It is the shortest book of the Old Testament, with just 21 verses, by an obscure prophet, but it is a heavyweight challenger to all who would presume to live a life of pride in defiance of God.
God hates pride.
Pride was the sin that led the Devil to give up his position of 'angelic worship leader in heaven' in his vain attempt to usurp Adam and claim the title of this world for himself. (See Ezekiel 28:11-19 / Isaiah 14: 12-17 / 1 Tim 3:6).
Solomon stated that "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18); and James tells us that "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6).
Pride is defiance against God; it is acting with disregard or even distain for the things of God and instead enthroning self as 'lord of all'.
This is the story of Esau, and his descendants, the Edomites.
Esau was the elder twin brother of Jacob. They were the sons of Isaac and Rebecca. Esau cared little for the God of his fathers and casually sold his birthright to his brother for some food when he was hungry one day. He also ignored God's admonition to not marry any of the inhabitants of the land, knowing that this would lead to idolatry. Instead, Esau took two Canaanite wives which were 'a grief of mind' to Isaac and Rebecca.
In Esau and Jacob we see a type of us all, with the battle that exists between the flesh life and the spirit. Esau being given over to the things of this world; in contrast, Jacob being mindful of the things of God. In the book of Galatians the Apostle Paul tells us that "These two forces within us are constantly fighting each other to win control over us, and our wishes are never free from their pressures" (Galatians 5:17 TLB). Hence Paul's admonition: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
The book of Obadiah foretells the future cruelty, oppression and subsequent judgement and utter destruction of Esau's descendants, for they way they shamefully treated Israel.
In contrast, Obadiah tells of the time Israel will return again to her God-given land, and that they will one day posses that land of Edom too.
The proud judged, the humble exalted.
The ramifications of this little book in today's world are huge! Jordan currently occupies the former territory of Edom, yet Revelation 12 tells of a time, soon to come, when Israel will be forced to flee from her land (again) and take refuge in Edom - most probably in Petra (Greek, meaning 'rock'), also known as Bozrah (meaning sheepfold or fortress).
For a more detailed study on what's coming, see the article below by Dr Daniel Woodhead:
May the message of Obadiah remind you that the LORD is coming to judge the earth! - not good news for the proud, but it is the hope of the humble!
Categories | SUNDAY MORNING STUDIES
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