Monday, 26 December 2022
“For the day of the LORD is approaching for all the nations!
Just as you have done, so it will be done to you.
You will get exactly what your deeds deserve.” -Obadiah 1:15[NET]
God is sovereign over all nations, though He is primarily concerned about His people—that’s the message we clearly understand from the prophecy of Obadiah. Edom, the descendants of Esau were against his blood brothers- the descendants of Jacob, and had done great wrong to them- God in His time judged the nation justly!
I. God who judges the nations
Though many today do not acknowledge God’s reign over the earth or over their lives, history has a different story to tell us. If one has understood how God has been working in history through the pages of the Bible, it is evident that He is sovereign. His purposes with nations and peoples are worked out in accordance to His will. Obadiah specifically deals with Edom who came against God’s people. Why did God judge them?
· Pride: They dwelt in the caves of the Mount Seir which was like an impenetrable fortress and so they thought no one could defeat them. God comes against their pride and tells them they will be brought down from their heights and ruined. Proverbs 16:18 says: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” God hates pride and its an open invitation to God to bring down such.
· Gloating over brother’s misfortune: Since the Edomites were descendants of Esau, they were brothers of Israel and should have helped them when enemies attacked, but instead they did nothing to help them and only jeered at their misfortune.
· Intentional harm: When nations came against Israel, Edom joined hands with them to harm them and even cut off people who were trying to escape. The hatred, jealousy and resentment towards the Israelites came out through the joint harm they did to their brothers.
Though Obadiah and other prophets like Isaiah (chpt.11), Jeremiah (Chpt.49) and Ezekiel (Chpt.25) also gave prophecies to Edom, they never heeded or repented and God’s just punishment came on them. History records the 6th century attack on them made them flee their cities and sojourn in the Negev Desert to live as Bedouins.
II. God who keeps His Word
God spoke to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse.” (Genesis 12:3). That is a sure pointer for God’s people- Israel and His Church today. Any attack on them is to hurt the Lord. We are reminded of what the Lord spoke to Saul on his encounter: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:3)—his persecution leased on the church was literally against the Lord Himself. God spoke through Zechariah about Israel: “… for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” (Zech.2:8).
The Edomites are no longer on the surface of the earth, fulfilling Obadiah’s prophecy- it took almost 600 years from the time of Obadiah until their final disappearance. The lessons we learn about God’s judgment: God is slow to anger but when He says He will do it, we will do it- though it may take years-God takes His time. Today Israel is restored to its land while Edom is gone.
Edom is a type of godless nation that has been hostile to God’s people through all time. One day all the nations will be judged: God will hold responsible all nations in their attitude to Him and His people. As prophesied by Obadiah, Israel will one day possess the land of Edom and God will reign over His Kingdom- over all!
Today as we try to understand the prophecy of Obadiah, we need to examine our lives of any pride, any wrong attitude and intentional harm done to our brethren. If there is any, let us confess it to the Lord and receive His forgiveness as we submit our lives to Him for His reign and blessing.
Quote for the Day: Faith...involves trusting in the future promises of God and waiting for their fulfillment. ~ R.C. Sproul
*Reference: Unlocking the Bible-Obadiah- David Pawson