Isaiah Chapter Fifteen, The Almost Persuaded...

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!" NIV translation

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." NIV translation

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.