We’ve talked about Isaiah’s three parts, but you might expect a book this large to be broken down into subsections – and so it is. Isaiah 1 – 35 also has three parts, and each ends with a song of rejoicing. The first part ends with chapter twelve. We have now entered the second section of Isaiah and it addresses the nations surrounding Judah, and eventually, again, Judah herself. It also ends with a psalm of rejoicing (chapter 26).
Chapters 15 and 16 focus on Moab, and it is interesting to me God spends so much time on them. Perhaps it is because the Moabites were related to Israel (through Abraham’s nephew, Lot). Perhaps it is also because, though related, and though God specifically enjoined Israel from hurting these relations, Moab was constantly a thorn in Israel’s side, oppressing them and looking to lead them astray.
Nevertheless, God had a soft spot in his heart for the Moabites and when the rod of His discipline came against them, the Lord cried (15:5). How pitiful they would have looked, refugees desperately trying to salvage something as they run for their lives. In the next chapter, the Lord is more specific as to why Moab is being judged.
As chapter 15 begins, Ar is a border town in the north. Kir is a town in the center of the Moabite kingdom. The invasion comes from the north and moves throughout the nation, occupying every corner. There is no escape for Moab.