The Moabites, of course, are descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot. They lived in an especially fertile plain between the Arnon and Zered rivers and, because of the fertility of the soil, were always prosperous. The Moabites became known for their wine making, and, for whatever reason, are always described as a prideful people. Despite the fact that God had given them their land, and secured it by forbidding Israel to possess it, the Moabites chose the god Chemosh as their national diety.
Because of her location, Moab had seldom been carried into exile, though she had been conquered several times. For that reason, she is described like wine left in a bottle. She will not, however, be gently decanted. Her bottles will be smashed and wine poured out.
The oracles against the nations should remind us that God Himself has no patience for the idea of a “separation of Church and State.” And yet, this union is a difficult one to think through. Moab was not called to worship at the temple of God in Israel. She was not under the Sinai covenant. And yet, she was expected to recognize that her position and prosperity in the world was due to the hand of God. Her value system was to mirror the Lord’s, she was to respect God’s people, and she was to acknowledge no other god but the God of Israel.
Our money bears the phrase: “In God We Trust.” It’s a reminder of an old and Christian ethic. We don’t trust in our wealth. We trust in God. It’s not just any god. It is the God of the Bible. The removal of that phrase from our currency is an insignificant controversy, but the removal of that idea from our society is anything but insignificant. It is, however, the direction our culture is headed. How do we combat that? Not with letter-writing campaigns and protests and hate speech, but with the gospel, bringing our neighbors to God. We care not what is written on our currency; we care what is written on our hearts.