As I read through Jeremiah today, the Lord pronounced judgment over Moab. Amidst all of the prophesied destruction, this verse stood out. 

Therefore I wail over Moab, for all Moab I cry out, I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.

Jeremiah 48:31 (NIV)

I immediately thought about the Lord’s heart for all people. However, as I looked into this verse, I was surprised that some people thought this sentiment came from Jeremiah. This verse from Isaiah is similar. 

My heart cries out over Moab; her fugitives flee as far as Zoar, as far as Eglath Shelishiyah. They go up the hill to Luhith, weeping as they go; on the road to Horonaim they lament their destruction.

Isaiah 15:5 (NIV)

This verse echoes the lament over Moab. Some think that Jeremiah was speaking for himself in Jeremiah and Isaiah in Isaiah, when, in both places, it’s clearly the Lord who is speaking.

Here’s the context of Jeremiah 48:31.

We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance!— of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart. I know her insolence but it is futile,” declares the Lord, “and her boasts accomplish nothing. Therefore I wail over Moab, for all Moab I cry out, I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth. I weep for you, as Jazer weeps, you vines of Sibmah. Your branches spread as far as the sea; they reached as far as Jazer. The destroyer has fallen on your ripened fruit and grapes (emphasis added)

Jeremiah 48:29-32 (NIV)

Although Isaiah 15:5 lacks the identifier throughout the text, “declares the Lord,” it’s evident from Isaiah 15:1 that the Lord is speaking through Isaiah.

A prophecy against Moab: Ar in Moab is ruined, destroyed in a night! Kir in Moab is ruined, destroyed in a night!

Isaiah 15:1 (NIV)

However, the most significant evidence I find that the Lord mourns for Moab is seen here in Ezekiel. 

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Ezekiel 18:23 (NIV)

For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

Ezekiel 18:32 (NIV)

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV)

The theme I see here is “repent and live.” We also see this in 2 Peter.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (emphasis added).

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

If God didn’t love the people of Moab or anyone who did evil in his sight, he wouldn’t have made way for everyone to be saved through his Son, Jesus Christ. Would he? What does Scripture tell us?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.