Isaiah 16, Part 1: Shelter
What's gone before...
Isaiah was shown a vision of the impending doom and destruction of Moab, a nation close to Israel in many ways: a shared border, a common ancestor, a frequent enemy and a frequent ally.
What's happening now...
Now, in the sixteenth chapter, Isaiah continues his prophetic warning against Moab, beginning by urging Israel to be prepared to shelter and comfort the refugees that would be fleeing Moab.
Isaiah 16:1-4 (ESV) Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. Like fleeing birds, like a scattered nest, so are the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon. Give counsel; grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; shelter the outcasts; do not reveal the fugitive; let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a shelter to them from the destroyer.
Here, Isaiah describes Moab as fat with wealth and power, as a ram butting and intimidating its flock. The rambunctious Moabites would become frightened outcasts, searching for shelter.
As the mideast is invaded first by Assyria, and then by Babylonia, Moab likely fled south to the region founded by Jacob's brother, Esau, later called Edom or Idumaea.
Israel is urged to give counsel, justice and shelter to the refugees of Moab until a king is established that would rule with love, faithfulness, justice and righteousness.
Isaiah 16:5 (ESV) A throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.
Isaiah says that the king that will bring enduring peace to the land would be a descendant of David.