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Obadiah (4)

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Read text. 1-14

What are the judgments declared to Edom?

small among the nations (2)
utterly despised (2)
brought down (4)
destroyed (5)
pillaged (6)
driven to border (7)
deceived by allies (7)
trapped with no understanding (7)
wise men destroyed (8)
mighty men dismayed (9)
every man cut off by slaughter (9)
shame shall cover (10)
cut off forever (10)
house of Esau made into stubble with no survivor (18)

Why is Edom receiving such judgments?

Their pride had deceived them (3) How?
False sense of security, self, and sovereignty
The violence done to their brother Jacob (10)
Stood aloof on the day strangers ransacked Jerusalem.

Why did they stand aside within sight of their brothers distress?

1. Revenge Ezek 25:12-14
Ezekiel 25:12–14 ESV
“Thus says the Lord God: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance on them, therefore thus says the Lord God, I will stretch out my hand against Edom and cut off from it man and beast. And I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword. And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord God.
Application: Have I justified revenge by standing aloof toward those in need? Have I justified sitting aside and watching as a brother or sister in Christ is in need because, “no one has ever helped me!” Or better yet do I justify the neglect of loving my neighbors because they are an enemy? It was easy for Edom to justify their violence toward Judah because Judah was not innocent. As a matter of fact the calamity being brought to Judah from other nations was an act of God’s judgement just as much as nations that would be coming against Edom is an act of judgement. Neither nation was innocent. It is so easy to justify revenge when we presume upon our own innocence. Then it is a very short drive to deceiving ourselves with pride and before we know it thinking that we are doing God a favor by helping out His cause and condemning. God is the judge. It is His kingdom that will reign forever. We should be reminded of the truth from Romans 12:19 ESV “ Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”(Are you aware of a brother or sister in our body to whom you can love… do not stand by and watch.)
2. Possessed by everlasting enmity. They maintained an ancient hatred. Ezk 35:5 They cherished a perpetual hostility. Carried on the family feud inherited from previous generations.
Ezekiel 35:5 ESV
Because you cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment,
Application: Am I carrying a family grudge today? Am I maintaining some hatred that was taught to me. Do I maintain a harsh resentment from a hurt from long ago? Maybe there was an inheritance stolen, or a bribe taken, or a terrible offence made… and so you have cut off that family member? That is not the way of Christ, that is not our war to fight.
When have we obeyed Jesus in loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us? Matthew 5:43-47 Our lack of fervent prayer exposes our ferocious pride.
3. Hatred producing anger and envy. Ezek 35:10-11
Ezekiel 35:10–11 ESV
“Because you said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them’—although the Lord was there— therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy that you showed because of your hatred against them. And I will make myself known among them, when I judge you.
Application: What we should notice is the progression of pride. We should be very wary of the slow fade from an attitude of envy that erupts in actions of anger. From dispositions of hatred that lead to behaviors hostility.
Point is this: When Edom stood aloof they were acting in violence? The list of 8 “Do Not’s” are further explanation of what Edom actually did. The evidence of the charges brought against them.
Do not gloat… (12a)
Do not rejoice… (12b)
Do not boast… (12c)
Do not enter… (13a) Observation: The same pride that deceived Edom and the same pride that deceives us was the same original pride that removed Satan from heaven. The demise of Edom, our own destruction, is the same way the devil was brought low when he tried to overthrow heaven. Seeking to enter the gate and take control of the throne of God. This is the same pride that Jesus died for to set us free from. There is victory in Jesus Christ the true King of Heaven. And the kingdom shall be the Lord’s!
Do not gloat… (13b) in a day when Edom could have broken the cycle of generational hostility. When they could have helped. When they could have shown compassion and forgiveness.. they gloated over Judah’s calamity.
Do not loot… (13c)
Do not stand… (14a)
Do not hand… (14b) Picture this: Survivors from the terrible destruction that came upon the nation of Judah are running away to the south in order to seek refuge. They have nothing, they are broken down and beat up, they are terrified of what is behind them and all of a sudden what is in front of them, there own cousins cut them off and hand them over to the invading army. And so God has determined to bring His wrath against them for such attitudes and actions.
Transition: Why is God ultimately bringing this destruction upon Edom? 1. Certainly its because their pride had deceived them. 2. Certainly it’s because of the violence they had done to Judah. According to verse 15 they are in fact reaping what they have sown. But, there is also another reason that we find in Ezek 35:15 “then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Ezekiel 35:15 ESV
As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
Main Point of this text:

God is making Himself known.

How? by announcing certain destruction of Edom. Why? because they violently stood aside when Judah faced a day of calamity.
The sin of Edom was to presume upon their own means of justice, rather than trust in God. There aloofness was not passive but rather actively aware of the help they should offer but rejected. Their guilt was not a result of just bad behavior, but also a proud attitude of hate and vengeance and jealousy. And so we discover in God is the exact opposite of what we discover in Edom.

What does this passage teach us about God?

1. Justice of God: God is granting justice to Edom for their sin.
We too like Edom deserve the justice of God. We all like sheep have gone astray. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all have stood aside and watched with envy as supposed enemies have fallen. But our justice has been served to Christ on the cross. and by His Resurrection He proved victorious over our sinful rebellion. Today.. this day.. is a day of salvation for those who would trust in Christ. II Cor 6:1-2
2 Corinthians 6:1–2 ESV
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2. Jealousy of God: God is jealous in fulfilling His promises. When the Bible speaks of God as a jealous God it means that He is overwhelming committed to being faithful to His word. It means He is faithful and will make good on His promises.
For the original recipients (those Jews who were in exile) this announcement from Obadiah would have proved a great source of encouragement and reignited their confidence in the promise making and promising keeping God of heaven.
The fact that God is a jealous God is really good news for those who are in Christ. We should be most encouraged that God will keep His word. He is faithful to His promises. What He has said He will do. Regardless for the current calamity, the current disaster, the current day of misfortune… God will remain faithful to those in covenant relationship with Him. He has not abandon you. You are not and orphan. You are not forgotten.
(Work on this!) Transition: How should we think about this truth from Obadiah? What might we apply to our own lives today? Keeping in mind the principle of first allegiance. Recognizing that many of the issues we face in life are not inherently evil, but rather our pride deceives us often by permitting those matters to have first place. This is blatantly apparent in our lives we we consider our sin of aloofness. In the same way that we should answer the question how has our pride deceived us, so too we must answer how are we standing aloof. To know to do the right thing and does not do it , it is sin. James 4:17 (Like the parable of faithful and wise servant, who knew his masters will but did not obey. Much will be required on the day of judgment.)
Jesus did not stand aside, and because of that those who are in Christ can stand in solidarity with those in need.
Matthew 5:43–47 ESV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Application: When have we stood aloof toward those who suffer misfortune, ruin, distress, calamity, disaster, or refugees? Example: parenting. When parents enable their children to dictate the family with all the various activities they think they need to the neglect of the worship of Christ in their home, the parent is actually stepping aside to accommodate worldly involvement they are doing much violence to their children. More Christian parents are acting violence upon their children today thru spiritual aloofness than has ever been done thru belts or switches. Example: Ethnic favoritism. People groups around the world have no access to the gospel of Christ and our own tribe has enormous over abundance of access to the good new of God’s Word. Example: there has been much horrific and blatant injustice accomplished in our nation to those who are truly innocent as unborn children. We are a part of a nation that has legislated murder. And yet, we sit idly by while our innocent fellow citizens are destroyed. All the while we demand our rights and forms of so called injustices against us who are living! Dare I say we would do well to be very cautious of critiquing young black men who kneel at side lines during an anthem being played that celebrates a nation that continues to participate in not only racial injustice but in infanticide. And being the good american Christians that we are we accuse those men of being insubordinate to a nation that has died for their freedom to kneel, and all the while we sit aloof in a masquerade of pride by looking on and looking away at the death of innocent lives that occurs under the repulsive guise of freedom to choose. It is pride dear ones. It is deadly, self-deceiving pride.
Transition: Well, if your like me and your feeling a bit sour, and the Holy Spirit is using the truth of Scripture to bring conviction then I think we must answer this question: How do we win the battle against pride and aloofness?
As those who are redeemed in Christ, belonging to the church who holds the keys of the kingdom, as those who know something of the jealous love and justice of God, we are the most prepared and equipped on this earth to speak and serve the various peoples of the world suffering from a myriad of calamities. Instead of standing aloof we can stand in solidarity with those oppressed, hurting , and suffering from disasters of any kind.
God’s people have always had enemies. Some from within and those outside. The reason this is important to note is that one of the big picture observations we should see is that God is bringing about a plan of redemption to be offered to all nations through this one nation, Israel. The descendants of Jacob are a part of a much bigger agenda than they probably even realized when they were carried off to Babylon and hated by their cousins. God was being jealously faithful to His promises, and bringing the possibility of reconciliation to all the peoples of the earth. Much of the calamity we see occuring in Obadiah is ultimately God remaining true to His covenant. What we must see is God’s plans unfolding and paving the way for Jesus Christ to come at the appointed time and be born of a virgin, to live a life of perfect obedience to the Father, to die as the truly innocent sacrifice for sinners, to be raised from the dead victorious over sin and death, to ascend to the Father with the confident promise of His return. As a result, those who have responded to the grace of God and welcomed this good news by faith have experienced the fulfillment of God’s promises. However, as God’s people we should expect that even as God’s plans unfolded during the time of Obadiah, His plans continue to unfold today. And just as those plans included enemies coming against God’s people then, so too enemies will come against God’s elect today. Our challenge is not terribly different but we do have the witness of God’s written Word to help guide us through our own calamities.
How do we stand against pride and for those suffering calamity? Those who belong in Christ, the church are told in Ephesians 6:12 We do not make a stand in the battle against pride unarmed. We stand as the most prepared soldiers on the earth. We stand with our minds covered in salvation. We go with our hearts/motives/ and attitudes covered with the righteousness of Christ, we stand with girded up with the belt of truth, we stand with our shoes prepared with the gospel of peace, we stand with the shield of faith ready to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one, we stand with the powerful sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, we stand with the power of prayer in the Holy Spirit able to preserver at all times making supplications for the saints of God.
Key words:
Violence (10)- act of aggression
shame (10)- dishonor, clothed in shame,
cut off (10)- Separated from, to destroy, to make a covenant,
aloof (11) - at a distance or opposite to, in sight of , stood aside.
gloat (12)- to gaze at something with great satisfaction [same word used in vs. 13b]
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