Who were Moab and Ammon? They were cousins back in Bible days. Not very nice cousins and they got into a HEAP of trouble with YAHWEH!
You might ask why in the world would we care about Moab and Ammon and who in the world are they. Glad you asked. I’ll tell you. These two characters are VERY relevant to today. The Bible is alive and always relevant to our current affairs. Grab your Bible so you can read along.
The setting is Jerusalem. The King’s City! Zephaniah is quite a short story and talks about “the remnant”. Ooh! That’s us! It talks about God’s judgement on the wicked and his promise of his restoration and prosperity. Even though Judah was going through rebellion, there would be a day of redemption. It sounds very familiar with the current times.
Zephaniah 2:8-9 NKJV
“I have heard the reproach of Moab, And the insults of the people of Ammon, With which they have reproached My people, And made arrogant threats against their borders.
“Therefore, as I live,” Says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah - Overrun with weeds and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The residue of My people shall plunder them, And the REMNANT of My people shall possess them.”
So who EXACTLY were Moab and Ammon? These verses explain.
Genesis 19:36-38 NKJV
“Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day.”
Well, that’s certainly not a pretty picture. Look how far Lot and his family fell because Lot turned his face “toward” Sodom. Moab and Ammon were just cousins and generations later in the book of Zephaniah they had become GODLESS NATIONS. These verses are a judgement against Moab and Ammon and they are a promise for God’s people. Thank you Lord for your promises! They are “yes and amen ” to those who believe!
Do the actions of the Moabites and Ammonites in the book of Zephaniah sound familiar?
Moab had “reproach” against the people of God. Reproach means to express disapproval of, criticism of, or disappointment in; admonish; an expression of blame or disapproval; a rebuke.
The Ammonites “taunted” God’s people. Taunt means a mocking, insulting or contemptuous manner; ridicule; to drive or incite.
"The Cousins" were cruel. They criticized. They threatened. They mocked and insulted. They rebuked. They sacrificed their own infants and children. They didn’t like godly people and they let them know it. Plain and simple. They ridiculed and hated the people of Judah and so the godless do the same to us today.
They were terrifying Judah - the people who were supposed to go out before the battle with praise to the Most High God. But Judah had become lax and had let sin enter the camp. They had turned their backs on God - EXCEPT FOR THE REMNANT. There were reasons long ago why he told the children of Israel when they crossed the Jordan NOT to follow after these godless Nations and NOT to setup shrines to them and NOT to marry into them. God always knows best!
What else can we learn about the ungodly nations of Moab and Ammon? Hmm … I wonder who they worshipped? It’s. Not. Good.
Moab worshipped Chemosh (destroyer, subduer, fish-god). Fish-god? That’s weird. Do you recognize this photo? A few cities in America have actually put an image of this idol up! Quite disturbing. Already none of this sounds good. God called Chemosh detestable and abhorrent in other places in scripture. The king of Moab offered his oldest son as a burnt offering (I Kings 3:27). He offered him up as a human sacrifice to try and win a battle against Israel. They still didn’t win. There was even a town called “Madmen” in Moab (Jeremiah 48:3-4) where the sword pursued them and overtook them! Vengeance is mine says the Lord!
Ammon worshipped Molech, the god of infant sacrifice. Despicable. Rotten. No words to even describe this form of satanic and demonic worship. It’s just indescribable and to think there are still those among us who fall prey to the demonic practices of abortion, infanticide and pedophilia. Nothing is new under the sun. Right?
This is what the Lord says he will do against these demon gods of yesteryear and today. He will overrun them with weeds. They will be dead and desolate! Dried up and plucked by the buzzards. No good thing will grow among them. Rocks, thorns and briars will be their inheritance. He will cause desolation to occur. He will make them salt pits. Unusable pits of dried brine that support no life and leave the soul thirsty.
Then the Lord makes a promise! He is always the promise keeper. The people of God will plunder (to take goods by force) these godless nations. The REMNANT (that’s us!) shall POSSESS them! Oh yes! We will take back what the enemy has stolen and stop him in his tracks because he cannot steal our birthright into the kingdom! We SHALL possess the land! We SHALL be triumphant because the Lord is on our side.
The book of Zephaniah ends very well indeed for the REMNANT! The Lord does not let the oppressors of Judah get away with their shenanigans. He steps onto the scene with some choice words and a verdict of his own!
Zephaniah 3:16-20 NLT
“On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “CHEER UP, ZION! Don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will CALM ALL YOUR FEARS. He will REJOICE OVER YOU with joyful songs. I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. And I WILL DEAL SEVERELY with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will GIVE YOU a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I RESTORE your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
We declare that the LORD will reduce to nothing the gods of this world. The gods of child sacrifice and the gods of slavery will be plundered and destroyed! We declare that those who mock and shame us will be cast away by the hand of the Lord. The Lord of Hosts will cause our enemies to become desolate and of no effect! The God of Israel is the only one true GOD. YAHWEH shall prevail! In Jesus name.