As I wrote in my last post Obadiah is not a book of the Bible I have ever had any interest in reading. Having no reason to do so God continues to give me the “word” every morning as soon as I open my Bible. As of today this has occurred 6 mornings in a row.
Literally God has led me on a “journey” of the words of the Prophet Obadiah. Little is known about him except for this short book of 21 verses.
Questions of his life on earth range from 800-500 B.C.
1) The invasion of Israel during Jehoram’s reign 853-841 B.C. (2 Chronicles 21) or
2) The attack on Jerusalem by the Babylonians between 605-586 B.C.
Either time-frame has been debated from Biblical scholars to religious educators.
The core element of his prophecy is the destruction of Edom by God as a result of their hatred and dissension toward the Israelites.
Biblical maps reveal the boundaries of Edom below Israel to the southeast. Today it is considered a part of Jordan although you wouldn’t want to go there. Considered to be one of the worst places on earth the land is nothing but blatant wasteland and desert. It has been described as a daunting desolation; a barren emptiness as if human life never existed there.
The story of Edom dates back to Jacob and Esau. Edom is named after Esau; the land he lived in after he and his brother parted ways. If you are like me, some of these brothers in the Bible caused an awful lot of trouble for the rest of us and I would like it to stop.
The birthright dispute between the two of them led to years of no communication. It wasn’t like they had cell phones or email to contact each other. When the two finally did connect, it didn’t end well.
Esau was resentful and bitter towards Jacob over the lie he used to receive the blessing of their father, Isaac. He never forgave him or their mother for what he considered to be a grave betrayal. The truth of the story is that Esau gave up his birthright for food his brother had cooked.
Obadiah relentlessly speaks of God’s displeasure with the Edomites. The insufferable precedence Esau set for the generations that came after him toward the Israelites ultimately became God’s wrath against them.
Obadiah 1:15 “For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your dealings will return upon your own head.”
Wrapped up in that one verse are descriptions God gives through Obadiah of what would become of Edom and its people. God makes it clear no one will ever get away with messing with Israel.
Obadiah gives verbal understanding to the behavior, actions and treatment of others with the results of generational curses. Our lives affect those around us and those that come after us.
How does Obadiah’s prophecy relate to modern day and the future?
to be continued….