Text: Jeremiah 48:11-12
Proposition: What happens to undisturbed Lees?
Moab was compared to wine that was undisturbed on its lees. When wine is made the grapes are crushed and then fermented. When fermentation is complete the skins and stems are separated from the wine. At this point the wine is cloudy. The wine is allowed to sit and the sediments in the wine settle to the bottom of the vessel and sediments in the wine are called lees. After these have settled and the wine is clear it is poured into another vessel and is either allowed to age longer or is drunk. In Moab’s case he had not been racked, poured from one vessel to another. His lees were settled. He was allowed to age on his lees.
Moab was at ease from his youth. If you remember Moab was Lot’s son by his oldest daughter. God had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah by raining fire and brimstone on the cities. God sent two angels to rescue Lot and his family. Lots wife turned and looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. His daughters escaped with him to a cave. Lot’s daughters didn’t think they would be able to find a husband. I think they thought they and their father were the only ones left on the earth. They got their father drunk with wine and lay with their father and they each had a son by their father, Moab and Ammon. Moab and Ammon became the fathers of the nations of Moab and Ammon. These two nations knew of the true God, but they departed from God and served other Gods.
God still cared for Ammon and Moab. God would not let Israel take any of their land when they came into the land of Canaan. They passed through their land, but they couldn’t take it. Even when the Moabite women enticed the men of Israel to serve other gods, God didn’t give the land of the Moabites to them, Numbers 25:1-3. They did this through the counsel of Balaam, Numbers 31:16. They were allied with the Midianites in this. They were hoping God would curse his people because they were immoral and idolatrous. God did curse his people because of they joined these women in immorality and idolatry. When God commanded Israel to take vengeance they only took vengeance on Midian, not Moab. They destroyed the Midianite cities, but not the Moabite cities. Moab was left undisturbed. When David was king, Moab was defeated by David. They became his servants, but their land was not taken, II Samuel 8:2.
I. They become stagnant. (Why do people become stagnant?)
A. Moab had never gone into exile. His flavor and aroma had not changed. In some cases wine aging wine on its lees improves flavor and aroma. In some cases it makes the flavor and aroma musty and moldy. In the lees there can be some stinky smelly stuff like mercaptans and sulfides. This gives the wine a burnt rubber, onion, or rotten eggs smell. Moab hadn’t improved in flavor and aroma over time. He was going to be emptied out and his jars shattered. He had become musty and moldy. He stunk from being undisturbed.
B. Evil accumulates
1. The lees are the part of the wine that the wine maker doesn’t want. He drains off the wine and throws out the lees.
2. If we are left undisturbed evil accumulates in our lives and we become stagnant ugly people.
3. Trials and problems in life remove the lees from our life.
4. James 1:2-4
5. Judah and Israel had not been at ease from their youth. God had continually sent armies against them when they departed from him. He was continually disturbing them on their lees. God didn’t want his people to be stagnant. He disciplined them as a loving father disciplines his children.
6. Hebrews 12:5-11
7. God wants us to have the foolishness driven out. The rod of correction drives foolishness out of us. With God’s discipline we will have good aroma and good flavor.
8. Discipline comes.
Ø Don’t despise it.
Ø Don’t deny it.
Ø Don’t defy it.
Ø Don’t faint under it.
Ø Submit to it.
C. They are set in their ways.
1. The older we get the more we become set in our ways. We don’t want anything messing up our plans or our beliefs. We have done it this way for years and it worked then so it should continue to work.
2. Moab had continued in his ways for years without change. They had served the god Chemosh for years. He had blessed them and helped them in battle; at least this is what they thought.
3. Jeremiah 48:13-20
4. Moab saw no reason to change his ways, but now he is ashamed of the God he had been serving. Chemosh was no help against Nebuchadnezzar and his armies.
II. They trust in false Gods. (What false Gods to people trust in?)
A. Moab trusted in the God of Chemosh.
1. God made an end of those who worshipped false gods.
2. Jeremiah 48:35-37
3. The people of Moab were in distress. Their false gods could not help them. They were cursed by God. Hundreds of years before Balak, the king of Moab, hired Balaam to come and curse Israel. Balaam blessed Israel, but instructed Balak how to get Israel cursed, Revelation 2:14. No one can curse you unless the curse is from God himself. No wizard, witch or voodoo doll can curse you. His plan worked and God sent a plague on his people that killed 24,000. Chemosh hadn’t helped them against the Israelites. God himself was against his people because they had worshipped Chemosh, the God of the Moabites, and the gods of the Midianites. The Midianites were destroyed. God didn’t let Israel destroy Midian, but now Babylon is coming to destroy Moab.
4. Jeremiah 48:7-10
1. Jeremiah 48:14-16 and 41
2. Moab thought his army could save him. Chemosh would help his armies.
3. Many times when we have a powerful army and we are undisturbed. We think we are invincible.
4. Russia thought it was invincible against an attack from Japan. They lost in the Russo Japanese War of 1904 and 1905. Russia had leased a warm water port from China, Port Arthur, for 99 years. The Russians had built up their military around the port and built railroads to send and receive supplies from the port. They wanted to take more land in Asia. The Japanese also wanted to control China and they didn’t want Russia in China. Up until recent years Japan had been old fashioned in their military, but they had begun to modernize their army and navy. Russia didn’t think Japan would be foolish enough to attack them. Russia had the third best Navy in the world. Japan wasn’t even ranked. Japan surprised the Russians and attacked Port Arthur at night. The Russians on land didn’t even know what had happened until it was too late. They thought their Navy was practicing that night; instead it was the Japanese torpedoing the Russian navy.
5. The United States has a powerful military. Nobody can match our might and technology. We rule the skies. We rule the seas. If we wouldn’t try to be politically correct we could destroy most armies in a few days. We have come to trust in technology to defeat our enemies. It is very effective, but if we forget God no technology will be able to protect us.
6. Psalms 20:7
7. Isaiah 31:1-2
1. Moab had abundance
2. Jeremiah 48:33
3. Wealth makes us feel secure. Wealth does offer some security.
4. Ecclesiastes 7:12
5. A monsoon can ruin your wealth. There are 6 million homeless in Pakistan from floods and 20 million have been affected by the flooding. Roads, bridges, homes and towns have been washed away in the flood.
6. Revelation 3:14-19, the church at Laodicea, was rich and wealthy. They trusted in their wealth. They thought they were serving God, but they were serving wealth. They didn’t realize how temporary their wealth was.
III.They were proud (What did their pride cause them to do?)
C. To become arrogant toward the Lord, vs. 26
1. Jeremiah 48:7
2. They gave themselves credit for everything they had. They had abundance, but they didn’t thank God for their abundance.
3. Luke 12:15-21
4. Someone else could own what you have tomorrow.
D. To laughed at Israel
1. Moab saw Israel’s destruction. They weren’t compassionate toward Israel, but they laughed at them and scorned them.
2. Jeremiah 48:26
3. When men become proud they laugh at those who are in trouble. They look with scorn on those who are different from them.
E. They exalt themselves
1. Jeremiah 48:29
2. We are to humble ourselves, not exalt ourselves.
3. James 4:6-10
4. Those who exalt themselves make idle boasts
5. Jeremiah 48:30
6. The Moabites were like a vapor. They were making plans for the future, but they didn’t consider what they Lord had in store for them.
7. James 4:13-16
8. Many say they are going to do great things, but they forget God is the one who numbers their steps.
Moab was resting undisturbed on his lees, but he had become musty and moldy. He had turned into bad wine. There was no way to make him good again. God sent the Chaldeans to dump his vessels on the ground and break the vessels he was in. God will do the same with us as a nation and as individual people if we are undisturbed on our lees.
Being undisturbed leads to being stagnant. It leads to trusting in false Gods and leads to arrogance.
Trials refine us and drain the bad things out of our life.