Scripture Focus: Isaiah 15.5
 5 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.

Reflection: Mourning and Loving Enemies
By John Tillman

Moab was Israel’s enemy. God brought judgment on Moab, yet mourned for their suffering.

Moab was not an enemy because of who they were but because of what they did. Moab had close family ties to Israel. They descended from Abraham’s nephew, Lot. They had even closer ties to the Davidic kings. Ruth, the Moabitess, was David’s great-grandmother.

Despite being relatives, the Moabites were judged for multiple reasons. Throughout their history, they violently oppressed Israel when they were vulnerable. They also led Israel to sinful idolatry and worship practices that included sexual acts and human sacrifice.

A few examples include Balak, king of Moab, who recruited the false prophet, Balaam, to entice Israel to sin, (Numbers 31.16; Revelation 2.14) Eglon, king of Moab who ruled over Israel for 18 years until he was killed by Ehud, (Judges 3.13-14, 20-21) and a Moabite king who, when threatened by an Israelite attack, sacrificed his first-born son on the wall of his city begging his god to turn back Israel. (2 Kings 3.26-27)
Those led into sin included Solomon, who built a temple to Chemosh, the Moabite deity after building the Lord’s temple. (1 Kings 11.7)

Very few of us will ever face enemies of our faith that threaten us with physical or military violence. Very few will ever face true religious persecution for our faith. But how many of us are looking to the power of the state to enforce our beliefs rather than the power of the gospel to spread them?

Very few of us will be tempted to build a literal temple to a false god next to our churches. But how many of us have temples in our hearts devoted to worldly beliefs, politics, or ideas? What altars are in our hearts?

The Moabites were a real danger to the Israelites, both physically/militarily and religiously/ideologically. Yet, they were also family. God mourned the suffering of these violent and vitriolic enemies of Israel and commanded Jerusalem to be a sanctuary for Moabite refugees. (Isaiah 16.4)

It is dangerous to call other humans “enemies” even if they are truly dangerous. Paul says our enemies are not flesh and blood. It is better that we remember that we were formerly enemies of God, reconciled in Jesus. If God did this for the Moabites and Jesus does this for us, how can we do anything less for those we think of as enemies?

Let us mourn our enemies’ situation and shelter them in their suffering.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of the ram’s horn.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is king of all the earth; sing praises with all your skill.
God reigns over the nation; God sits upon his holy throne. — Psalm 47.5-8

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

​Today’s Readings
Isaiah 15 (Listen 1:34)
Acts 4 (Listen 5:15)

Read more about Solomon’s Cheating Heart
Solomon was a temple builder but he did not only build temples for Yaweh. He built temples for the very gods that Israel has been warned about.

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