Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 5th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 15

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-9

Chapter 15

Now in chapter 15, he turns his attention against Moab, that area that lies just east of the Jordan and of the Dead Sea. And he begins to speak of the destruction of Moab and of some of the major cities in Moab. The cities that are destroyed at night.

Ar is laid waste, and brought to silence; Kir is laid waste, and brought to silence ( Isaiah 15:1 );

And these other cities, Bajith and Dibon, and so forth. Howling then over the mountains. Mount Nebo and Medeba, which is just east and south from Nebo.

on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off ( Isaiah 15:2 ).

This when they went into great weeping or mourning over the dead, they would shave their heads and their beards. It was a sign of great mourning. They would usually put on sackcloth, shave their head and beard. So everyone's head is shaved. Their beards are all cut off because of the slaughter that has come upon the inhabitants of Moab, the howling over the destruction.

In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth ( Isaiah 15:3 ):

The garment of mourning worn over the bare skin.

on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly. And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh ( Isaiah 15:3-4 ):

These are the cities.

their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz ( Isaiah 15:4 ):

From one end of the nation to the other.

therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be grievous unto him. My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction ( Isaiah 15:4-5 ).

And then speaking of the rivers and so forth that will be desolate. Nimrim was a river towards the south, but it's going to be dry.

the hay is withered ( Isaiah 15:6 ).

They'll flee down that way, but

the grass fails, there is no green thing ( Isaiah 15:6 ).

So there will be a drought in that area. And thus, God predicts and describes His judgment against Moab and the inhabitants of that land.

Now even as God describes the judgment against Moab, yet Moab is to figure yet in the future, and as we get into chapter 16, we find the place of Moab, which, of course, today is Jordan. We find its place during the Great Tribulation. And you'll find some very interesting things in chapter 16 where, this is where we locate the rock city of Petra as the place where the children of Israel will flee in the middle of the Great Tribulation when the antichrist comes to Jerusalem and sets himself up in the temple. And chapter 16, the word Sela is rock or petra, the rock. So the rock city of Petra is named here, the city of Sela. And as you read it, see if you can put it together in your mind, and then we'll seek to put it together for you next Sunday night as we see God's preservation of a remnant of His people from the Great Tribulation who flee to the rock city of Petra for refuge when the antichrist moves to Jerusalem in his great sacrilege against God.

So next week, sixteen. And your chapters next week are rather short. And so sixteen through twenty, but some interesting things. Chapter 19, the prediction of the Aswan Dam, and just a lot of people, not a lot of people, some people see the United States in chapter 18. If you can see the United States in chapter 18, you've got better eyes than I have. But some people make quite a bit out of chapter 18 being a prophecy concerning the United States.

As far as I'm concerned, the United States doesn't appear in prophecy except for one area where there's a possibility. And that is when Russia invades Israel, the merchants of Tarsus. Tarsus is thought to be England. And the young lions thereof shall say, "What are you doing invading this defenseless little land?" Now if the United States appears anywhere in prophecy, that's where it appears, and it is when we file a complaint to the Security Council of the United Nations asking them to soundly condemn Russia for invading the Middle East, Jerusalem. So outside of that, I really do not see the United States in prophecy, because as John tells us in the book of Revelation, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

God isn't interested in prophesying about the whole world and the nations of the world as such. He's interested in one person. And all prophecy centers around Jesus Christ. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. So as nations relate to Israel, as Israel relates to the Messiah, so these nations will come into the light of prophecy. But the purpose of prophecy is not to give us an unfolding of the whole world scheme, but to center on one person, the person of Jesus Christ in His first and in His second coming.

The nations that try to destroy Israel before the Messiah came, God deals with them in prophecy. How He is going to destroy those who are trying to destroy the nation before the Messiah could come. And then, of course, all of these prophecies that deal now with the return of Jesus Christ, the establishing of His kingdom and all. But they all really center around Jesus. So you may be disappointed that the United States doesn't show up, but when you read some of the things that are said about some of these nations that do show up, that's sort of nice that He doesn't detail what might happen here.

But come what may, my life is secure in Jesus Christ. And that's the main thing, that you be found in Him, not clothed in your own righteousness, but the righteousness which God has given you through your faith in Jesus Christ. That's the only way I want to be found. Praying that I'll be accounted worthy to escape these things that Walter Martin wants to go through.

Now he'll take issue with that statement. I'm wrong. He says he doesn't want to. He hopes that he's wrong in this point. Well, I know he's wrong so what difference does that make? Shall we stand. But I respect his right to be wrong.

May the Lord be with you, give you a beautiful week. And may His Word sustain you as you walk with Him in fellowship. May God really begin a powerful work in your life. May the Spirit of the Lord just really rest heavy upon you. And may you really have a chance to share the love of Jesus Christ with someone else this week. May God make you effective in your witness for Him. May your life be like a light shining in a dark place. That others might be drawn to that light and find the source of the light, even Jesus. So God bless you and give you a rich week in fellowship with Him. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 15". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-15.html. 2014.
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