“But now the Lord has spoken, saying, ‘Within three years, as the years of a hired man, the glory of Moab will be despised with all that great multitude, and the remnant will be very small and feeble.’”
The Moabites were not only Israel’s neighbors, they were also relatives. The Moabites were descendants of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Their relationship should have created an alliance between the nations. Instead, their history was one of constant conflict. One of the most costly attacks during the wilderness years was masterminded by Balak, King of Moab. It was this constant conflict, against the people of God, which led Moab to the brink of destruction. Isaiah predicted, in three short years, Moab would be defeated and the inhabitants would be fleeing for refuge.
Since Isaiah did not date this prediction, we cannot know exactly when it was given. However, we do know, during the time of Isaiah’s ministry, the Assyrians were mounting attacks against the entire region. It was only a matter of time before Syria, Israel and Moab, fell to Assyrian forces. Hearing the warning from Isaiah, and looking around at the signs of the times, Moab should have concluded their time was short. They should seek to prepare for the unavoidable reality of coming face to face with God.
Isaiah presents an interesting scenario; he puts a shelf life on the Moabites, in order to help them prepare for eternity. It is as though they went to the doctor and heard compelling evidence that they would only live for three more years. I wonder, if the countdown officially started for me, and I knew I only had a few short years left, would I live differently? Perhaps it would do us good to examine our lives within the following categories, to determine if changes need to be made.
First, our spiritual life. God created us with a need to worship and a desire for Him. As a result, people must worship something; everyone, in one way or another, is religious. The issue is not whether or not you worship, but who you worship. Jesus explained that He came to this planet to enable us to prepare for eternity by getting right with God. This happens when we trust Christ as our Savior, and follow Him as Lord.
Second, our private life. We learn, at a very young age, to hide our wrong-doings so others cannot see them. It is important to remember, we cannot hide our sin from God, and our private life is a representation of our walk with God. Instead of hiding secret sins, we should be confessing them. Instead of spending our private time doing what we shouldn’t, we should spend that time with the Lord, in His Word and prayer.
Third, our family life. Perhaps the most important place for us to live out our Christianity is in the home. Our spouse and children learn far more from us than they ever will in a Sunday school classroom or a Bible study. Our Christian life should show itself in the home and in the way we treat our loved ones.
Finally, our community life. Jesus called people publicly, and sent them out into the world to make a difference. It is important for us to realize, we can make a difference when we live committed to the Lord. Our community life includes how we live at work, in recreation, and at our local church.
Life is short, let’s live for eternity.