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Monday, February 25, 2013

Obadiah

Today I started reading through the prophets and as my introduction to it, I read Obadiah, a one chapter (21 verses) book by the obscure prophet Obadiah. Here, he writes his vision concerning Edom.
The history behind Obadiah (The person, not the book) is a mystery. Even though there are many Obadiah's mentioned in the old the old testament, the lack of information about the author contained in the book leaves us with no clues to this man life, background, etc.
Anyway, here is the book:

The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom--We have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, "Rise, and let us go against her for battle"-- "See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?' Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD.
Obadiah 1:1-5

God sustains nations, and he destroys nations. Every day your nation is still running, and not crumbling in an inferno, you should praise God because he has given that country another day. Maybe the country is evil, or maybe it's good...either way, God has a purpose for it. When ever he ceases to need to country, he can destroy it. God can do whatever he wants. For Edom, has is planning an attack that will destroy them in the end. Obadiah gets to be the one who explains why. Reason one: They are a very prideful and arrogant nation. And there destruction will be from another nation that will choose the battle them because they say among themselves: 'Who can bring me down to the ground?'

"If thieves came to you, if robbers in the night--Oh, what a disaster awaits you--would they not steal only as much as they wanted? If grape pickers came to you, would they not leave a few grapes? But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged! All your allies will force you to the border; your friends will deceive and overpower you; those who eat your bread will set a trap for you, but you will not detect it. "In that day," declares the LORD, "will I not destroy the wise men of Edom, men of understanding in the mountains of Esau? Your warriors, O Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau's mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.
Obadiah 1:6-9

God's wrath will be so unleashed that the arrogant warrior will be terrified...because they had never seen anything like that before. God even explains why he is not just going to send thieves and robbers to them-because then the thieves will only take what they want, which is not everything. But God is very clear that everything will be taken to them, so much so that none of the warriors had ever seen anything like it happen. All their allies will become their enemies. They will not know who they can trust. And everyone in Esau's mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.
Oh, and here's another thing... But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged! Back when this book was written, the only banks out there where the ground. And so, in the ground people would bury their greatest possessions. So ransacking hidden treasures would be taking your greatest treasure.

Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble.
Obadiah 1:10-14

Here is the second reason as to why Edom is being punished so harshly, the founder of Edom is Esau (Genesis 36:8-9) and this founder did some pretty bad things, as we see it the verses above, and his children are being punished for it.

"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. Just as you drank on my holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been.
Obadiah 1:15-16

Now check out this passage from Mathew:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
Mathew 25:31-45

In Obadiah, it says "As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head." In the case of Edom, God is saying: 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau." The LORD has spoken. People from the Negev will occupy the mountains of Esau, and people from the foothills will possess the land of the Philistines. They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria, and Benjamin will possess Gilead. This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan will possess [the land] as far as Zarephath; the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad will possess the towns of the Negev. Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the LORD's.
Obadiah 1:17-21

And this is the fate of Edom. When Esau was alive, his brother Jacob stole his birthright (Genesis 27) and finally, Jacob takes it all from Esau because his descendants destroy Esau's descendants.
And this concludes Obadiah, the shortest book in the old testament.

Sources:
http://www.insight.org/ministry/bible/obadiah.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edom
http://www.gotquestions.org/Jacob-Esau-love-hate.html

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