LOOK UP: The Judgment of An Ancient People and the Messianic Expectation












Today’s selected passage continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, and begins with the first verse of the fifteenth chapter and continues through to the fourteenth verse of the sixteenth chapter. These two chapters within the book of Isaiah continue the prophetic utterances of Isaiah to the nations, lands and people which surround Judah round about. The previous two chapters dealt exclusively with Babylon and the king of Babylon, while these two chapters transition from an empire on the rise to a nation which bordered the house of Israel. Before moving any further in the prophetic utterance of Isaiah concerning Moab it is necessary to understand the origin of Moab, which begins in the Old Testament book of Genesis. “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. AND THE FIRSTBORN BARE A SON, AND CALLED HIS NAME MOAB: THE SAME IS THE FATHER OF THE MOABITES UNTO THIS DAY. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day” (Genesis 19:30-38). This particular passage is necessary, for in order to understand the demise and ruin of Moab within the earth one must first understand the origin of Moab. Moab as an individual was born out of an incestuous relationship between Lot’s oldest daughter and Lot himself. As a result of Lot’s daughter knowing her own father, she conceived and brought forth a son who would bear the name Moab—Moab who would eventually become the father of the nation and people of Moab. What one must also understand concerning this ancient nation is that Moab was conceived by the eldest daughter of Lot by her own father—her father who was nephew to Abraham. In all reality, the nation and people of Moab—though they did not come directly from the seed and bosom of Abraham as did Isaac and Ishmael—were directly linked and connected to Abraham. Consider the reality that from Abraham would come ancient nations and peoples that would inhabit the earth during the days of Israel. From Abraham’s own bosom would come the nation and people of Israel, as well as the Arab people who proceeded from Ishmael. Also connected to Abraham was the nation and people of Edom, the nation and people of Moab, the nation and people of Ammon. Thus, three of Israel’s neighbors—Moab, Ammon and Edom—were directly linked to Israel through their ancestor and progenitor Abraham. Moab came into existence in the earth as a result of an incestuous relationship between Lot’s eldest daughter and Lot after she caused him to drink and become drunk. Concerning the nation and people of Moab one must understand that this was a people that were conceived in an unusual manner as Lot’s own daughter not only got him drunk, but also took advantage of his drunken state and lie with him during the night. The nation and people of Moab were essentially born out of an unholy alliance as Lot’s eldest daughter conceived a child through him after witnessing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain of Jordan.

 Once one knows and understands the origin of Moab and how it was conceived through the incestuous relationship between Lot and his eldest daughter, one must then transition to the Old Testament book of Numbers. It is in the twenty-second chapter of the book of Numbers that we encounter the children of Israel in the wilderness and their pitching camp in a very specific location. “And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blesses is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak” (Numbers 22:1-7). It is important that we examine this particular passage of Scripture, for within this passage we find the children of Israel entering into the land of Moab and pitching themselves there. There very presence within the land of Moab thrust both king and people into a great distress and fear, as they had witnessed what the children of Israel had done to the Amorites. WHEN PREVIOUS VICTORY DISTRESSES FUTURE ADVERSARIES! How absolutely incredible it is that the victory the children of Israel experienced over the Amorites would reverberate among the nations of the earth, and would thrust countless nations and peoples into a great distress. With each subsequent triumph and victory the children of Israel would experience in the wilderness, the hearts of kings and people alike would faint and become distressed. Upon hearing how the Lord devastated the Egyptians, and how He brought the children of Israel forth from their land, and proceeded to part the Red Sea before them, a report began to echo in the earth of a people not only on the rise, but a people on the march.

 This concept of previous victories is actually one that is quite remarkable and astounding for it presents us with an incredibly powerful picture for our own lives. It was because of what the children of Israel did to the Amorites that caused a deep distress to seize the heart of the king of Moab—a distress that was so deeply embedded within his heart that he sought for a way to bring about their destruction. Balak king of Moab was fearful at the sight and presence of the children of Israel because of the report he had heard, but it was something else altogether when this people entered into his land and pitched themselves in the midst of it. “AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SET FORWARD, AND PITCHED IN THE PLAINS OF MOAB!” Please don’t lose sight of or miss the significance of those words, for it reveals something incredibly powerful concerning the people of God. WHEN THE ENCAMPMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD THRUSTS THE ENEMY INTO A PANIC! It’s worth noting that the people of Israel didn’t show any indication of mounting any attack against the people of Moab, yet just their very presence in the midst of the land thrust them into a panic, a frenzy and fright. Pause for a moment and consider that reality—the reality that even the very presence of the people of God could actually cause enemies and adversaries to be utterly and completely consumed with terror and fear. Imagine living in such a place that even your very presence in the midst of the enemy’s territory thrusts the enemy into a complete panic and frenzy. Imagine living in such a place with God that even your very presence in the land causes your enemies and adversaries to be completely seized with fear and terror. The children of Israel lived in such a place as a report was beginning to reverberate and echo throughout the earth as the hearts of men were beginning to fail them for fear. I feel a great need to pause at this juncture and ask whether or not your life thrusts the entire camp of the enemy into a complete and utter panic. What report is being heard concerning your life in this generation? Is the enemy hearing reports of how the Lord has devastated the Egyptians on your behalf? Is the enemy hearing reports how the Lord has delivered you out of your bondage and oppression? Is the enemy hearing reports of how the Lord has parted the Red Sea on your behalf? Is the enemy hearing reports of how the Lord has devastated adversaries and foes before you? It is absolutely imperative that we understand the power of testimony and the power of report being circulated within the earth concerning your life. Never underestimate the incredible power of testimony and the report of your life in the camp of the enemy.

 The first recorded instance of Moab in the Old Testament—at least as it pertains to their activity—is found in this chapter as Balak king of Moab sought to purchase the services of Balaam. It was Balak’s desire that Balaam would curse the children of Israel for they were too mighty for him. Did you catch that? FOR THEY ARE TOO MIGHTY FOR ME! Consider what it would be like to live in such a place when the enemy actually declares that the people of God are too mighty for him. In all reality, I do not believe that we are in this place at this particular moment in time. These words spoken by Balak actually provide us with a powerful witness and testimony in the earth concerning the people of God—the testimony that the people of God are too mighty for the adversary to defeat and overpower. Balak spoke of the children of Israel as being too mighty for them, and I can’t help but wonder if such a testimony surrounds your life in this generation. Is the enemy speaking and saying of you that you are too mighty for him? Is the enemy saying of the congregation in which you are a part that you are too mighty for him? Balak saw the children of Israel as being too mighty for him—a testimony which was one which was echoed even before the children of Israel were brought forth from their bondage and oppression in Egypt. Consider what is recorded of Pharaoh king of Egypt concerning the children of Israel dwelling in the land of Goshen—“Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens” (Exodus 1:8-11). What led to and caused the affliction, the oppression and bondage of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt was the fear and insecurities which resided in the heart of the new king in the land of Egypt. It was this new king who saw the children of Israel as being more and mightier than the Egyptians themselves—a reality that absolutely terrified him if they joined themselves to the enemies of Egypt in war, fought against them, and went up out of the land.

 Balak king of Moab declared of the children of Israel that they were too mighty for him, and Pharaoh king of Egypt declared of the same people that they were more and mightier than the Egyptians. What a powerful concept this is—the concept that our enemies and adversaries can actually be thrust into a great panic and frenzy because of us. There were two kings within the earth whose hearts were gripped with fear because of the great size and might of the people of God—a reality which I can’t help but wonder if it is true in this generation. Tell me dear brother, tell me dear sister—is the enemy terrified of you? Does the testimony and report of your life send fear, terror and dread into the heart and camp of the enemy? What is the testimony and report of your church in the camp of the enemy within the earth? Does the church of which you are apart of even strike fear into the heart of your adversary in these Last Days? There were two kings in the earth whose hearts melted within them because of fear of the children of Israel—because of what they had done to their adversaries, and what the Lord had done on their behalf. THE TWO-FOLD TESTIMONY OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD! If you study the history of the children of Israel in the wilderness you will discover that there was a two-fold testimony and two-fold report that preceded them in the earth. The first part of this testimony and report was what the Lord did for them on their behalf—namely, devastating the land of the Egyptians, delivering them up out of the land of Egypt, destroying Pharaoh’s army with the waters of the Red Sea, and parting the waters of the Red Sea for the children of Israel. The second part of this testimony and report was what the children of Israel actually began doing in the earth—namely, defeating the Og king of Bashan, Sihon king of Heshbon. The inhabitants of the land began hearing a report in the earth of how the children of Israel had defeated these two kings, as well as what the children of Israel did to the Amorites. On the one side of the testimony and report we discover what the Lord did on behalf of the children of Israel while on the other side of the testimony and report we discover what the children of Israel did. The first side of the testimony and report of the people of God is what the Lord did for them while the second side of the testimony and report is what the people of God began doing themselves. It is absolutely necessary that we understand this reality—a reality that is echoed in the eighteenth chapter of the book of the Psalms.

 “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also and came down: and darkness was under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave His voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, He sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:4-19). It is with these words that we see the testimony and report of what the Lord did for David in the earth on his behalf. As you continue reading the same passage of Scripture you will notice a transition and shift in David’s testimony as David moved from declaring what the Lord did for Him to what the Lord enabled Him to do Himself: “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken in mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but He answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me” (Psalm 18:32-42).

 While it is wonderful to bear the testimony and report of what the Lord has done in the earth on your behalf, it is not enough simply to say what the Lord has done. If neither the children of Israel nor David king of Israel could exist with the testimony of what the Lord did by itself; what makes us think that we can do so in our generation? The account of the children of Israel as well as the words of David king of Israel recorded in the eighteenth Psalm reveal the incredible power—not only of what the Lord did on behalf of those whom He loved, but also what He enabled those whom He loved to accomplish. The children of Israel bore a testimony and report in the earth concerning what the Lord had done for them, but accompanying that testimony and report was what the children of Israel did themselves. “And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people…” Pay close attention to these words for it was the testimony of what the children of Israel had done to the Amorites that caused Balak’s heart to be gripped and seized with fear—this as well as the report of how many and how mighty they were. Balak’s heart was seized and gripped with fear because of the report he heard of what the children of Israel had just done to a neighboring people—fear which prompted him to rise up and seek a way to overpower and destroy them. I believe that the Lord desires to give each and every one of His people—each and every saint and disciple of Christ—a testimony of what He personally enabled them to do. There is the testimony of what the Lord has done for you on your behalf, but there is another testimony of what the Lord has enabled you to do yourself. I am convinced that we must rise up with both sides of this testimony for there are times when the Lord will call and instruct us to stand still and see His salvation, while there other times when the Lord will call and instruct us to rise up and engage the enemy full force with everything we have within us. In these Last Days and in this generation there must be a testimony and report of what the Lord Himself has done on behalf of and for His people, while there must also be a testimony and report of what the Lord has personally enabled us to do ourselves. It was the testimony of what the children of Israel had done in the earth to the Amorites that caused the heart of Balak to be gripped with fear, and it may very well be the testimony of what the Lord has enabled and does enable us to do that causes the heart of our adversary and enemy to be gripped with fear.

 As you study the Old Testament you will discover that Balak king of Moab was the first one who sought to oppose and oppress the children of Israel—a reality which would eventually result in the children of Israel intermingling and defiling themselves together with the daughters of Moab. When you come to the Old Testament book of Judges you will find that the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and as a result of their evil the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel. The children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab until they cried out in their distress and the Lord raised up Ehud as one of their judges. In the book of Numbers it was the king and people of Moab who were distressed because of the children of Israel, while in the book of Judges it was the children of Israel who were distressed because of the king and people of Moab. I feel it prudent and necessary to declare to you that you were never created to be distressed by the adversary nor the many foes that may rise up against you. When the Lord formed and created you He did so in order that you might distress the enemy—never that the enemy might distress you in any area of your life. I feel it wise for any who read this to ask themselves if there are any areas in their life where the enemy has been permitted to distress them and to deal with those areas quickly. I would dare say that there are far too many men and women in this generation who are being distressed by the adversary rather than distressing the adversary themselves. WHEN THE REPORT OF THE SAINTS DISTRESSES THE ENEMY! The people of God should never have to send up or send out distress signals, but should instead thrust the camp of the enemy into complete and utter distress. Let us examine any areas of our lives where we have allowed or are allowing the enemy to distress us because of any evil, any rebellion, any wickedness, any transgression we have permitted to exist within us. If the enemy has been or is presently distressing us we must ask ourselves how and why the enemy has been permitted to do so. In these Last Days and in this generation we must live in such a place where the adversary has absolutely no ability to distress us in any area of our lives. Are you willing to rise up and once and for all prohibit the adversary from distressing your life, your family, your home, your marriage, your children, your finances, etc. in any way? I will declare it to you once more: THE ADVERSARY WAS NEVER INTENDED TO DISTRESS YOU IN ANY AREA OF YOUR LIFE!

 What we read in the prophetic book of Isaiah is actually quite astounding, for through the words he spoke according to the inspiration and anointing of the Spirit we find Moab being addressed by the Lord of hosts Himself. The words which the prophet Isaiah spoke are quite remarkable for they reveal the Lord bringing judgment upon this people which bordered the house of Israel and distressed them on more than one occasion. During the days after Ahab’s death Moab rebelled against the king of Israel and sought to engage them in battle and conflict. In the twentieth chapter of the book of Second Chronicles we read that the children of Moab and the children of Ammon came against Jehoshaphat in battle with others. Through the passages found in the book of Judges as well as the book of Second Chronicles we discover that on more than one occasion Moab distressed the children of Israel and even joined themselves together with others to engage them in battle and conflict. When the Lord spoke through His servant the prophet Isaiah concerning Moab, He was speaking directly to an ancient people that had sought to oppress and distress the children of Israel. The Lord was going to deal with this people who sought to curse the children of Israel in the wilderness, distress them during the days of the Judges, and engage them in battle during the days of Jehoshaphat. It’s worth noting that when the prophet Isaiah spoke concerning Moab according to the word of the Lord he was prophesying the judgment of the Lord toward a people that had oppressed, distressed and engaged the people of God in battle and conflict. The time would come when the Lord Himself would deal with them directly, and would bring upon them His judgment. The Lord would deal with Moab for their treatment of the children of Israel when they entered into their border during their journey through the wilderness. “The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their head shall be baldness, and every beard cut off” (Isaiah 15:1).

 The words which we read in the fifteenth and sixteenth chapter are actually quite astounding for they reveal the Lord dealing directly with that people which sought to curse, sought to distress, and sought to engage in battle the children of Israel and people of God. The day of recompense would come when the Lord Himself would call into account that ancient people—that ancient people which rose up against the children of Israel as both adversary and foe. The Lord would personally rise up against and deal with that nation and people which sought to destroy the children of Israel and completely remove them from the earth. I am utterly and completely intrigued by the words which are recorded beginning with the fourth verse of the fifteenth chapter—“Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceasseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking, judgment, and hasting righteousness” (Isaiah 15:4-5). THE SPOILER CEASETH! THE OPPRESSORS ARE CONSUMED! Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord not only declared that the spoiler would cease and the oppressors would be consumed, but the Lord also declared that the throne of David would be established in the earth, and that the Son of David would sit upon that throne in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. In other words, directly connected to the ceasing of the spoiler and the consuming of the oppressors was a Messianic prophecy that further incited the Messianic hope, the Messianic expectation, and the Messianic anticipation. In other words, within this prophetic declaration concerning Moab was another Messianic prophecy designed to produce hope, anticipation and expectation in the hearts of the people of the Lord. WHEN THE JUDGMENT OF AN ANCIENT FOE LEADS TO MESSIANIC EXPECTATION! It may very well be that the judgment of this people did in and of itself serve as a sign to the people of God that the Messiah would indeed come. When the children of Israel returned from their captivity in the land of the Chaldeans they would return to their inheritance with ancient peoples, foes and adversaries completely removed—a sign to them that the Messiah would indeed come and be manifested.

How absolutely wonderful it is that the judgment of the Lord upon ancient foes and adversaries lead to, produce and even increase the Messianic hope and expectation within our hearts and lives. If there is one thing this particular passage of Scripture reveals—it’s not necessarily that the Lord would bring judgment upon ancient foes and adversaries. The words of the prophet Isaiah were not meant to produce an arrogant boasting in the hearts, minds and mouths of the children of Israel. I am convinced the words of the prophet Isaiah in this passage were meant to produce within the hearts a specific Messianic hope and anticipation that would guide them throughout the years. In other words, as certainly and surely as the children of Israel could anticipate the judgment of Moab, they must also anticipate the coming of the Messiah. The question I feel must be asked right now is whether or not you are living with a Messianic expectation within your heart. There were those who lived with a Messianic expectation for the first coming of the Messiah, while there is now another people and generation that lives with a different Messianic expectation. We in these Last Days do not live with the same Messianic expectation which those under the Old Covenant lived with. We in these Last Days live with the Messianic expectation that Jesus is indeed coming back in the same way in which He departed. How absolutely incredible it is that there was the Messianic expectation of the Old Covenant and there is a Messianic expectation under the New Covenant. Ever since Eden there has been a Messianic hope and expectation in the earth, which means there has always been a people looking for, hoping for and expecting the Messiah. Dear brother, dear sister—are you living with a Messianic hope within your heart and spirit? Are you living with a Messianic expectation within your heart and spirit? In these Last Days there is a great need for those who are living with a Messianic hope and expectation which keeps them looking for and waiting for the Messiah. Oh that we would live with such an excitement, such an expectation, such an enthusiasm, such an anticipation, and such a hope for the coming of the Messiah—the coming of the Messiah to gather unto Himself all the saints of God. Let us read this passage and anticipate the judgment and destruction of ancient foes, adversaries and enemies, but even more than this anticipate the coming of our Messiah as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the One who would rule all nations with a rod of iron.

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