Morning Light – Jeremiah 48

Today: [Jeremiah 48] Exposing Chemosh in our Lives. Are you a closet worshipper of Chemosh? No? Are you sure? In this chapter Jeremiah prophesies against Moab. Moab is a nation that was born of Lot’s incestuous union with his daughters. This was done as a desperate last restore by Lot’s daughters to assure they would have a family name that would endure. The Moab mentality is just that – the pressure we give into when we make decisions contrary to God’s word because we feel we have no other choice. Jeremiah 48 exposes this error and gives us great caution to avoid its judgments.
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[Jer 48:1-47 KJV] 1 Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded [and] taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed. 2 [There shall be] no more praise of Moab: in Heshbon they have devised evil against it; come, and let us cut it off from [being] a nation. Also thou shalt be cut down, O Madmen; the sword shall pursue thee. 3 A voice of crying [shall be] from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction. 4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. 5 For in the going up of Luhith continual weeping shall go up; for in the going down of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction. 6 Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness. 7 For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity [with] his priests and his princes together. 8 And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD hath spoken. 9 Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein. 10 Cursed [be] he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed [be] he that keepeth back his sword from blood. 11 Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. 12 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles. 13 And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence. 14 How say ye, We [are] mighty and strong men for the war? 15 Moab is spoiled, and gone up [out of] her cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts.
In this chapter Jeremiah continues to prophesy against those nations that were historically enemies of Israel throughout the centuries. Initially Jeremiah speaks against Egypt (ch. 46) and then focuses upon the Philistines (ch. 47). Egypt is referenced in this chapter as well and the nation of Moab. The Egyptians speak to us as a type of the world and that we which turn to when our faith fails – as the children in the wilderness when they cried out to Moses to take them back to Egypt. The word Philistine means “to wallow in the dust”. The Philistines represent those who understand the truth of God but give up in frustration to give themselves over to unrestrained self-interest, because they feel no motivation in themselves to live for God. Peter refers to the philistine mentality in 1 Peter 2:
[2Pe 2:20-22 KJV] 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Who are the Moabites and what might we learn from them? Moab was the brother of Ammon, the incestour sons of Lot’s drunken union with his daughters. His name, literally means “born from the mother’s father…” We must look deeper into the Lot and his family to understand the spiritual forces that caused Ammon and Moab to grow into nations that opposed God and God’s people with such ferocity as they were known for. Lot was Abraham’s nephew who came into Canaan following his uncle. God did not tell Abram to bring Lot with him, but because Lot was an orphan and Abram was childless it apparently seemed like the right thing to do under the circumstances. After all, Lot met a need in Abram for a surrogate son.
As Abram began to increase, Lot increased as well until the herdsmen of Lot and the herdsmen of Abram were contending with one another over resources to support their flocks. Abram determines that the two families must separate and gives Lot his choice of the fertile plain of Sodom or the mountainous fortress of the wilderness. Lot made the logical choice to go to the fertile plain. He knew well the corruption of the cities of the plain (Sodom and Gomorrah) but it seemed like the right thing to do. After all, how could Lot expect to survive and thrive in the wilderness.
Then after the destruction of Sodom, Lot was in hiding in one of the remaining cities of the plain. His wife is dead and there were no husbands for the daughters. They feared the people who survived the destruction of the plain when God rained fire down upon them, and therefore felt desperately the need to have children to raise up and restore the family clan of Lot. Therefore they decided to get their father drunk and to impregnate themselves by him. They were under pressure. It seemed like the only thing they could do.
We can see then that the “Lot mentality” is that attitude that surfaces when we are under great pressure and conclude we must make a compromised decision because as we say “you gotta do, what you gotta do”. This is the spirit of compromise. It is saying “yes I understand quite well what God’s word says but I live in the real world and this is the decision I must make…” Moab and Ammon are the result of all such decisions. These are enmities that come out of our minds and dominate our lives when we exclude God from our rationale and decision making as Paul concluded in Rom. 8:
[Rom 8:7 KJV] 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
All of these nations represent enmities that arise in our lives against God. Out of the carnal mind comes our inner Egyptian (turning back); our inner Philistine (wallowing in self-interest); and Moab (ungodliness resorted to under pressure). To all of these the prophet by the spirit of God speaks against in Jer. 48.
16 The calamity of Moab [is] near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast. 17 All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, [and] the beautiful rod! 18 Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon, come down from [thy] glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, [and] he shall destroy thy strong holds. 19 O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and espy; ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth, [and] say, What is done? 20 Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled, 21 And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath, 22 And upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Bethdiblathaim, 23 And upon Kiriathaim, and upon Bethgamul, and upon Bethmeon, 24 And upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near. 25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD. 26 Make ye him drunken: for he magnified [himself] against the LORD: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. 27 For was not Israel a derision unto thee? was he found among thieves? for since thou spakest of him, thou skippedst for joy. 28 O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove [that] maketh her nest in the sides of the hole’s mouth. 29 We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart. 30 I know his wrath, saith the LORD; but [it shall] not [be] so; his lies shall not so effect [it]. 31 Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; [mine heart] shall mourn for the men of Kirheres. 32 O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: thy plants are gone over the sea, they reach [even] to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage.
In examining the prophesies of Jeremiah against the nations looking on a map we can see that he is choosing these nations generally in a west to east direction. Is there significance in this? Remember, that the east is a direction closely associated with the coming of Christ. Jesus said in Matt. 24:
[Mat 24:27 KJV] 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The eastern gate of Jerusalem is also known as the king’s gate. When we move spiritually speaking from west to east we are seeking the coming of the kingdom and the coming of the king. When the king comes there must be preparation. This was the dominate theme of John the Baptist’s message:
[Mar 1:3 KJV] 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
When you prepare the way of the king you deal with the pagan influences, the nations that influence your thinking and you decisions. Making way for the king, seeking the kingdom is more than just having a warm feeling about the things of God. It is specific, soul searching preparation based on the word of God (so neglected in our day). It is applying yourself to the routing out of your personal land of promise all the nations (in yourself that have rooted themselves there) that influence your thinking and pollute your heart rendering it unfit for the habitation of the king.
33 And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; [their] shouting [shall be] no shouting. 34 From the cry of Heshbon [even] unto Elealeh, [and even] unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar [even] unto Horonaim, [as] an heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate. 35 Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, saith the LORD, him that offereth in the high places, and him that burneth incense to his gods. 36 Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kirheres: because the riches [that] he hath gotten are perished. 37 For every head [shall be] bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands [shall be] cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth. 38 [There shall be] lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure, saith the LORD. 39 They shall howl, [saying], How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him. 40 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab. 41 Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men’s hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. 42 And Moab shall be destroyed from [being] a people, because he hath magnified [himself] against the LORD. 43 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, [shall be] upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD. 44 He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, [even] upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. 45 They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones. 46 Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives. 47 Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far [is] the judgment of Moab.
In this chapter Jeremiah specifically speaks against the God of the Moabites by the name of Chemosh. Chemosh is specifically connected with Baal-zebub, the lord of the flies. He was connected with Ashteroth, the goddess of sexual expression and Greek wisdom. He was worshipped through sacrifice, specifically sacrifice of the first born son. He is a direct and anti-christ expression and opposition to the gospel. God says “I give you My first born son” and Chemosh says “I demand your first born son”. Worship of Chemosh was brought to Israel unfortunately by Solomon himself, who built two palace-temples to Chemosh to satisfied his wives who worshipped this false diety. Chemosh is also known as the fish god such as the house of Dagon in Samuel’s time when the ark was taken to the house of Dagon and the idol fell down before the ark.
As is the case with Lot and his daughters we see the sexual connection, or connotation between dealing with frustration and thwarted plans and the use of sexual means to get what one desires or to deal with the pressures of difficult circumstances. The cost is always the generation after you. Chemosh, the Moab mentality is a deep expression of self-worship, stubbornness and willingness to cast away what God has to say in a situation and determine to do things your own way. This was the dynamic of the very first sin when Eve was a part of the temptation to draw Adam away from God. Whether you are male or female this is a mentality that grips our sexualized society and turns our hearts and our focus away from God, therefore Jeremiah prophesies the destruction of the house of Moab and all that it represents. For us it is a call to examine how we respond to difficult situations and under what pressures we might make the choice, the unfortunate choice to do what we feel we must, regardless of what the word of God says.

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