heart to witness and punish the sins of His own people.
Being a parent, we have at times tasted the grief of having to discipline our children. It was an emotion held in tension between love and sadness. Most parents discipline their children because of love; yet it grieves our hearts to do so. We can choose not to discipline and allow our children to do whatever they want. However, this will most likely cause grieve to others (like ill-disciplined children terrorising others) or they will eventually break our hearts through sin. Perhaps, in a similar way, even as God judged Moab, He still cared for and loved them. Even as we have to suffer God’s discipline at times, may we take heart that this is from the hands of a loving God who knows what He is doing, obviously for our good. Amen.