Isaiah 15:1-9

Daybreak for Students

Isaiah 15:1-9

Isaiah 15
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. — Isaiah 15:1

Large portions of the earth can be “laid waste” in a few moments. On December 26, 2004, at about 7:00 a.m., a tsunami caused great devastation from Thailand to Africa. The epicenter of the 9.3-magnitude earthquake was under the Indian Ocean near the west coast of Sumatra, an island of Indonesia. In a few seconds, trillions of tons of displaced water sent powerful shock waves in every direction. Silently, invisibly, the water pushed outward at the speed of a jet plane. As it neared the shore, the speed slowed, and large waves formed the tsunami, which caused more than 229,000 deaths. Millions of people were left homeless and whole villages were totally demolished.

The tsunami was sudden. Some people had no forewarning and others received only a brief alert — go to the highest ground. If there had been more warning, many more lives could have been saved.

In contrast, today’s text shows that the Moabites received a warning through Isaiah of impending destruction. He said that they would be suddenly cut off in the night. The seizing of them would lay the whole country open and make all the wealth of it an easy prey to the victorious army. In their case, they would be laid waste because they had rejected God and treated Israel harshly. If they would have heeded the warning given by Isaiah and repented, the story most likely would be different. Had they been broken before the Lord, they would not have been broken by the Lord.

Like Moab, we have been given many warnings. The Bible repeatedly exhorts us to turn from sin and prepare for eternity. We are told to watch because the Lord may come at any second to rapture His people, and we need to be ready. If we ignore God’s warnings, we could be “laid waste.” However, if we heed the instructions, we can anticipate the moment we will meet the Lord in the air.


The Prophet Isaiah prophesied of the great desolation that was coming upon the country of Moab, which bordered the land of Israel. He described the woeful and piteous lamentations that would be heard just three years later throughout the country when it would become prey to the Assyrian army. The Moabites would be so overwhelmed with grief that life itself would be a burden to them.

Moab was the son Lot fathered through incest with his oldest daughter. The country of Moab was one of the vilest of nations. During most of Israel’s history, the Moabites were Israel’s enemy and constantly fought against them.

Moab was a proud nation, and God condemned them for this. They did not honor the God of Israel but trusted in their own fortifications. They relied on a false god and trusted in material wealth; their god was captured and their wealth plundered. The true God would bring the people of Moab low. When they would be invaded by the Assyrians, the Moabites would change from boasting to weeping. They would no longer trust in their own fortifications.

Ar was the capital of the country, and their principle fortress was Kir. Bajith, Dibon (a center for pagan idol worship), Nebo (the mountain where God showed Moses the Promised Land, Deuteronomy 32:49), Medeba, Heshbon, Elealeh, and Jahaz were all cities or areas that Assyria would overrun. Zoar was a town bordering Moab. It was where Lot fled from Sodom when it was destroyed.

The phrase “in the night” (verse 1) may have indicated that Moab would be overthrown in one night either by an invading army or a natural disaster such as an earthquake. Nimrim (verse 6) was a well-watered valley near the Dead Sea. “No green thing” denoted a parched land as a result of war’s devastation.


(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The message of condemnation: the Holy One of Israel provoked, rebuking and judging
     C.   Prophecies related to the foreign nations
           4.   The judgment upon Moab
                 a.   The desolation of Moab (15:1-9)


  1. What prophecy was given against Moab?

  2. What actions could the Moabites have taken which might have changed what Isaiah foretold?

  3. What preparations can we make for the events the Bible says will yet come to pass in this world?


We can learn from the Moabites. If we surrender to God and follow His will, we will not be “laid waste” or unprepared when Jesus Christ returns in the Rapture.