Choose Life – Isaiah 16

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Isaiah 16

The scene has changed – Isaiah is now prophecying a Moabite cabinet meeting at Susa. Moab is fearful like Judah of the Assyrians so Isaiah “listens in” on their plans v1-4

Verse 5 shows what could be if they came to the Lord – love, faithfulness, justice and righteousness. It’s also a Messianic prophecy (a prophecy about Jesus). Jesus will establish a throne of love and sit on it faithfully forever. he will come from “the house of David” and will seek justice and speed up righteousness.
Love, faithfulness, justice and righteousness could have been what they enjoyed. Instead the Moabites chose not to choose life and get a different set of four words in v6 – pride, conceit, insolence and boasts.
Her boasts will be empty – rejecting God for self confidence us to retreat into a dream world that is a nightmare.
Verses 7-8 outline why – wailing, lamenting, grieving, withered vines, trampled vines and weeping.

In v9 God weeps at their choice “I weep” at their choice of pride and its consequences – God weeps with Moab, he is not aloof and unconnected with our sorrow, but identifies with it even though here it is the weight of his own just punishment that He feels.

God’s agony is not a “This will hurt me more than it hurts you” parental smacking. God’s heart laments and his inmost being – his guts (God is gutted!) are moved. It’s audible – like a harp v11.

When God is rejected, nothing can save – Moab will be few and feeble.

Moab chose not to choose God and coming under Judah’s protection they fled to Edom and thus judgement. (To help with geography, Moab and Edom make up Jordan today) They will turn to their enemies rather than surrender their self-will to the Lord.

If you were in the Moabite's position, what would you do?The Moabites rejected this ‘no brainer’ offer from our Merciful God because of their ‘Pride’ They would prefer to stay in Edom and take their chances. It grieved God that they wouldn’t come to Him, because He loves them, but He is also just and so they had to experience justice.

Ruth was a Moabite who did make the choice to follow God and experienced an amazing redemption and life change. God loves to bless those who follow Him.



Andy planted the Gateway Church in Sept 2007. He and Janet love to gather different nations together to grow in Christ while eating good food! He also helps to shape and serve a couple of Relational Mission's church plants in mainland Europe. Andy and Janet run regularly, largely to offset the hospitality eating! He also runs a popular WordPress plugin Church Admin