Obadiah A Case Study of God's Faithfulness
Obadiah is a wonderful book that is packed with wisdom. Obadiah means “servant” or worshipper of the Lord! Very little is known personally about the Prophet Obadiah. It is the shortest book in the Old Testament! Key verse: "The day of the LORD is near for all nations, as you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head."
Edom constantly harrassed Israel! The nation of Edom was of Esau and the nation of Israel was of Isaac. Obadiah’s prophecy is God’s judgment upon Edom! Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. (Jacob’s name was changed to Israel!) The twin brothers had ongoing sibling rivalry and struggled early on from within the womb of their mother Rebekah! Rebekah their mother favored Jacob over Esau which caused a lot of problems. Esau was the firstborn twin. Jacob actually grasped Esau’s heel at birth! Jacob eventually stole his brother’s birthright! It’s amazing what happened all because “a bowl of stew!” (See the story in Genesis 22) Isaac instead receives the birthright of the firstborn son from his father Abraham! Their saga of rivalry continued they later became two ongoing feuding nations. Edom eventually betrays Israel!
Obadiah teaches us an amazing lessons on pride! Hurt lives on long after the event. If not dealt with it can cause much bitterness. Lurking in the background like a virus!! Obadiah’s prophecy brings to mind the consequences of the ongoing feuding between Edom and Israel. Jacob and Esau passed their grievances down onto their children and it became a part of their heritage! Thus the long term lingering effects and the generational consequences of their conflict continued! Israel was GOD’S nation and the Jews are His sons and daughters!
Edom was a spectacular tough, harsh mountainous living nation. The Edomites although blood relatives were fierce, warriors and harbored much resentment and set continuously themselves against Israel. They were jealous and covetous! They help initiate and rejoiced over the downfall and misfortune of Israel. They were also proud and self confident. How unfortunate because as stated earlier they were from the loins of twin brothers. The Bible has many wise stories on the harmfulness of sibling rivalry! Edom did not realize that Israel’s decline was for only a season. God never forsakes His people! Nothing goes unnoticed by God! Obadiah prophesies to Edom. He conveys God’s judgment on them in regards to their mistreatment of Israel! A great life lesson unfolds in Obadiah! One need not get bitter, but wiser and better when going through mistreatment! It is important to keep your focus on God! No one is exempt when it comes to God’s justice! Things come and go, but God does not change! There is no lasting security without God! With Him you have ALL that you will ever need! We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus in Him is where true victory lies!
We can learn a lot from Obadiah! God’s promises are ALL TRUE! God is FAITHFUL! God bestowed a wonderful lasting legacy upon Israel through Abraham! “Now the Lord said to Abram: “Get thee out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house; To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will Bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a Blessing. I will Bless those who Bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be Blessed.” GENESIS 12. God has given us as His children a wonderful “FAMILY” irrevocable immutable legacy that man cannot change! “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein...”
Edom was judged because of their harsh treatment. They tried to curse Israel. Ask Balaam no matter how hard you try you cannot curse what GOD HAS BLESSED! This is what eventually led to Edom’s own destruction. One can glean a very important life altering lesson from here. We need not go down this same path and a reenact a prideful thirst for vengeance which is rebellion and disobedience against God! We must PRAISE GOD and TRUST HIM through any challenges that life hurls our way!
Here is what Obadiah so prolifically prophecies to Edom. “Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom (We have heard a report from the LORD, And a messenger has been sent saying. “Arise and let us rise up against her in battle”) “Behold I will make you small among the nations, You shall be greatly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, You shall dwell in the cleft of the rocks, whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” Though you set your nest among the stars, From there will I bring you down,” says the LORD.
Edom, which was southeast of the Dead Sea, thought that since they had built Petra their capital city on a difficult mountain terrain they were safe from attacks. This gave them a false sense of security and sufficiency. They were the descendants of Esau and lived in defiance of God and helped to oppress His children. Instead of helping and warning Israel their family they delivered fugitives to the enemy and looted their possessions. They instead betrayed them! God is all knowing; OMNISCIENT. It is important that we today always keep in mind that He is totally aware of everything! He does not suffer from a selective memory. He can and will restore all that is taken away unjustly in HIS time! He told Edom “For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever.”
We must never underestimate God’s Divine Power! We need not worry when life hurdles insurmountable spiritual warfare in our direction when you are committed to Him. Especially when it comes from the very ones we have helped... What do you do when your burdens are too heavy? “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me. For MY YOKE is easy and My burdens are LIGHT!” God’s WORD is full of countless examples of His constant presence in the lives of His children. One must only look up to the beautiful sky above to see His AWESOME WONDER! We must look to God daily and find solace in His Word! Despite what is going on all about us in the world, He really does have a remedy for life’s challenges! We must spend time daily learning of Him and yoking ourselves up with Him!
We can always have JOY in the LORD! He is where our strength comes from when we make HIM our FOCUS! As His children His wonderful infinite LOVE is extended to us and we are always under His constant protection. When we Trust Him and accept Jesus Christ into our hearts; we are given His Precious Holy Spirit! In turn He bestows upon us His gift of Eternal Life! One must then become more discerning...! We are then adopted forever into HIS FAMILY! God’s children HIS CHURCH is His HOLY NATION. The promises bestowed upon Abraham become ours! “ PRAISE GOD from whom ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!”