Jeremiah 48:1-49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Psalm 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 26:9-12
Today in reading about the judgements God proclaims against Moab, Ammon, and Edom I was struck by God’s heart for people, even in the midst of their looking to other gods and living in truly ungodly ways.
First I considered Moab. God is going to wipe it out, everything will be destroyed. This judgement of God is coming because they “trusted in their (own) achievement and treasures.” (Isaiah 48:7) Moab was full of “pride, arrogance and self-exultation.” (Isaiah 48:29) What really hit me this morning was verse 36. “Therefore My heart wails for Moab like flutes; My heart also wails like flutes for the men of Kir-heres.” This is not a God who takes delight in bringing about Moab’s destruction. His heart wails over what He must do. The word of the Lord regarding Moab ends this way, “Woe to you, Moab! The people of Chemosh have perished; For your sons have been taken away captive and your daughters into captivity. “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days,” declares the Lord. There will come a time when God will restore Moab. My Bible notes that the latter days refers to the end of days, so I wonder if this is perhaps what Paul refers to as the Day of Christ Jesus in his letters.
I see in these verses the picture of a God who cares deeply about the people He created, the ones He knows so very well. I see Him longing for and even pleading with them through the prophets to just turn to Him and follow in His ways. He wants to save them! Moab, Ammon, Edom…these are not even the “chosen” people of Israel and yet He still longs for them. And, this is the part that really got me, He will restore them. He is a God who saves!
When I came in my reading to the Psalms this line stood out to me from Psalm 96, “He will judge all peoples fairly.” (Psalm 96:10b, NLT) Because He is God His judgement is fair, fair for every single person. That can be a hard pill for many to swallow. Many people don’t like to accept that kind of power, but I am thankful that it is power that resides in the hands of God alone. Psalm 96 goes on: “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the Lord, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness.”
The righteous Judge is coming and he will judge, and again I am thankful that He will just in righteousness and in His faithfulness. The New Living Translation reads, “He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.” For those of us who have received the Gospel of Jesus Christ this is part of the Good News. When I look at those things that God judged Moab for, trusting in their own skills and wealth, their pride, arrogance and self-exultation I see some things in me that are not too pleasing. How often I rely on my own abilities and not on the strength and wisdom of God. I live a pretty comfortable life and often am not as grateful as I should be for the generosity of God’s provision in my life, pride-yep, guilty of that too, giving glory to myself, yes, even that is far too often something I do. I’m really full of faults to be honest. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” But God. That is one of my favorite phrases. Our God is a redeeming God and that is the message He has for me today as I read through those passages in the Old Testament. So today I can sing with the Psalmist:
Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.
May grace, peace, and mercy abound,