Jeremiah 48

The Pride of Moab.

“We have all heard of the pride of Moab, for his pride is very great. We know of his lofty pride, his arrogance, and his haughty heart. I know about his insolence,” says the Lord, “but his boasts are empty — as empty as his deeds.” ­– Jeremiah 48:29-30 NLT

Now it’s the Moabite’s turn. God has a word of warning for them as well. The Moabites were close neighbors of Judah and were distant relatives. They were the descendants of Lot as the result of an incestuous relationship he had with his older daughter. After being rescued from Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot fled to the mountains with his two daughters. His wife and their two husbands had been killed in the destruction of the two cities. His daughters determine that all the men are now dead and their chances of getting married are slim to none, so they plot to get their father drunk and lie with him in order to have him impregnate them. They accomplished their plan – twice – and the older daughter gave birth to a son named Moab. The younger daughter gave birth to a son named Ben-ammi, whose descendants would become the Ammonites. The Moabites would ultimately settle in the southern part of the land, just east of the Dead Sea. They would be a relatively peaceful people who worshiped the god Chemosh. According to Numbers 25, they would ultimately cause the Israelites to defy God and practice idolatry. “While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people” (Numbers 25:1-3 NLT).

Later on, the Moabites would join forces with the Babylonians and form raiding parties to harass the people of Judah. And all during this time, they would enjoy relative peace and security, and their peaceful history had left them complacent and proud. They lived relatively isolated lives, protected from invasion and free to prosper. But God had not overlooked their idolatry and the role they had played in the moral fall of Judah. He had watched as they raided the land of Judah, taking advantage of His people in their time of need. Now God was going to repay them for their sin, arrogance and pride by humbling them. They had lived peaceful lives, free from trouble, but now that was going to change. “From his earliest history, Moab has lived in peace, never going into exile. He is like wine that has been allowed to settle. He has not been poured from flask to flask, and he is now fragrant and smooth. But the time is coming soon, says the Lord, when I will send men to pour him from his jar. They will pour him out, then shatter the jar!” (Jeremiah 48:11-12 NLT). God had judged the northern kingdom of Israel. Now He was judging the southern kingdom of Judah. But He would also judge the nations that surrounded them, dealing with their sin and punishing them for their worship of other gods. These nations all knew of the existence of Yahweh. They had known about His mighty deeds since the day the people of God had entered the Land of Promise, but they chose to reject Him and worship gods of their own making. For the Moabites, Chemosh had become their god of choice. And they believed that their peace and security was due to their god, not Yahweh. Now they would learn the truth. Their god was no match for Yahweh. Their pride would be broken, their strength destroyed, and their arrogance reduced to weeping. God was going to destroy them. “Moab will no longer be a nation, for it has boasted against the Lord” (Jeremiah 48:42 NLT). But amazingly, God promised that He would one day restore the fortunes of Moab. There is a future day coming when those living in the land of Moab will worship the one true God in the restored city of Jerusalem. They will join the people of God in the worship of the Son of God who will sit on the throne of David ruling in the Millennial Kingdom. God will one day replace their pride with a proper passion for Him. He will replace their arrogance with an awe for who He is – the one true God and His Son as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Father, Your plan is complete and all-inclusive. You have not overlooked a single nation. You have a plan for every nation on the face of the earth. What a needed reminder of Your power and sovereignty. You are in control and there is no need for me to worry, fret, or panic over what I see happening in the world today. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org