Scripture: from verse 7
Therefore they carry away their wealth,
everything they have put aside
Observation: Now Moab is getting punished. At least God is an equal-opportunity smiter? Okay, not really.
Anyway. The river is full of blood and the fields are dead, so the people are fleeing, carrying the scraps of wealth that they have in portable format. These days much of our wealth is portable (not our houses, of course, but other things) but back then their land was their wealth and their history and their anchor, and leaving it left them devastated.
The statistics on people’s saving habits these days are pretty terrible. We don’t save. We don’t put anything aside. I’ve been reading a lot about behavioral economics lately (I’m auditing the fabulous Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior) and one of the things they study is why we make these decisions. And what we learn is that people don’t think rationally. We think of our future self as a stranger, unconnected to ourselves. We figure that the decisions we made should be repeated, that our instincts are reliable, that the current trends will continue. As soon as a decision gets complicated, we just go with the default option – which is usually doing nothing.
There’s a reason God tells us not to rely on our own understanding (Proverbs 3). It’s pretty terrible.
So here we have people who have been relying on their own understanding, and they are experiencing the consequences of it. Not only is God punishing them, but their fallback plan is also flawed, because they haven’t been listening.
Application: Listen to what God says. Know your biases.
Prayer: Father, thank you for my husband, who is really good at financial planning stuff. It is a great relief to know that we can work together on those things. Help me to know where I’m making foolish decisions. Amen.