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Obadiah: Pride Comes Before the Fall 122417

Majoring in the Minor Prophets  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Scripture Reading: Obadiah 1-9
Scripture Reading: Obadiah 1-9
Introduction
The nation of Edom was made up of the descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob and the son of Isaac. Jacob, from whom the nation of Israel came, and Esau seemed to be in a constant competition and struggle with one another. This friction began while they were yet in the womb (). Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew because he thought he was so hungry. Hatred and bitterness existed on the part of Esau toward Jacob after that, and grew in its intensity after Jacob tricked him out of his father's blessing. Esau wanted to kill Jacob and so Jacob fled and did not return home for many years. The book of Hebrews warns Christians not to belittle the value of spiritual blessings and uses Esau as an example: "That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau who sold his birthright for a single meal." (). It seems as if the nation of Edom had adopted their ancestor's lack of morality and spirituality.
As the descendants of these two individuals grew into nations over the centuries, they were separated from one another by Israel's servitude in Egypt. It was during the Exodus that the two nations first came into contact. Israel expected Edom's cooperation because of their common heritage through Isaac, but the Edomites were hostile. When asked for permission to pass through their land on the way to Canaan, Edom refused and threatened to attack () In the future, Edom would delight at any calamity that would befall Israel, at times joining with Israel's enemies in looting the land. Finally, Edom was conquered by David (). Edom successfully revolted years later during the reign of Jehoram, but soon both Israel and Edom became subjects of Babylon.
As the descendants of these two individuals grew into nations over the centuries, they were separated from one another by Israel's servitude in Egypt. It was during the Exodus that the two nations first came into contact. Israel expected Edom's cooperation because of their common heritage through Isaac, but the Edomites were hostile. When asked for permission to pass through their land on the way to Canaan, Edom refused and threatened to attack () In the future, Edom would delight at any calamity that would befall Israel, at times joining with Israel's enemies in looting the land. Finally, Edom was conquered by David (). Edom successfully revolted years later during the reign of Jehoram, but soon both Israel and Edom became subjects of Babylon.
From the beginning of their relationship, a struggle between Jacob and Esau.
These two sons grew into two nations - nations that continued to struggle with each other for over one thousand years.
There are two time periods that are usually given regarding when Obadiah based on the contents of the book.
Reasons for Edom’s Judgment
There are a few reasons why this judgment is coming.
They mistreated their brothers, Israel
10 You will be covered with shame and destroyed forever because of violence done to your brother Jacob. (, CSB)
There are many instances in the history of Edom that they could be rightly condemned for mistreating Israel and Judah, but there are often two main time periods given in regards to what Obadiah is condemning Edom for. Some believe this is the first of the minor prophets to prophesy, and that he prophesied against Edom because of how they mistreated God’s people after they rebelled against Jehoram and after a battle where Jerusalem was assaulted by the Arabians and Philistines during the reign of Jehoram.
There are many instances in the history of Edom that they could be rightly condemned for mistreating Israel and Judah, but there are often two main time periods given in regards to what Obadiah is condemning Edom for. Some believe this is the first of the minor prophets to prophesy, and that he prophesied against Edom because of how they mistreated God’s people after they rebelled against Jehoram and after a battle where Jerusalem was assaulted by the Arabians and Philistines during the reign of Jehoram.
The other possibility is that Obadiah is condemning Edom for gloating at the misfortune that came upon Judah at the time Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 586BC. This is the view that I hold, but either way, God is ready to judge Edom and to completely destroy them because of the violence committed against Jacob.
refers to a battle where Jerusalem was assaulted by the Arabians and Philis nes.
We are told in this book that the Edomites entered the gates of Jerusalem to see what they could get out of the city for themselves. And in verse 14, they cut off the fugitives of Jerusalem and handed their survivors over to the enemy.
They were inactive in helping God’s people.
Inaction
11 On the day you stood aloof, on the day strangers captured his wealth, while foreigners entered his city gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were just like one of them. (, CSB)
They were unwilling to help their brothers as they were being destroyed. 11 On the day you stood aloof, on the day strangers captured his wealth, while foreigners entered his city gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were just like one of them. (, CSB). The Edomites, because of their refusal to come to the aid of their brethren (Israel), were condemned for their non-action. They did nothing as strangers carried off the treasure of Jerusalem. Because of their inaction, Obadiah says they were just as guilty as the perpetrators of the crime. Instead of doing something to help, they instead rejoiced over the calamity that came upon Judah.
Those who rejoice in the tragedy of others will have their own day of reckoning with the forces of God.
They rejoiced over the calamity that came upon Judah.
The Edomites, because of their refusal to come to the aid of their brethren (Israel), were condemned for their non-action. They stood aloof as strangers carried off the treasure of Jerusalem. Because of their inaction, Obadiah says they were just as guilty as the perpetrators of the crime.
The Edomites, because of their refusal to come to the aid of their brethren (Israel), were condemned for their non-action. They stood aloof as strangers carried o the treasure of Jerusalem. Because of their inaction, Obadiah says they were just as guilty as the perpetrators of the crime.
Pride
3 Your arrogant heart has deceived you, you who live in clefts of the rock in your home on the heights, who say to yourself, “Who can bring me down to the ground?”(, CSB)
Your arrogant heart has deceived you,
you who live in clefts of the rock,C,
There were many things that led them to be filled with pride. In verses 3-4, it is their location. They believed they were secure because they lived in a location that was hard to access and conquer. The arid mountains, intense heat, lack of water, and rough terrain would make it difficult for any large army to come in, so they thought arrogantly to themselves, “who can take us down?” It is arrogant because they did not consider that the LORD could overcome any obstacle. The LORD could take them down.
in your home on the heights,
In verses 5-6, we see that their wealth also led them to pride. Edom possessed tremendous ore deposits and was on a major caravan route between the Middle East and the Far East. Much money would have been made from the tariffs imposed on caravans coming through their territory. Verse six describes the upcoming desolation: O how Esau will be ransacked, And his hidden treasures searched out! They will be completely emptied of any material prosperity.
The arid mountains, intense heat, lack of water, and rough terrain would make it di cult for any large army to come in
Edom possessed tremendous ore deposits and was on a major caravan route between the Middle East and the Far East. Much money would have been made from the tari s imposed on caravans coming through their territory. Verse six describes the upcoming desola on: O how Esau will be ransacked, And his hidden treasures searched out! They will be completely emp ed of any material prosperity.
In verse 7, the nations that they had treaties with that led them to pride would turn on Edom
who say to yourself,
And in verses 8-9, all of their wise men they trusted in would be eliminated.
“Who can bring me down to the ground?”
So, all that they trusted in and were proud about - their secure location, their wealth, their allies, and their wisdom would not help them when the LORD brought an enemy against them to destroy them for their sin against Jacob.
An important Bible principle will come into play when they are judged.
15 For the day of the Lord is near, against all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; what you deserve will return on your own head. 16 As you have drunk on my holy mountain, so all the nations will drink continually. They will drink and gulp down and be as though they had never been. (, CSB)
They would reap what they sowed. They cut down the fugitives, and they will be cut off. They looted Jerusalem, and their wealth will be looted and taken away.
They would cease to be a nation. Obadiah says in verse 18 that the house of Esau would be like stubble that burns quickly and is gone forever.
They mistreated their brothers, Israel
10 You will be covered with shame and destroyed forever because of violence done to your brother Jacob. (, CSB)
There are many instances in the history of Edom that they could be rightly condemned for mistreating Israel and Judah, but there are often two main time periods given in regards to what Obadiah is condemning Edom for. Some believe this is the first of the minor prophets to prophesy, and that he prophesied against Edom because of how they mistreated God’s people after they rebelled against Jehoram and after a battle where Jerusalem was assaulted by the Arabians and Philistines during the reign of Jehoram.
The other possibility is that Obadiah is condemning Edom for gloating at the misfortune that came upon Judah at the time Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 586BC. This is the view that I hold, but either way, God is ready to judge Edom and to completely destroy them because of the violence committed against Jacob.
We are told in this book that the Edomites entered the gates of Jerusalem to see what they could get out of the city for themselves. And in verse 14, they cut off the fugitives of Jerusalem and handed their survivors over to the enemy.
So what did they do to God’s people?
First, they were unwilling to help their brothers as they were being destroyed. 11 On the day you stood aloof, on the day strangers captured his wealth, while foreigners entered his city gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were just like one of them. (, CSB). The Edomites, because of their refusal to come to the aid of their brethren (Israel), were condemned for their non-action. They did nothing as strangers carried off the treasures of Jerusalem. Because of their inaction, Obadiah says they were just as guilty as the perpetrators of the crime for doing nothing.
Second, instead of doing something to help, here is what they did:
They were unwilling to help their brothers as they were being destroyed. 11 On the day you stood aloof, on the day strangers captured his wealth, while foreigners entered his city gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were just like one of them. (, CSB). The Edomites, because of their refusal to come to the aid of their brethren (Israel), were condemned for their non-action. They did nothing as strangers carried off the treasure of Jerusalem. Because of their inaction, Obadiah says they were just as guilty as the perpetrators of the crime for doing nothing. Instead of doing something to help, they instead rejoiced over the calamity that came upon Judah.
And third, look at verses 13-14
13 Do not enter the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; do not gloat over his disaster in the day of his calamity; do not loot his wealth in the day of his calamity. 14 Do not stand at the crossroads to cut off his fugitives; do not hand over his survivors in the day of distress.” (, ESV)
There are two things they did to mistreat God’s people here. They didn’t stop at not helping God’s people, they gloated over what was happening to God’s people. How evil do you have to be to gloat over the misfortune of others? Over the pain of others? Whether you look at them as an enemy or not, this is just wrong. You don’t rejoice over their pain and then add insult to injury by looting their possessions.
There are two things they did to mistreat God’s people here. They didn’t stop at not helping God’s people, they gloated over what was happening to God’s people. How evil do you have to be to gloat over the misfortune of others? Over the pain of others?
but if that wasn’t enough, they take it a step farther. Some of God’s people were able to escape the city of Jerusalem - able to escape the enemy. Edomites saw this and captured them and turned them over to the enemy. This is not what you would expect a nation who are technically your family to do.
These are the reasons why judgment is coming for Edom. Throughout this first section of the book, we see that the things that they did to afflict God’s people would come back around and happen to them, and the things that they trusted in would be taken away and not help them in the time of disaster. They cut down the fugitives, and they will be cut off. They looted Jerusalem, and their wealth will be looted and taken away. They would reap what they sowed.
An important Bible principle will come into play when they are judged.
They would reap what they sowed. They cut down the fugitives, and they will be cut off. They looted Jerusalem, and their wealth will be looted and taken away.
Deliverance for Zion (15-21)
While Edom would be destroyed, God’s kingdom would ultimately triumph.
Verse 15 begins the second main section of Obadiah. It looks toward the future glory of Israel in contrast to the destruction of, not just Edom, but all of the nations who afflict God’s people.
15 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. 16 For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so all the nations shall drink continually; they shall drink and swallow, and shall be as though they had never been. 17 But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions. (, ESV)
God’s kingdom would be established and all who oppose Him would be destroyed. I believe the Mt. Zion as used in these verses is talking about God’s faithful remnant - those who are saved because they trust in the LORD Jesus. There may be some foreshadowing of the remnant returning to the land after the captivity, but the majority of the things we see in this passage did not happen then.
While Edom would be razed, God’s kingdom would ultimately triumph
Obadiah says that Mt. Zion would conquer all her enemies including Mt. Seir and rule over the nations. In my judgment, this is talking about the rule and reign of Jesus and His people. Truly, Jesus is in control of all the nations, their arrangements, size of territory, and even their very existence is in His control. Jesus is king over all, and His people reign along with Him.
The next few verses give us details on how God’s purposes would be carried out. Truly, Jesus is in control of all the nations, their arrangements, size of territory, and even their very existence is in His control. Jesus is king over all, and His people reign along with Him.
Application & Conclusion
There are a few good lessons & applications of this book for us.
Be on guard against pride and arrogance. Having an exalted view of ourselves is something that the Bible condemns time and time again. We can fall prey to the same types of pride that Edom did.
We can become proud and arrogant about the place where we live in this physical world. “We are part of the greatest & most powerful nation on earth” or “no enemy is powerful enough to destroy our nation.” Whether these may be true or not, we need to not filled with pride or arrogance in this area because God has torn down every sinful nation that He has wanted to judge. He did it to Edom as he promised. He did it to Assyria, Babylon, and Rome. Our boasting needs to be in our primary citizenship in the kingdom of God. No matter what physical nation we may live in, we are God’s people in a dark and sinful world that we are pilgrims in.We can become proud because of our economic status as individuals when we trust in our money or in our possessions to be the thing that gives us security in this life.
We are part of the greatest & most powerful nation on earth” or “no enemy is powerful enough to destroy our nation.” Whether these may be true or not, we need to not filled with pride or arrogance in this area because God has torn down every sinful nation that He has wanted to judge. He did it to Edom as he promised. He did it to Assyria, Babylon, and Rome. Our boasting needs to be in our primary citizenship in the kingdom of God. No matter what physical nation we may live in, we are God’s people in a dark and sinful world that we are pilgrims in.We can become proud because of our economic status as individuals when we trust in our money or in our possessions to be the thing that gives us security in this life.
We can become proud because of our economic status as individuals when we trust in our money or in our possessions to be the thing that gives us security in this life.
We can become proud over our level of wisdom or knowledge. Education is something that people look at and think makes them someone great - someone better than others who don’t have the same degrees or letters after their names. A secular education is a great blessing God gives us the ability to get, but it can become a stumbling block to us.
These are things that we need to be careful not to place our trust in and become proud about. The proverbs writer says :
18 Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. (, CSB)
Throughout history, the mightiest and strongest of men and women have fallen because of their pride. This is something we have seen a lot as we have studied Chronicles. Many kings fell because their wealth, their security, or their power that was given to them by the LORD led them to become proud and to turn their back on the LORD. The same can happen to us if we do not work on trying to grow in our humility and in our trust in the LORD.
Jesus says, 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (, CSB)
Which of these two categories do we find ourselves in? Those who exalt themselves, or those who humble themselves. God gives grace to those who are humble, those who, like Jesus, deny themselves and become a servant to others.
At the time of Obadiah’s prophecy, Edom sits proud and strong in her high mountain setting. Her main cities are Bozrah and Sela (which means ‘rocks’). Petra is just such a city (although
Not doing what is right is just as bad as actively doing wrong.
Inaction is wrong. Knowing the good things that we need to be doing as God’s people and neglecting to do those things is sin, James says in . We need to stand up for what is right, speak against those things that are wrong.
The Sowing and Reaping Principle. We will reap what we sow.
We see God promise this for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This includes us if we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Those who mistreat and curse God’s people will receive the same from the LORD. He will administer ultimate justice for His people.
Edom reaped what they sowed. This is a principle that is seen often in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments.
8 The one who sows injustice will reap disaster, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.(, CSB)
This was
Justice comes to those who are unjust. Disaster comes to those who bring disaster onto others.
12 Sow righteousness for yourselves and reap faithful love; break up your unplowed ground. It is time to seek the Lord until he comes and sends righteousness on you like the rain. 13 You have plowed wickedness and reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in your large number of soldiers, 14 the roar of battle will rise against your people, and all your fortifications will be demolished in a day of war... (, CSB)
This principle goes both ways…
This principle goes both ways…
In the New Testament:
Regarding giving, Paul says, 6 The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. (, CSB) Paul is showing in this context that those who are generous will be taken care of by the LORD and have what they need. God will be gracious to them.
One more passage: Galatians 6:7-10:
Paul says in , 7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith. (, CSB)
In this passage, Paul is returning to the idea of being fruitful - walking by the Spirit and not doing the works of the flesh. Paul is saying here: “do not deceive yourselves into thinking that you can live according to the flesh and still be rewarded with eternal life. Eternal life come to those who are sowing to the Spirit - those who are being fruitful for the LORD - those who take the opportunities to do good for all, especially those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
How we treat our brothers is important.
We will reap what we sow. As we see in these passages, this principles covers how we use our physical things for the LORD, and it also applies to how we in general are living for the LORD.
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