Edom Will Be Humbled
-- Obadiah One --
The book of Obadiah is the shortest book among the "minor" prophets. Obadiah is, in fact, the shortest book in the Old Testament. It contains only 21 verses. Obadiah was written after the Jews had returned from their exile in Babylon. The name Obadiah means "servant of the Lord." God announced through His prophet Obadiah that the Edomites would be destroyed because of (1) Their pride, (2) Their sins against God, and (3) Their sins against Israel. The Edomites descended from Esau and the Israelites from his twin brother, Jacob. Their quarrels of a thousand years before had continued to affect their descendants.
The pride of Edom had brought them to the point where they would face judgment from the Almighty. The kingdom of Edom would be destroyed completely. God said, "Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD." (Obadiah 1:4) God also told them, "But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress." (Obadiah 1:12) They were filled with pride and had failed to help Israel in her time of misfortune. God promised, "For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head." (Obadiah 1:15)
The chapter closes with the promise concerning the Savior for spiritual Israel and concerning His kingdom. Pride is a very destructive sin. Our pride must be only in Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Edom's Pride and Punishment -- Obadiah 1:1-9: God gave Obadiah a message about Edom. The King James Version uses the word "Rumor" to describe the vision and message of Obadiah. The word means an authentic message from the Lord. It is not just some "speculation" as the word is usually used today. The message is certain, "Edom will be humbled, Thus says the Lord GOD." God's messenger had been sent out and the nations would rise against Edom in battle. The people of Edom were a doomed people because of their pride. They would become one of the smaller nations and would be looked down upon by the heathen nations.
The Edomites felt safe living in Mount Seir. They said in their heart, "Who will bring me down to the ground?" They thought no one could attack them there, but they were mistaken. The Lord said, "I will still bring you down, even if you fly higher than an eagle or nest among the stars." God wants individuals and nations to be strong and self-supporting, but He will not tolerate sinful pride. The ruin that God would bring upon Edom would be total. Edom was doomed! Everything they valued would be taken from them. Those that Edom looked upon as friends and allies would turn against her and drive her from her own land. The destruction would be total. "And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman, so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter." (Obadiah 1:9)
The LORD Condemns Edom's Cruelty -- Obadiah 1:10-14: God condemned Edom for violence done to Jacob. There was a physical relationship there and yet there was a great deal of hostility, especially from Edom toward Jacob. This is one of the reasons that motivated God to cut off Edom. Edom did nothing to help when "strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem." Edom took pleasure in the misfortunes of Jacob. When the inhabitants of Judah were carried into Babylon Edom celebrated the disaster. (2 Kings 25) God asked Edom, "Why did you celebrate when such a dreadful disaster struck your relatives? Why were you so pleased when everyone in Judah was suffering?"
Edom did not stop with taking delight in the misfortune of Judah. God reminded them that they had personally been cruel to His people. Edom went through the cities of Judah gloating and sneering at the tragedy that had befallen them. Not only that, they also looted and stole from them in the day of their calamity. It is a low down person that takes advantage of a situation like Judah was in to steal their valuables. Edom even blocked those that were trying to escape. After having ambushed these refugees they handed them over to their attackers. How cruel!
The day of the LORD is near-- Obadiah 1:15-20: God reminded Edom of His law that you reap what you sow. "The day of the Lord" was near for all nations. It was time for Edom to pay in full for what she had done. God said, "As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head." Other nations, in addition to Edom would feel the wrath of God. Especially Edom, but other nations also, would drink the cup of God's anger and wrath. Concerning those nations the Divine message was, it "shall be as though they had never been."
God promised that His people would return from Babylonian captivity and "the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions." It was prophesied that Judah would retake some of their lost territory. The Edomites were to be completely overthrown as a ruling power. "Israel will be a fire, and Edom will be straw going up in flames. The LORD has spoken!"
The Kingdom of the LORD -- Obadiah 1:19-21: The destruction that was to come upon the nations was described in the words, "And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.” (Obadiah 1:19) This was to take place when Judah repossessed the land of Palestine after the return from exile. The prophet wrote, "And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south."
It is not unusual for the prophets to move from discussing physical Israel to discuss salvation in the spiritual kingdom of God. That is the case here. "Those the LORD has saved will live on Mount Zion and rule over Edom. Then the kingdom will belong to the LORD." The kingdom that would stand forever belongs to the Lord. "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." (Hebrews 12:28) The kingdom that would stand forever is the Lord's spiritual kingdom or His church. Daniel predicted, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2:44)
Do not allow pride to keep you from your salvation. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism follow Jesus in faithfulness as He leads you home to heaven. (Revelation 2:10)