Three Years

Isaiah 16:13-14. “This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning Moab since that time. But now the Lord hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude: and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.”

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In these two final verses of Isaiah’s lament over Moab, God reveals that it will be three years from the time Isaiah made these warnings before Moab falls to Assyria.  “As an hireling” is confirmation of the three year period. It was the custom for a hireling to have a three-year contract with his employer. At the end of three years, the hireling could choose to continue, or to leave.

The number of survivors would be very small, merely a remnant; that remnant would be weak, unable to defend themselves, feeble and without hope.

And that is exactly what happened. You can read the story in 2 Kings 17, in which Assyria takes the 10 northern tribes of Israel, along with Moab, into captivity.

Isaiah’s Lament

Isaiah 16:10-12. “And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field: and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses: I have made their vintage shouting to cease. Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an  harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh. And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the the high place, that he shall come to his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail.”

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As Isaiah saw the bleak future that awaited Moab because of its pride and sin in turning to idol worship, he makes these verses, from 6-14, very personal. He sees what is coming, but has no power to stop it. He is grieved, and expresses his grief in heart-felt words.

No Harvest

Isaiah 16:8-9. “For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come even unto Jazer, they wanered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea. Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer  the vice of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon,  and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen.”

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In his lamenting over the fall of Moab, Isaiah describes how even the agricultural fields have been torn apart by the enemy, and left desolate, with no one to cultivate the vines.

Heshbon was the capital of Sihon. Sibmah is perhaps the same as Sumia, three miles west of Heshbon.

It was customary, during the harvest and especially the harvest of grapes, for the people to rejoice with loud singing and shouts of joy for the bounty of the vines. That would not happen when Moab fell to Assyria. It would be quiet throughout the land, except for the weeping of the survivors.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Connection

The wi-fi here comes through my PC, and my laptop is connected via wi-fi  Sometimes it takes a minute or two for the connection to happen, and I get the message:

“No connection. Check cables, router,”  etc. etc. etc. All I need to do is click on the wi-fi icon at the top of my page, and then click on my personal wi-fi network.  Good to go, literally in a matter of seconds.

Quick application?  Sure.  Lots of times, it takes my brain a few seconds to agree with my body that it’s time to wake up–and part of my waking routine is to spend a few seconds in prayer before my feet hit the floor.  Kind of a “good morning, Lord, please guide my thoughts, words and actions today.”

Sometimes, though,  I forget to do that. It’s usually a matter of just a few minutes before I realize I’m not connected, a few seconds more to rectify that situation. The difference in the computer situation is that I have to remember to flip on my PC before I can get wi-fi on my laptop.


God is always up and running. Day or night, 24/7, He is available and ready to work. I was so thankful for that this morning.  As I rolled to a sitting position, and my feet hit the floor, I felt that little tweak in my back that signaled trouble. I sat very still, praying for God to touch that place, and when I stood I did it with the support of my cane and my bedpost.

Stood still for a minute, stretched a little bit, and found I was good to go.

And that, my friends, is how an old lady with an old back has to do things sometimes. I’m thankful that my God is always connected. The only communication failure that happens between us is mine.


Moab’s Unique Role

Isaiah 16: 6-7. “We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so. Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kirhareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken.”

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Isaiah often combines his prophecies of the near future and then looks beyond that to the end times when all prophecy will be complete.  Moab, in Isaiah’s time, will be defeated by Assyria, and will suffer complete destruction. I looked at several explanations for the versions that translate raisin cakes for the foundations of Kir-haraseth. There seems to be general agreement that the raisin cakes, a sweet delicacy, and perhaps also flagons of wine, were offered in sacrifice to the gods of the Moabites. It’s an obscure reference, though, and I’m not a student of the Hebrew language.  I have to depend on commentaries. This does seem, though to be the generally agreed translation and meaning.

Moab has a unique place in history, because not only was Moab a place of refuge for the Jews in Isaiah’s day; it will also be a refuge for the remnant that escape from Antichrist, and will be sheltered in Petra, to become the nucleus of the race heading into the Millenial Kingdom.

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Petra is an amazing place, with temples and housing built right into the rock. There are no easy roads into Petra, which makes it highly defensible.  I’d love to see it someday.

Moab Preserved

Isaiah 16:3-5. “Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. 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 ceaseth, 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.”

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These verses refer to the time of the future great tribulation,
the time of Jacob’s trouble.”  At the end of the warfare of Har-Magedon, the King of the North will pass through Palestine, “the glorious land,” on his way  to conquer Egypt. But Edom, Moab, and Ammon will “be delivered” (Dan. 11:41).Satan will have instigated Antichrist to lead the armies of the Roman power to exterminate the Jewish people, and particularly the godly remnant who have already turned to Jesus, Messiah. Those Jews will have escaped to the rocky, deep valleys and the mountains in Moab (Matt. 24:16). Moab is to guard them and nourish them there for 3 1/2 years (Rev. 12:14, with verse 6).

Moab is to listen to godly counsel, and make godly judgments. They are to be the refuge for believing Jews, hiding them. To bewray is to make accusations, to speak unkindly about someone, to betray people.

The believing Jews who survive in Petra of Moab will be the nucleus  God uses to establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. The spoiler and the extortioner is Antichrist, who promised much but meant not a word he said.

Moab as a Shelter

Isaiah 16:1-2. “Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For, it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of  Arnon.”

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In 16:1,  “the ruler of the land” is the occupant of the throne of Dave, to whom the tribute of lambs is to be paid by Moab, represented here by Sela, or Petra.This tribute had been sent to Samaria (2 Kings 3:4); now the lambs must be sent to Jerusalem and this will be the case, by way of Gentile tribute, when Christ comes to deliver Israel (15:5).

The plea in verse 1 is for Moab to shelter the Jews who survive Antichrist, and to protect them and nourish them.  The Moabites are compared to wandering birds. A bird cast out of its nest will wander from place to place, seeking its home. This is the way the Moabites will react when Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, and the Jews are forced to flee or they will die.  Moab becomes a place for them to hide, and to be taken care of. During this period, the last half of the Tribulation, Israel will become strong enough to take a last and victorious stand over Antichrist, who will have spent 3 1/2 years warring against those nations who rise up against him when they finally understand his true purpose.

No Escape

Isaiah 15:7-9. “Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows. For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab: the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beer-elim. For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land.”

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The people of Moab are going to try to rescue whatever they can, in terms of crops for food, and probably their household goods and money. The Brook of the Willows seems to have been a boundary between Moab and the Jordan River. They would be looking for a place of escape and shelter, hoping to save whatever they could from the destruction of their enemies.

Verse 8 mentions other boundaries of Moab, where the news of the fall of their land will spread with great lamentation and crying. The waters of Dimon, another boundary, would be red with the blood of the slain.  And to make matters worse, there would be lions that would hunt escapees from Moab.

There would be very little success in their efforts to escape the armies of Assyria.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Back to Church

It’s going to be a short one this morning.  Terry’s fixing bacon and eggs for us for breakfast, an unusual and welcome treat.

I’m going back to church after three weeks out.  My back is once again settling down, and I think I’ll be okay.  I just have to remember to take my lumbar pillow to put between my swayback and the back of the pew.

Don’t know what swayback is? Here you go:


Or just think of a very old horse:

Anyway, it’s been a tough three weeks.   I’ve worked and come home and crawled into bed. Terry wants to know why I don’t just take off work when the back goes hinky on me. It’s because I can’t live with the guilt.  I’ve missed so much since October, and I especially hate to cancel on new clients that I’ve just started seeing.

I got one of those seat cushions that are supposed to take the pressure off your lower back and tailbone. We’ll see.

Anyway, a blessed and relaxing Sunday to all of you.  I hope you’ll find a place to attend a good church today, enjoy being with other believers, and have your soul encouraged by the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.


Every blogger has access to  all kinds of interesting information about who is reading our blogs.  The stats page never gives personal names, of course, but it does tell us what countries and even what cities our readers are from. It shows demographics such as age groups, and how many people are repeat visitors  and how many are there for the first time.  I have no idea how they gather all this information, and I really don’t care. Usually, all I look at is the daily numbers.

This week, though,  something rather unusual happened. On Wednesday, I had about twice the normal numbers of visits; then on Thursday, there were 194 hits, all from Qatar, along with the rest of the people who visited  my blog that day. They hadn’t all visited the same post.  There are hundreds of posts now, after four years of almost-daily writing.

But–Qatar?  Really?


It’s a little peninsula connected to Saudi Arabia and surrounded by the Arabian Gulf.  I’ve read quite a bit about Qatar, and found that it is mostly comprised of Sunni Muslims, and Islam is the official religion, and Islam is the basis of jurisprudence in Qatar. When I asked my computer about the Christian population of Qatar, this is what I learned:

The Christian community in Qatar is a diverse mix of European, North and South American, Asian, Middle Eastern and African expatriates. They form around 13.8% of the total population (2010). … missionary groups operate openly in the country. There are no local Christians in Qatar; all Christians are foreign expatriates.

I don’t suppose I’ll ever know why I had all that traffic from Qatar,  but I do find it curious. Did a Christian  from a Christian community stumble across my blog and share it with his friends?  Or did a Muslim stumble across it and find it interesting enough to share it with others?

I mean, if you were in my place, wouldn’t YOU like to know?