Isaiah

Chapter 16

"The Burden [warning] of Moab; Pride."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org

This chapter is an continuation of chapter fifteen, and the subject is still Moab. Remember the reason that God was unhappy with Moab was that Moab worshipped in the house of false gods. God is angry at Moab, and it is quite obvious in this sixteenth chapter and the reason was given to us in Isaiah 15:2 where they went to the high places and sought out false gods, rather then calling out to the true Father.

There was a kinship between the Moabites and Israelites, because they were both from the family of Abraham. Moab was the nephew of Abraham through Lot. The Moabites did not get along with the Israelites, and not only did they fight them, but they brought in foreigners [strangers] to make war with their own kind. God did not like this, however some of the daughters of the Moabites were blessed by God, such as Naomi and Ruth, as given in the book of Ruth.

When the Israelites were coming out of Egypt and wandering in the wilderness for the forty years, the Moabites turned on them, and sided with Israel's enemies. God preached kind after kind, and that is the way that He wants it. Moab not only turned on the Israelites, but they had taken up with heathen gods, false gods, for they had gone up to "Bajith" which means "the house of false gods". Those were the high places that they went to weep and pray to false gods. In the last chapter things went sour for them, and now in this chapter they get a bright idea.

Isaiah 16:1 "Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion."

These Moabites now want to go back and get into the good graces of the God of Israel, in which Judah is the king line. However at this time Israel and Judah had already divided. "Sela" in the Hebrew text is "Petra", and it was the city of the giants. By this time every one had turned on them including our Heavenly Father, because they were whoring after false gods.

This is a very important lesson to us today as Christians, to know what is expected of us by God. The only way we can know that we are in the will of God is by studying His Word to know what He expects of us. When we know God's overall plan and what He expects of us, we will not go in the same direction as did Moab, who claimed to be children of the true God, only followed after false gods.

The word "lamb" here is plural in the Hebrew, and means the sacrificial lambs. Moab wanted to send a gift of sacrifices to the God of Israel, while at the same time chasing after all the other false religions at the same time. This was a time when everyone was hunting for Moab, and they wanted to go there for protection. However they had come to the point where God would not answer their prayers. Can you blame Him? God feels the exact same way today about Christians chasing after the traditions of men, and mixing His Word with heathen religions to please those around you. Are you allowing others to slip into your worship and prevent you from studying God's Word?

Isaiah 16:2 "For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out fo the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon."

The "fords of Arnon" was the border of their homeland, and now they want to go back to their own land. "Fords" means to cross over a river, and "Arnon" is a wild and rough river. So we see that what the Moabites were going to do would be a difficult task, and they knew it. Secondly, have you ever seen a little bird cast out of it's nest? That little chick is one of the most helpless creatures in the world. If it isn't cared for by the mother or someone, it just won't last long.

So we can see the problem that these Moabites are in.

Isaiah 16:3 "Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth."

These Moabites are begging the Israelites to let them fall under their protection. They want to enter into the land of the Israelites, and blend to where they can hide from their enemies. They are asking, "let us stand in your shadow to where even if it is noon day, we will not be discovered by our enemies."

In a spiritual sense, this just can't happen. The king of darkness is Satan, and though they are hunting the protection from Israel and God, they are still hunting the darkness to hide from God and seek other gods. God doesn't want any of His children to hide, but to let their life so shine that men can see Christ in them. We are to be God's example of how God takes care of His own. However these Moabites are seeking to blend in so that their identification will be hidden. The Moabites are playing with God, and they think that they can put one over on Him. They want the best of both worlds, to play the game with false gods and at the same time be blessed and hidden in the true God. Try to understand their frame of mind.

Isaiah 16:4 "Let Mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land."

This is a prime example of how it shall be when the true spoiler and extortioner, who is Satan the Antichrist, comes to earth shortly. This is prophetic in as much as it comes from the prophet Isaiah. However, here Moab is speaking of himself and for himself, and asking "let my people dwell with thee". The Moabites knew that their spoiler had over taken them, and they can see what is going to happen to themselves. They went to the high places and worshipped strange things, and they knew what would happen to them when did it. However, now, afterwards, after the fact, they think they can utter a few words and send a few lambs to the temple and get right back into the good graces of God.

This is exactly how it is today when Christians think that they can participate in all sorts of heathen acts and traditional forms of worship; and can mix God's Word with heathen forms and call it of God, and then on Sunday morning utter a few words and it is all right with God. In most cases these forms just have their way of working there way in to churches that are biblically illiterate. So be very careful in these end times for you know the spoiler is coming, and he will try to undermine your studying of God's Word to know the emotions of God, and what He expects of you.

Isaiah 16:5 "And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness."

This is still the Moabites pleading for the Israelites to accept their sacrificial lambs, and allow them to bring their lambs to the tabernacle, and worship with them. The enemy is hot on the trail of the Moabites, and they want a quick answer from the Israelites. Stop and think for a moment; Do you think God wants their lambs when the sole purpose for the offering is to gain a place of hiding while they continue in their heathen worship? Of course not. Do you think God will hear them? No way. Even a simple minded person can see through this Moabite plan for escaping their enemy. The Moabites are heathen worshippers, and will worship any form of false god that will gain them favor with those they are dealing with. When they drifted away from the God of Abraham, they brought real trouble upon themselves.

Isaiah 16:6 "We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so."

This is the answer to the Moabites request. Back in the years past when the Moabites were in the promise land and the Israelites were in the wilderness, the Moabites sided with all the heathen nations and would not let Israel into their own land. They sided with heathen nations against their own kin. The Israelites had seen the pride and cunning of the Moabites in the past, and tasted of their haughtiness and lies, and they now refuse to allow them to turn against them again. This is God in a sense speaking through the prophet Isaiah, speaking on the behalf of Israel. God is saying I see through you, and will not put up with your highness and pride again.

Spiritually speaking it is avoiding God's plan of salvation, and going out on some mountain top and making their own gods, and forms of man made salvation. God is saying, if you are going to another man made god, let that god work out your salvation for you. Your lies, which is to say, traditions of men will buy you nothing.

Jeremiah the prophet writes of this same incident in Jeremiah 48:28-31.

Jeremiah 48:28 "O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole's mouth."

Jeremiah 48:29 "We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart."

Jeremiah 48:30 "I know this wrath, saith the Lord; but it shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it."

Jeremiah 48:31 "Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kir-heres."

Isaiah 16:7 "Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kir-hareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken."

God is saying that Moab can cry for himself all he pleases but God and the Israelites shall not listen to his lies. This verse is one of the reasons that this chapter is very difficult to understand. This is because you need to know about the history of Moab. The number one item of export to other nations was raisin cakes. They took the raisins and pressed them into cakes, and sold their cakes in other lands.

This word "foundations" in the Hebrew text is "pressed down". Then because of the subject that follows, we know that it is talking about their raisin cakes, rather then a foundation of a structure or anything else. So what is said here is that you mourn and weep for your self, only you don't have anything else to trade with. Then when the nations turn against Moab, so went the raisin cake markets. These cakes were the supplier of what ever wealth that Moab had.

"Kir-hareseth" meant a strong fortress where they found their protection in, and those places just didn't exist any more for the Moabites.

Isaiah 16:8 "For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come even unto Jazer, they wandered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea."

"The fields" is referring to their agriculture products, and "Heshbon" which is a stronghold, is something that they excelled in. Their vineyards have stopped producing fruit. "Sibmah" is the fragrance that comes from the blossoms from the vines, and it doesn't exist. This is their number one problem then, "Jazer" means "God helps" and they have so intermingled with the heathen false gods that God will not help them regardless of their pleading. Their branches, or people have gone so far over the sea or heathen nations that they didn't know right from wrong, or truth from a lie.

Now when the Moabites finally get serious and send out a desperate plea to their own kind, whom they had betrayed, they even approach the Israelites with false pretence because of their ignorance of the will of God. They have completely lost their knowledge of God's purpose for them, or the house of Israel. When this happens it shows their lack of interest in God, and have lost all touch with Him.

Friend, if your not interested in know the who and where the ten tribes that went north, and through the Caucasus mountains, to settle in Europe and the Americas, then how can you know the purposes that God had for you. God has written it through the prophets, and stated it and it shall come to pass exactly as it is written. God has a plan for those that think that they can remain ignorant of His Word, and try to change what He said would come to pass.

In Jeremiah, he likened these raisin cakes to men that were pressed down, and in a sense that was the analogy here. This chapter is very difficult to understand if you don't understand the Hebrew, but it flows nicely when you understand the true vine. Who said, "I am the vine and ye are the branches"? It was Jesus the true Messiah. Then who is it that pruned the the vine so that the branches would produce fruit? When the vine runs over the wall in into another's property, then the pruner cuts it back to bring it under control. The uncontrolled branches are cut off and set to the burn pile, and that is what happened, or will happen to Moab, in a sense. Moab left his own roots and turned on his own kind. Moab went to "Bajith" [Isaiah 15:2] the house of false gods, instead of "Bethel" which is the house of God.

What is being taught in your church, is it a Bethel or a Bajith? Are you being prepared to stand at the coming of the false christ, or are you learning to fly into bed with him at his arrival? We are living in serious times today, for the events of the final generation are becoming history daily before our eyes.

Isaiah 16:9 "Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with My tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shoutin for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen."

"Jazer" means "God helps" in the Hebrew text. This is saying that you had better cry Moab, for your tears are the only water that your grape vines will get. This is a joke and said in irony about the Moabites. "Heshbon" is another form of strong hold, and "Elealeh" means "out of their midst", and He is not coming back.

By this time you should know exactly why their harvest fell, and God had departed from them. We have been given the analogy and their number one sin that has caused their vines not to produce. The answer goes back to Isaiah 15:2; they were worshipping false gods, and they turned on their own kind. They do not know how to please God, but they had heard Judah was blessed and they were trying to hide themselves by mixing with Judah, rather then seeking God and turning from their false gods.

The lesson is that we are to take care of our own vine, and not rely on someone else to do for you what God expects you to do for yourself. God doesn't have a welfare program, whereby others do the producing, and the lazy reap the benefits on the backs of the workers. There are no free rides spiritually; you are either real, or you are a fake. If you are a fake, your vine shall not produce and will be pruned. However, when you are true to the Father and faithful to His Word the best that you can, God will see to it that you will produce fruit for Him. God will never leave you when you truly seek Him, however when you turn your back on God to chase after false gods and the traditions of men, your in trouble before Him. When everything always goes wrong for you, there is a reason that it does, just as it did for Moab, and it couldn't be more wrong for them.

The reason for this is the same for us today as it was in Isaiah's day, when you leave God out of your life. God has a plan of Salvation, and there is only one way and that way is through our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Word.

Isaiah 16:10 "And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease."

Before in the harvest time, there was singing and beauty in the fields as the workers picked the grapes and make the cakes. There was plenty for everyone, and gladness in every heart. Everyone wanted their raisin cakes, and they just couldn't produce enough; however, this has all ended. There is now no gladness at harvest time, the crops have failed, the harvest festival time of singing and joy is ended, and the traders are not knocking at the doors to by their cakes anymore.

God is saying that it is He that took their happiness away from them. We see that God could care less about their crops and their well being, for the only water that would water their crops would would be what came from their tears. Though they were weeping, it is a matter of who they were weeping to. It doesn't matter who they were weeping to, when they were weeping to their false gods, and traditions of Easter bunnies, and false doctrines. Instead of turning to God to praise Him for the gifts given, and the salvation He has provided, they continued in their houses of false gods and tried to mix in what they thought would win God to their side. They had no idea of what pleased the Father, nor did they care, for the only thing that mattered to them was their man made ways to God. That just won't cut it my friend.

God is saying in this verse, cry all you want for I could care less. These Moabites had not, and would not for they could not see why their cheap sacrifices would not please God or the Israelites. This is very similar to what is going on today in most church houses, as they place their traditions over the Word of God, and refuse to give up their false teachings. They were turning to God's children, but not to God.

Isaiah 16:11 "Wherefore My bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and Mine inward parts for Kir-haresh."

This is the results of their actions. Though God is speaking through the prophet Isaiah, you can sense the emotions of God. God is liking it to the sorrow of loss for His own kindred, because Moab is our kindred. God has used raisins for men in this analogy, showing that they were not producing anything. Because of their actions and attitude to God, these Moabites have nothing. This is a manual for God's children as to what they are suppose to do for Him.

Our Heavenly Father wants you to get into His Word, and know exactly what is expects of you.

Isaiah 16:12 "And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, the he shall come to his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail."

Here you have these Moabites crying and carrying on to get back into the good graces of the Father and the Israelites, and they don't have enough sense to know to call on God, rather then people. This is the whole answer friend, when Moab is weary on the high places, those places where she worships her false gods and to pray, and it will do absolutely no good at all. Why? Because Moab is not praying to God, nor even respecting and thinking about the true God. Moab was praying to the gods of the high places. He was praying to the traditions of men and their man made doctrines. To those lies that slip into the Word of God by those that are biblically illiterate.

Have you ever wondered why God never answers some peoples prayers? Who are they praying to, and what are they worshipping?

Isaiah 16:13 "This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning Moab since that time."

This is referring to "that time before", and it is recorded in Numbers chapters twenty one and twenty two.

Isaiah 16:14 "But now the Lord hath spoken, saying, "Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble."

In other words, there is going to be so few that love God and turn to Him from that group of people that they will be hard to find. However God promised that out of Moab there would be a remnant that would be saved and learn to love and respect our Heavenly Father. The three years after Ahaz died, and this problem with Moab started back in the fourteenth chapter when Ahaz died and the burden came upon them.

Remember that the fourteenth chapter was the chapter on Lucifer and the fact that he would come first, before the true Christ. Think on these three chapters concerning Moab.

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