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Bible

Understanding

Made Easy

Obadiah

Introduction

  • This great book of the Bible foretells the doom of the nation of Edom.

  • Edom was a range of mountains south of the Dead Sea.

  • The capital was Sela (better known as the Greek name “Petra”) (2 Kings 14:7) (Easton,
    n.d.). 

  • This city was a carving into the mountainside. 

  • Modern-day pictures still exist of Petra. 

  • One can literally visit Petra today.

Edomite History

  • The Edomites would raid other nations and go back to their rocky strongholds in the mountains. 

  • They descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob, and they were bitter enemies of the Jews (Genesis 25:23; 27:41) (Halley, 2000). 

  • Thus, they were actually the estranged brethren of the Jews. 

  • They refused passage of Moses and the children of Israel when they were wandering in the wilderness (Numbers 20:14-21). 

  • Historically and repeatedly throughout the centuries of time, they were always ready to help the children of Israel’s enemies attack them! 

  • They were a part of wars with the children of Israel and/or the plundering (i.e. stealing of Jewish possessions) of Israel on at least three Biblically documented occasions:

  • (1) During the reign of Jehoram of Judah (2 Chronicles 21:8, 16-17)

  • (2) During the reign of Amaziah of Judah (2 Chronicles 25:11-12, 14-16)

  • (3) During the reign of Ahaz of Judah (2 Chronicles 28:16-21). 

  • Furthermore, they cheered on the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians when it occurred during the reign of Zedekiah of Judah (2 Chronicles 36:11-21; Psalm 137:7) (Halley, 2000). 

  • So, as you can see, they were bitter enemies of the Jews for centuries. 

  • Their nation no longer exists today as God said would happen according to Obadiah and which proves that God’s Word is always true, because it never fails (Obadiah 1:10)!

The Edomites Were Prideful

  • The Edomites’ pride made them think that they were invincible.

  • They obviously trusted in their fortified positions in the mountain, but this would not protect them from the judgment of God (Obadiah 1:3).

  • In fact, Edom would have no one to deliver them from the hands of God, because their allies would betray them (Obadiah 1:7). 

  • God was going to judge the Edomites for their evil deeds done against the children of Israel (Obadiah 1:9). 

  • The Edomites, obviously, were helpers of the Babylonians that conquered Jerusalem and Judah in the reign of Judah’s last king being Zedekiah.

  • The Edomites are convicted by God of taking the treasures of Jerusalem away, which was a normal, but unfortunate, part of all wars generally speaking (Obadiah 1:11-14). 

  • As we commonly say, “To the victor go the spoils!”

The Edomites Would Reap What They Sowed!'

  • God says that for helping the Babylonians slaughter the Jews of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the same thing would happen to the Edomites! 

  • As our old saying goes today, “What goes around comes around!”

  • They would also experience the wrath of God (Obadiah 1:15-21)! 

  • They would have their possessions stolen by their enemies also and killed as well (Obadiah 1:6, 10). 

  • God was going to repay the Edomites for their evils (Obadiah 1:15-16). 

  • As the Edomites helped Babylon conquer Jerusalem, the same Babylonians would conquer Edom (Jeremiah 25:9, 11, 15-21) (Coffman, 1986a).

What Christians Can Learn From Obadiah

  • Is there a message for the modern-day Christian in this book of one chapter? 

  • Absolutely! Christians must be careful how they treat others, because our evil deeds will come back to hurt us in this life and/or in the life to come if we do not change our ways before it is everlastingly too late (Hebrews 12; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; James 2:20; Matthew 7:21; Revelation 20:12-15; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:8-9).

God Will Punish But Not Completely Destroy Judah While Completely Destroying Edom

  • Regarding Obadiah 1:17, it reads as follows, according to the New American Standard Bible (1995), “ . . . But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, And it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.”

  • Although God was going to punish the Jews of Judah and Edom, the punishment would be different. 

  • The mercy of God would be extended to Judah, because God was not going to destroy all of them, but allow them to escape His judgment and return to the land of Judah.

  • Unfortunately for the Edomites, God is showing that they will be completely destroyed forever (Dobson, Feinberg, Hindson, Kroll, Wilmington, 1999).

  • God would surely return the Jews to their homeland of Judah (Obadiah 1:17-21).

Vengeance Belongs To God

  • Another lesson in this lesson is that unfortunately, God will punish the enemies of all Christians that do not repent, because He said that vengeance belongs to Him (Romans 12:19). 

  • Furthermore, this shows us, as Christians, that we should not desire nor engage in revenge against anyone else. 

  • Instead, we want our enemies forgiven (Matthew 5:44; Luke 23:34).

  • However if God elects to punish instead, then that is His decision and His alone to make. 

  • The biggest enemies of Christians who constantly plague us with temptations, trials, and tribulations over the centuries (similar to the aggravation of the Jews by Edom) will be thrown in the lake of fire to never plague Christians again (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41)! 

  • Those enemies are Satan and his angels (commonly known as fallen angels or demons). 

  • Christian, be faithful (i.e. devoted in faith and obedience) to the end of your life and you will receive eternal life as opposed to the enemy, Satan, who will suffer the eternal death of the lake of fire (Revelation 2:10; Matthew 7:21)!
     

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