Judgement against Moab. Moab were Israel’s enemies, so it’s interesting to see how they are spoken of and treated, compared to all the judgements against Israel.
The judgement was bitter and absolute. But that is no different from the judgement against Israel.
As I’ve noted in the previous foreign nation judgements, idol worship or foreign gods don’t play a big part. They seem to be graded on a curve by God, according to the extent of their revelation.
But they are judged for arrogance and complacency.
One of the most unique metaphors of the chapter talks about settling for the dregs.
It’s an image of never fully cleaning out your wine jar or your coffee pot, so that the grounds or the sediment get passed on from refill to refill. They taint the whole, nothing is fresh.
It’s a spiritual metaphor, I suppose. They are spiritually stale as well as arrogant and complacent.
Recalls Jesus’ metaphor of how his gospel would blow up the Jewish legalism… New wine exploding old wine skins. That was also a judgement of sorts.
God’s love and his justice are on display. He grieves for them as well as urging the Babylonians to do a complete job of smashing them. Judgement, even of enemies, causes God pain.
He has a relationship with them, he also has a promise for them, right at the end. He will bring back the captives.
After this annexation they never really existed as a nation again, though some natives moved back to the region. Many have read this as a promise of global salvation.
So in summary, not much different from a judgement against Israel really. I’ve been thinking a bit recently about what being God’s chosen people meant.
Moab is judged for their sin but not apostasy. There is less of a call/opportunity to repent than Israel, but again the words against Israel are laced with the expectation that they won’t…
God does love our enemies. And everyone has a spirituality they can either keep alive or let go stale.
Death – the end of our years – comes to all. God knows all of us.