Jeremiah 48:42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation because she defied the LORD.
Moab was not part of God’s Covenant people, although they had close associations with those who were, both genetically and geographically, as well as historically. They were the descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot, through an incestuous union Lot was lured into, in an inebriated state, with one of his daughters (Genesis 19:31-37). Moreover, King David’s great grandmother, Ruth, was a Moabitess.
The Moabites had settled in the region south-east of the Dead Sea where Sodom and Gomorrah had been. The Israelites skirted their territory on the way to the Promised Land from Egypt, and Moses, at the end of the wilderness journey, was buried there. The relationship between Israel and Moab during the eight centuries from then to the time of Jeremiah varied between being sometimes friends and sometimes enemies. This prophetic chapter of Jeremiah is dedicated to the outpouring of God’s wrath on Moab.
An important message for US as a nation today is that, although Moab was NOT in a covenant relationship with the LORD, her downfall came about “BECAUSE SHE DEFIED the LORD”! The various sins listed by the LORD’s prophet included: trusting in their own achievements and riches (7); worshipping other gods (7, 35); being at rest, comfortable, complacent and lazy (11); being proud, conceited, arrogant and insolent (29-30, cf 17-18).
Like Moab, we, as a nation, are not God’s ‘Covenant people’; but our heritage does have very strong links with the Judaeo-Christian ethic and the proclamation and spread of the Christian Gospel, a gospel that is a Covenant sealed with the precious blood of Christ. A Christian Chaplain, Richard Johnson, was sent out with the First Fleet and he conducted a Christian Service at Sydney Cove on Sunday 3 February, 1788. In spite of vigorous attempts to remove such reference, the preamble to our constitution still recognises our Christian heritage. No, we are not a ‘Christian nation’; like Moab, we are not in a covenant relationship with God. But, like Moab, we are becoming more and more determined to ‘defy the (Covenant, Sovereign) Lord’ with our materialism, our greed, our wealth, our complacency, our pride, etc.
How long will the Lord’s patience tolerate such arrogance? Moab discovered what it meant to drink the cup of God’s wrath. For us, as individual Christians, JESUS has already drunk this cup of God’s wrath so that we are saved from it; but, in the light of the Judgement pronounced against Moab, where DO WE stand as a nation?
– Bruce Christian