January 11, Monday Devotion
1 This message came to me concerning Moab: In one night the town of Ar will be leveled, and the city of Kir will be destroyed. 2 Your people will go to their temple in Dibon to mourn. They will go to their sacred shrines to weep. They will wail for the fate of Nebo and Medeba, shaving their heads in sorrow and cutting off their beards. 3 They will wear burlap as they wander the streets. From every home and public square will come the sound of wailing. 4 The people of Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out; their voices will be heard as far away as Jahaz! The bravest warriors of Moab will cry out in utter terror. They will be helpless with fear.
5 My heart weeps for Moab. Its people flee to Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah. Weeping, they climb the road to Luhith. Their cries of distress can be heard all along the road to Horonaim. 6 Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up! The grassy banks are scorched. The tender plants are gone; nothing green remains. 7 The people grab their possessions and carry them across the Ravine of Willows. 8 A cry of distress echoes through the land of Moab from one end to the other—from Eglaim to Beer-elim. 9 The stream near Dibon runs red with blood, but I am still not finished with Dibon! Lions will hunt down the survivors—both those who try to escape and those who remain behind.
16:1 Send lambs from Sela as tribute to the ruler of the land. Send them through the desert to the mountain of beautiful Zion. 2 The women of Moab are left like homeless birds at the shallow crossings of the Arnon River. 3 “Help us,” they cry. “Defend us against our enemies. Protect us from their relentless attack. Do not betray us now that we have escaped. 4 Let our refugees stay among you. Hide them from our enemies until the terror is past.”
When oppression and destruction have ended and enemy raiders have disappeared, 5 then God will establish one of David’s descendants as king. He will rule with mercy and truth. He will always do what is just and be eager to do what is right.
6 We have heard about proud Moab—about its pride and arrogance and rage. But all that boasting has disappeared. 7 The entire land of Moab weeps. Yes, everyone in Moab mourns for the cakes of raisins from Kir-hareseth. They are all gone now. 8 The farms of Heshbon are abandoned; the vineyards at Sibmah are deserted. The rulers of the nations have broken down Moab—that beautiful grapevine. Its tendrils spread north as far as the town of Jazer and trailed eastward into the wilderness. Its shoots reached so far west that they crossed over the Dead Sea.
9 So now I weep for Jazer and the vineyards of Sibmah; my tears will flow for Heshbon and Elealeh.
There are no more shouts of joy over your summer fruits and harvest. 10 Gone now is the gladness, gone the joy of harvest. There will be no singing in the vineyards, no more happy shouts, no treading of grapes in the winepresses. I have ended all their harvest joys. 11 My heart’s cry for Moab is like a lament on a harp. I am filled with anguish for Kir-hareseth. 12 The people of Moab will worship at their pagan shrines, but it will do them no good. They will cry to the gods in their temples, but no one will be able to save them. 13 The Lord has already said these things about Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord says, “Within three years, counting each day, the glory of Moab will be ended. From its great population, only a few of its people will be left alive.”
Moab is probably not too different of a town than most of us are used to. On the outside, things probably looked as if they were working fine and orderly, but on the inside it was chaos. Everyone kept their own rules and rarely did that involve serving God or even each other. I wonder sometimes how much effort we make to look fine and orderly on our outside while there is chaos inside. Do you ever feel that other people see a different you than who you really are? I do. Lots of times. There is a pressure to fit in, and rarely does it allow us to do the things we should do.
Um... God... I'm kind of embarrassed to be praying this to you right now. I know everyone thinks that I'm a good Christian and do good things but honestly, I feel all alone. Could you feel me with your love and grace that I might be whole? I would appreciae it. Amen.