Jeremiah 48:26-47

26 “Make her drunk,
    for she has defied the Lord.
Let Moab wallow in her vomit;
    let her be an object of ridicule.
27 Was not Israel the object of your ridicule?
    Was she caught among thieves,
that you shake your head in scorn
    whenever you speak of her?
28 Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks,
    you who live in Moab.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
    at the mouth of a cave.

29 “We have heard of Moab’s pride—
    how great is her arrogance!—
of her insolence, her pride, her conceit
    and the haughtiness of her heart.
30 I know her insolence but it is futile,”
declares the Lord,
    “and her boasts accomplish nothing.
31 Therefore I wail over Moab,
    for all Moab I cry out,
    I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32 I weep for you, as Jazer weeps,
    you vines of Sibmah.
Your branches spread as far as the sea;
    they reached as far as Jazer.
The destroyer has fallen
    on your ripened fruit and grapes.
33 Joy and gladness are gone
    from the orchards and fields of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses;
    no one treads them with shouts of joy.
Although there are shouts,
    they are not shouts of joy.

34 “The sound of their cry rises
    from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz,
from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah,
    for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35 In Moab I will put an end
    to those who make offerings on the high places
    and burn incense to their gods,”
declares the Lord.
36 “So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe;
    it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth.
    The wealth they acquired is gone.
37 Every head is shaved
    and every beard cut off;
every hand is slashed
    and every waist is covered with sackcloth.
38 On all the roofs in Moab
    and in the public squares
there is nothing but mourning,
    for I have broken Moab
    like a jar that no one wants,”
declares the Lord.
39 “How shattered she is! How they wail!
    How Moab turns her back in shame!
Moab has become an object of ridicule,
    an object of horror to all those around her.”

40 This is what the Lord says:

“Look! An eagle is swooping down,
    spreading its wings over Moab.
41 Kerioth will be captured
    and the strongholds taken.
In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors
    will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation
    because she defied the Lord.
43 Terror and pit and snare await you,
    you people of Moab,”
declares the Lord.
44 “Whoever flees from the terror
    will fall into a pit,
whoever climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in a snare;
for I will bring on Moab
    the year of her punishment,”
declares the Lord.

45 “In the shadow of Heshbon
    the fugitives stand helpless,
for a fire has gone out from Heshbon,
    a blaze from the midst of Sihon;
it burns the foreheads of Moab,
    the skulls of the noisy boasters.
46 Woe to you, Moab!
    The people of Chemosh are destroyed;
your sons are taken into exile
    and your daughters into captivity.

47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
    in days to come,”
declares the Lord.

Here ends the judgment on Moab.
(Jeremiah 48:26-47 NIV)

Today’s passage is part 2 of 2 on the judgment of Moab.  In part 1, we saw a significant number of towns within Moab specifically called out to remind the Moabite residents that the Lord’s judgment was all-inclusive – He covered everyone.

In today’s text, we see the sins listed against Moab.  These sins included defiance against God (v. 26), pride, conceit, arrogance, haughtiness, and insolence (vv. 29-30).

In verses 26-28, the Lord brings the same ridicule and scorn on Moab as Moab had on Judah when God was judging Judah.  In fact, the Lord says that Moab will drink from the same cup of judgment as Judah did.  This reference to “drink from the cup” goes back to 25:15-29, specifically 25:21 where Moab is mentioned among the nations.

In verse 35, in addition to their arrogance, the judgment was also for the worship of other gods.  This worship included their primary god Chemosh (v. 46).

In verses 40-46, the Lord made it clear that there would be no escape from this coming judgment.  While Moab’s destroyer is not specifically named, it was clear that all the nation’s courage and brazen pride was replaced by fear and inability to act.  Remember from our last text; this was the first time that Moab had been forced into captivity and exile.

And what was God’s (and Jeremiah’s) thoughts on this judgment?  Their heart was broken.  We see them wail, cry out, mourn (v. 31) was well as weep (v. 32) and lament (v. 36).

Despite all this doom, the Lord ends the prophecy with the hope of Moab’s restoration (v. 47).

May we remember that God provides restoration for some so that we (as humanity)  do not lose hope.

May we also remember that God does not provide restoration for all so that we do not assume or presume that His grace and mercy are guaranteed.

May the prophet Micah’s words also be ours to live by:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8 NIV)