Isaiah Chapter Fifteen, Almost Persuaded The Story Of The Moabites

In our study of Isaiah chapter fifteen, we look at God's judgment on the Moabites and are reminded that almost doesn't count when we are talking about a right relationship with God.

Isaiah 15:1

An oracle concerning Moab: Ar in Moab is ruined, destroyed in a night! Kir in Moab is ruined, destroyed in a night!

As we have seen in the last couple of chapters, God is dealing with Israel's neighbors and, here, He turns to the Moabites. Lot, the nephew of Abraham, had a son with his oldest daughter after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19). This son's name was Moab and the land of Moab is what we call Jordan today. Ar and Kir were the two strongholds of the land and we see, here, a prophecy that they will be destroyed in a single night. In our world today, we do not even wonder about the fact that a city can be destroyed in a night. But, at the time of Isaiah, they did not have the weapons of mass destruction that we have and so the only way that this would be possible is by the very power of God.

Isaiah 15:2-4

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. In the streets they wear sackcloth; on the roofs and in the public squares they all wail, prostrate with weeping. 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.

We see the widespread destruction of the cities and the fact that the people cry out to their idols. We see that they shave their heads and beards as well as wearing sackcloth which were things that the Israelites did as signs of repentance. We see that the Moabites were going through the motions but did not worship God. They had inherited this from Lot as he had been close to faith in God as he traveled with Abram but had missed out when he made the choice to settle among the people of Sodom. Much the same type of thing is happening today as many will go and sit in a pew and go through the motions but they do not have a true faith in God. This is what many call the "almost persuaded" as they are so close to the kingdom of God but fall short of putting their trust in Jesus Christ. They, like the Moabites, are destined to be judged and this will be rapid just as is foretold here.

Isaiah 15:5

My heart cries out over Moab; her fugitives flee as far as Zoar, as far as Eglath Shelishiyah. They go up the way to Luhith, weeping as they go; on the road to Horonaim they lament their destruction.

Here, we see that the people fled instead of repenting and turning to God. We see how much God cares for them as His heart cries out for them. The same is true for the almost persuaded of today as God's heart cries out each and every Sunday as they are so close to the kingdom and yet so far. They, like the Moabites, will attempt to flee the coming judgment of God.

Isaiah 15:6-8

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

God judged the land of Moab and the people fled. We are reminded that storing up wealth on this earth is a waste of time. The "almost persuaded" will put in their time in a church service but the majority of their time is focused on building their legacy or their bank accounts.

Isaiah 15:9

Dimon's waters 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.

The water for the city of Dibon was turned to blood and they fled but still more judgment was to follow. Just as the blood was a sign for Pharaoh to repent and let Israel go, God was still calling them to repent before the coming final judgment. This pattern continues as we see waters turned to blood during the Great Tribulation period before the coming final judgment by Jesus Christ (the Lion of the tribe of Judah). The "almost persuaded" will not escape the coming judgment!