Opening Prayer

All praise and glory and honor and thanks belong to you, O God. Accept mine for you today and forever.

Read JEREMIAH 48:1-25

A Message About Moab

48 Concerning Moab:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.
    Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured;
    the stronghold[a] will be disgraced and shattered.
Moab will be praised no more;
    in Heshbon[b] people will plot her downfall:
    ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’
You, the people of Madmen,[c] will also be silenced;
    the sword will pursue you.
Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim,
    cries of great havoc and destruction.
Moab will be broken;
    her little ones will cry out.[d]
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping bitterly as they go;
on the road down to Horonaim
    anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
Flee! Run for your lives;
    become like a bush[e] in the desert.
Since you trust in your deeds and riches,
    you too will be taken captive,
and Chemosh will go into exile,
    together with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will come against every town,
    and not a town will escape.
The valley will be ruined
    and the plateau destroyed,
    because the Lord has spoken.
Put salt on Moab,
    for she will be laid waste[f];
her towns will become desolate,
    with no one to live in them.

10 “A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
    A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!

11 “Moab has been at rest from youth,
    like wine left on its dregs,
not poured from one jar to another—
    she has not gone into exile.
So she tastes as she did,
    and her aroma is unchanged.
12 But days are coming,”
    declares the Lord,
“when I will send men who pour from pitchers,
    and they will pour her out;
they will empty her pitchers
    and smash her jars.
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh,
    as Israel was ashamed
    when they trusted in Bethel.

14 “How can you say, ‘We are warriors,
    men valiant in battle’?
15 Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded;
    her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,”
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
16 “The fall of Moab is at hand;
    her calamity will come quickly.
17 Mourn for her, all who live around her,
    all who know her fame;
say, ‘How broken is the mighty scepter,
    how broken the glorious staff!’

18 “Come down from your glory
    and sit on the parched ground,
    you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon,
for the one who destroys Moab
    will come up against you
    and ruin your fortified cities.
19 Stand by the road and watch,
    you who live in Aroer.
Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping,
    ask them, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered.
    Wail and cry out!
Announce by the Arnon
    that Moab is destroyed.
21 Judgment has come to the plateau—
    to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,
22     to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
23     to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
24     to Kerioth and Bozrah—
    to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25 Moab’s horn[g] is cut off;
    her arm is broken,”
declares the Lord.

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  1. Jeremiah 48:1 Or captured; / Misgab
  2. Jeremiah 48:2 The Hebrew for Heshbon sounds like the Hebrew for plot.
  3. Jeremiah 48:2 The name of the Moabite town Madmen sounds like the Hebrew for be silenced.
  4. Jeremiah 48:4 Hebrew; Septuagint / proclaim it to Zoar
  5. Jeremiah 48:6 Or like Aroer
  6. Jeremiah 48:9 Or Give wings to Moab, / for she will fly away
  7. Jeremiah 48:25 Horn here symbolizes strength.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Pray for deliverance from constructing your security on the shifting sands of false premises, politically, ideologically, or theologically. Ask for wisdom to distinguish between falsehood and the truth.

Think Further

From time to time, men and women make speeches that change the course of history. Martin Luther King’s speech in Washington DC on August 28, 1963, led directly to two pivotal Civil Rights Acts that transformed the fortunes of millions of African Americans. Jeremiah 48 is similarly powerful in determining the fate of Moab. The Lord is Sovereign. His utterances, cast into stone, for good or ill, determine the futures of the objects of his decisions.

The Lord’s declaration starts with a list of six of the most important cities of Moab: Nebo, Kiriathaim, Heshbon, Madmen, Horonaim, and Luhith (other towns are added – see vs 21–24). The ‘Woe’ (v 1) announces distress, death, and God’s judgment. Moab’s centers of power, security, influence, and safety – and their populations – have been weighed in the balance, found wanting and destined for destruction. The destruction by Nebuchadnezzar (580 BC) will be catastrophic and will spread to the valleys, plains, and hills (vs 8,9). Complacent Moab, likened to undisturbed wine (vs 11–14), will be poured out.

The other object of the Lord’s wrath is Chemosh, the Moabite god and his priests. They, too, will go into exile. Both Judah, who trusted in Bethel, and Moab, whose people trusted in their own strength and in Chemosh, will be thrust out into exile. Although the human agent of this destruction is Nebuchadnezzar, the true originator of the judgment is God. Ultimately, all nations and human beings will have to give an account before God. He is the final judge. Blessed is the nation, man, or woman whose trust is in the name of the Lord.


Every day, competing ideologies seek our allegiance. Influencers try to persuade us to buy into their lifestyle remedies. Be wise in choosing who or what you trust.

Closing prayer

Almighty God, I confess that there are times when I am distracted from your truth. Forgive my sin. Give me wisdom and courage to do what is right in your eyes.

Last Updated on December 12, 2023 by kingstar

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