Love and Justice
Posted: Friday, September 14
Verse of the day:
We have heard about proud Moab—
about its pride and arrogance and rage.
But all that boasting has disappeared. The entire land of Moab weeps.
Yes, everyone in Moab mourns
God is loving and God is just. It can be difficult for us to hold both of these aspects of God in their proper place. Often people will see God as loving and therefore they downplay His justice. Others see God as just and lose sight of his love. Isaiah 15 and 16 show us how both of these traits are central to God.
Isaiah predicts the destruction of Moab at the hands of Assyria due to its idolatry and pride, among other things. A little bit about Moab and its people…
The Moabites were descendants of Moab, the son born to Lot’s oldest daughter as a result of incest with her father. 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. During the time of Israel’s wilderness wanderings, Moabite women deliberately seduced Israelite men, then enticed them to participate in sacrifices to idolatrous gods (Numbers 25). In addition to all of this Moab’s king, Balak, hired a prophet, Balaam, to prophesy against Israel. So throughout the Old Testament, relations between Israel and Moab ranged from uneasy tension to outright hostility.
As Isaiah announces judgment on Moab he does so with a broken heart. He says in Isaiah 15:5 ‘My heart weeps for Moab.’ Just as a parent takes no pleasure in punishing their child, God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked. Yet God is just and he does not overlook wrongs.
Why is God bringing judgment to Moab? The answer can be found in Isaiah 17:7
In that day men will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
Sometimes God has to shout to get our attention, and God is never louder than when we are in pain.
CS Lewis said “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
May God be able to get our attention via a whisper rather than a shout.