We come to the minor prophet Obadiah today.
A short read – just one chapter.
We may have read this a few times before in our bible reading. Thoughts?
A few things struck me …
One – this book was an oddity. In the other books of the prophets, the men of God were always directing their prophecies, admonishments, rebukes and encouragement at the people of Judah or Israel or both. But the prophecy of Obadiah was addressed to a nation other than the Northern and Southern kingdoms. He was directing his words at Edom.
Do you remember who was the father of the Edomites?
Back in the days of Isaac when Rebekah was barren, God told Isaac that he will have twins – but these 2 will never get along. From Jacob, the younger one, came the nation of Israel. From the elder, Esau, came Edom. And we know the story. The two were at odds. And their struggle lasted through hundreds of years up to the time of Obadiah!
Now Israel was being hit hard by their enemies and suffered lots of defeats. Edom only watched from a safe distance and did not attempt to help. Not only that – they rejoiced at what they saw! Edom and Israel may have a long history of disagreements but they were still brothers after all.
Obadiah tells us that although Edom did nothing to help, it was because they just stood there watching and cheering over what was happening that they are just as guilty as the enemies who attacked Israel. And their end will come!
Though you ascend as high as the eagle,
And though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,” says the Lord.
~ Obadiah verse 4
This was the declaration of Obadiah.
This warning is also clear for us.
Like an eagle, Edom will swoop down from the safety of their altitude and take advantage of a helpless people. But God warned them that He Himself will bring them down with His judgement.
They thought that they will not be in trouble. They were safe.
Very much like men in power today – in the office, in business, in nations…
Many very successful men think they are made… and do not help fellow brethren in need. But we see many cases in the world where the rich and powerful have come crashing down to earth. Pride certainly comes before a fall.
In our spiritual lives, we should also be wary.
Paul warns us …
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
~ 1 Cor 10:12
We may be at peace and safe now … and we watch our brothers or sisters around us suffering and do nothing.
That’s not what God wants us to do.
We need to have the same mind as Christ – to have mercy and love for our fellow members.
May God guide us.