Isaiah 16:6 vividly describes what happens to a proud nation that falls under God’s judgment: “We have heard of the pride of Moab … of his haughtiness and his pride and his wrath; but his lies shall not be so.” Throughout Scripture, the nation of Moab serves as a symbol representing all self-reliant people who turn their backs on God and fall under his judgment.
In biblical times, harvest was always a time of great celebration, yet after judgment fell on Moab, there were no shouts of “Harvest!” ringing through the streets. Any trace of joy in Moab became a thing of the past and a cloud of sadness and grief hung over the society.
Let’s consider the landscape in America today. What do you see and hear? Our proud, haughty nation has fallen under God’s divine wrath and there is a great deal of fear. When destruction hit the Twin Towers in New York City, the cry was, “This is going to change our nation forever,” and that was true. The innocence, joy and gladness that many Americans once knew are gone forever and will never be recaptured.
What we need to know is that Jesus Christ alone is the source of all joy. The Psalmist says of him, “God … has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (45:7). The oil mentioned in this psalm represents the Holy Spirit. The writer is saying, “Only those who press in to a closer walk with Jesus will obtain the joy of his Spirit.”
We who know Christ’s righteousness are not to live as those who are without hope. We have been blessed with both the love and the fear of God and he is saying to us, “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing” (Isaiah 51:11). In other words, “I’m going to have a people who return to me with trust, faith and confidence. They’ll take their eyes off their conditions and the calamities surrounding them and get back their song of joy.”