April 29, 2008

Judgment Against Moab and Damascus

Isaiah 16:6-17:7

In that day men will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 17:7


Why is there such a litany of judgment in the book of Isaiah? Does God find delight in punishing nations that get out of line? In this passage, two additional nations are called up for divine judgment. The Moabites were descendents of Moab, the son born to Lot’s oldest daughter as a result of incest with her father (Genesis 19:36-37). Moab’s descendants had a long history as enemies of God and his people. They often succeeded in luring Israel into their idol worship and immorality.

Damascus, the capital of Syria (Aram), was a divisive force in the ancient world, known for its ruthlessness and treachery. In Isaiah’s time it was one of the most fortified and proud cities of the world. Many Israelites quickly adopted the gods of Damascus.

Both Moab and Damascus would receive their punishment. And with what result? “In that day,” writes Isaiah, people “will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.”

When life goes smoothly, people often forget God and begin to think they don’t need him. But in times of crisis we receive a wakeup call. We look up and turn our eyes to the Holy One of Israel.

Our world continues to know war and rumors of war. Pray that millions will not get caught in the despair of a life without God, but will look up to Christ, the Savior.

Father, when we look around us, we see unbelief and immorality, and we can easily become lost and afraid. Help us to look to you, the true God, in whose name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Victor Atallah

Rev. Victor Atallah is the broadcast team leader for The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry and the general director of Middle East Reformed Fellowship. These meditations are based on texts of Arabic broadcasts aired a few years ago and an Arabic commentary on the book of Isaiah prepared for publication. Rev. Atallah and his wife, Lisa, live in Larnaca, Cyprus, where The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry is based. The ministry reaches Arabic-speaking people throughout the Middle East and North Africa, introducing them to Jesus Christ, Savior of the nations.

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