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Prophecies Against the Philistines and the Moabites

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Lessson #41

  • Memory Verse: Isa 14:26
  • Now that we have seen the fulfillment of the prophecies in 586 BC given by Jeremiah that predicted:
    • … the destruction of the nation of Judah
    • … the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and
    • … the destruction of Solomon’s beautiful temple.
  • The prophecies of Jeremiah are not finished. God is going to show us how Israel’s enemies will pay for their transgressions against Israel.
    • Remember that the small remnant of Israelites that survived the Babylonian attack and still lived in Judah was looking for some nation in which it could find refuge. The remnant chose Egypt and took Jeremiah and Baruch as captives to Egypt.
    • In our last lesson we examined the prophecy against Egypt in Jer 46 which was fulfilled in 568 BC. But Egypt was not Israel’s only enemy.
    • In chapter 47 we are going to examine the prophecy against the Philistines.
  • Background:
    • The Philistines had been enemies of Israel since the days of Joshua when the Israelites first entered the Promised Land.
      • When Moses sent out the 12 spies (Num 13:1-3, 27-33) to determine the strength of the enemy, the spies reported that the inhabitants were giants in comparison to them. Remember that Goliath, the giant that David killed was a Philistine.
        • The Israelites were so afraid of this enemy that they refused to trust God that He would fulfill His promise and give them victory on entering the Promised Land.
      • The Israelites had to wander the wilderness for 40 years because of unbelief until the next generation.
      • Joshua led the next generation into the Promised Land to confront this enemy, the Philistines, and the Canaanites, and a myriad of other tribes.
    • Even though the Israelites entered the Promised Land trusting God to give them victory, the Israelites still disobeyed God’s command to destroy all the inhabitants of the land including all the Canaanites and all the Philistines. (Deu 20:17-18) As a result, the Philistines plagued Israel for many years. They were a constant thorn in Israel’s side.
    • When Saul became king, the Israelites were still fighting the Philistines.
    • When David became king, the Philistines were still a dangerous enemy. Why were they so strong?
      • The Philistines were involved in overseas trading. They could buy the highest technology of that day.
      • The Philistines possessed advanced weapons of warfare. They knew how to forge metal weapons.
  • Read Jer 47:1-7 The Prophecy against the Philistines
    • Tyre and Sidon are mentioned in verse 4. These were two prosperous city/states leading the world in trade. The people of Tyre and Sidon were Phoenicians related to the Philistines and allies in trade.
    • Tyre and Sidon are included in the prophecy about the destruction of the Philistines. The Philistines would not be able to seek help from Tyre and Sidon to the North of Israel. (4)
      • The Babylonian army eventually destroyed the cities of Tyre and Sidon. Jeremiah says there were cut off from the Philistines. (4) However, it took a 13 year siege to defeat these cities by cutting them off from their world trading income.
      • The Babylonian army destroyed the major cities of the Philistines, Gaza and Ashkelon.
    • The Phoenician city/states of Tyre and Sidon and the Philistines did not survive as geographic political entities after the Babylonian attacks.
    • The Israelites failed because of their disobedience to destroy the Philistines and all the other tribes in Joshua’s day. This meant that God would have to do it. God would use Babylon to destroy these people. Why was God so intent on destroying the Philistines and the tribes that already lived in the Promised Land?
      • These people that lived in the land God promised to the Jews were morally corrupt people.
      • Archaeology has proven that they were totally infected with venereal diseases because of their corrupt life style.
      • God in His mercy wanted to protect His people from their pagan gods and from their immorality.
      • Yes, God could have wiped them off the face of the earth in a miraculous instant. Instead He told Joshua that they should fight against this evil.
        • Man, with faith in God, must do his part to cooperate with God’s plan in obedience.
        • Only when we obediently cooperate with God will we see great victories in our lives.
  • Read Jer 48:1-47 The Prophecy against Moab fulfilled in 582 BC
    • Backgroud:
      • From the days of Moses and Joshua, the tiny nation of Moab became a persistent enemy of Israel.
      • Moab was one of three small nations East of the Jordan River…Edom, Moab, and Ammon.
      • Moab was known as God’s Garbage Can.
        • Read Psa 108:9 “Moab is my washpot” (“garbage can”)
        • God considered Moab the place where dirty clothes were washed. In other words, spiritually speaking, it was a place where God would put a believer through trials in order to wash out the filth from his life. What was left there in Moab was all the “garbage” from a person’s life.
        • This is where Ruth came from after God changed her life and moved her to Bethlehem in the book of Ruth
      • At times these three little nations, Edom, Moab, and Ammon combined their efforts to fight against Israel.
      • This territory now belongs to the nation of Jordan and Hashemite Dynasty of Jordanian kings.
    • God gives His reasons for their destruction. (7, 26, 27)
      • They trusted in their wealth instead of coming to trust in God.
      • They also trusted in their god, Chemosh, instead of the true living God Jehovah.
      • “…for he magnified himself against the Lord:“ (26). This is the sin of pride. (29)
      • “For was not Israel a derision unto thee?…” (27) They were enemies to Israel.
    • The destruction comes suddenly:
      • The destructive army is Babylon.
      • Some of the people of Moab will escape and the rest will be taken captive to Babylon. (44, 46)
      • Even those that initially escape will eventually be captured.
      • With this destruction comes the end of the nation’s basic source of revenue…winemaking (33)
        • With this destruction comes the end of Moab as a nation. However the inhabitants are not totally annihilated even though today we cannot identity a people called the Moabites.
        • And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the Lord.” (42)
    • Even though we see the destruction of Moab in history, God is not finished with this geographical area.
      •  Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the Lord. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.” (47)
        • According to verse 47, the people of Moab have an important part to play in the last days. Therefore, God will raise up Moabites in the latter days even though we cannot identify this ethnic people today.
        • Read Rev 12:14-17
          • This passage in Revelation speaks of Israel (the woman) fleeing to the wilderness for protection.
          • There are some interesting allusions given in this prophecy in Jeremiah that relate to the passage in Revelation.

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness.” (Rev 12:14)

“Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein.” (Jer 48:9)

“ For thus saith the Lord; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.” (Jer 48:40)

          • In the tribulation period of seven years when the Antichrist rules in Jerusalem persecuting the Jews, the Jews will flee to Jordan where God will protect them miraculously in the deserted city of Petra, Jordan.
          • While Petra is located in the territory that once was Edom, the similarities between Revelation and Jeremiah are striking. (Both Edom and Moab are Jordan today.)
      • According to the prophecy in Jeremiah, God will restore a people called the Moabites in the latter days.
        • The phrase “latter days” always refers to the tribulation period up to the event of the second coming of Christ.
        • What role will these people have in the Tribulation period? Jeremiah does not clearly tell us. However, it could be that while they were always Israel’s enemy back in history, it may be they will provide hospitality and protection to fleeing Jews in the tribulation period.
  • Application:
    • What can we learn from these prophecies about the destruction of various nations that were Israel’s enemy through history?
      • Through these prophecies we see God’s big picture of human geopolitical history.
        • Nations come and go over time.
        • Because of our short life span we do not necessarily relate their comings and goings to God’s controlling hand.
        • However, the Bible clearly tells us through the Old Testament and the New Testament that God puts leaders in authority and removes them. (Rom 13:1)
      • Through these prophecies we see that God uses one nation to punish another nation for sin and a neglect of God.
        • A nation reaps the consequences of their geopolitical decisions whether good or bad.
        • However, while God may use one nation to punish another nation, no nation escapes their responsibility to answer to God for their actions.

Jeremiah 49

  • Application of Jer 47 and 48
    • Think about your own nation and thank God for the leaders He has put in authority over you.
    • Pray for your leaders that God will give wisdom to your leaders and help them to make godly decisions.
    • Pray that God will use our leaders for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.
  • Preparation for Jer 49
    • Read Jer 49:1-39
      • Read the story of Jacob and Esau in Gen 25:21-34
      • Read Rom 9:10-14
      • Why did God hate Esau?
  • Memory Verse: Gen 12:3
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About Joyce

I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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