Summary: This is the 1st sermon in "The Rise Or Fall Of A Nation" series. This series is from the Book of Obadiah and is a message to the Nations.
Series: The Rise Or Fall Of A Nation [#1]
A NATION’S DELUSION
Last week, as we finished up our series in Ephesians; I said that 1 of the ways that God speaks to us is through dreams. I know that for many in our Denomination, this statement makes them a bit nervous; and I get it. I have heard preachers tell their dreams and then come up with some very odd interpretations of those dreams. Friday night, I was preparing to preach a sermon series from the Book of Colossians; and then I went to bed. Saturday morning, I woke up and remembered a dream that I had. I also was paralyzed and could not speak. The dream was a dream concerning our Nation. It was a dream about civil war and chaos- Not a dream I wanted to have or remember. I knew right then that I would be preaching from a different Book of the Bible. The Lord took me to a Book of the Bible that I taught 1 Wednesday Night Bible Study from in 2004. I spent the next 12 hours studying the Book of Obadiah.
Obadiah wrote this shortest book of the Old Testament probably soon after the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. While the Babylonians were taking the Israelites into captivity, the people of Edom helped capture those Israelites who were running and turned them over to the Babylonians. After most of the Israelites were in captivity the Edomites took up residency in the Judean villages. This angered the Lord. The Edomites were descendants of Esau which were related to the Israelites. Instead of helping the Babylonians they should have been helping their relatives. Obadiah prophesied that Edom would be repaid for mistreating God’s people and that the house of Jacob would be restored.
Obadiah 1:1-4 (NIV)
1 The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign Lord says about Edom- We have heard a message from the Lord: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Rise, let us go against her for battle” 2 “See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. 3The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ 4Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
Edom’s false sense of…
God declared war on Edom. In these verses God told them what He was going to do to them. Edom prided herself in her great wealth. Edom’s 3 main areas of economy were trading, looting, and iron and copper mining in the region. Edom also prided herself in her secure geographical position. Yet God said He would cause her to be made small.
Edom’s pride would be the key to her fall. Because of Edom’s geographical location in the mountains of Seir, they were very secure. Edom trusted in the natural protection provided by the clefts of the rocks. Living in caves high above the ground, Edom felt totally safe from enemy attacks. Some of the Edomites had settled
in such high caves and other places up in the mountains that it was as if they were soaring like the eagle and nesting among the stars.
Obadiah 1:5-7 (NIV)
5 “If thieves came to you, if robbers in the night- oh, what a disaster awaits you! would they not steal only as much as they wanted? If grape pickers came to you, would they not leave a few grapes? 6 But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged! 7 All your allies will force you to the border; your friends will deceive and overpower you; those who eat your bread will set a trap for you, but you will not detect it.
Edom’s false sense of…
Obadiah now filled in details about Edom’s coming judgment. 1st, he spoke of thieves taking everything they have. 2nd, he compared their humiliation to field workers gathering grapes who leave a few grapes for the poor to glean. Edom prided themselves in the alliances they had with neighboring countries; but those allies would become their enemies. They would pursue Edom to their borders and wipe them out.
Another point of irony is that Edom, who was known for its wise men, would be totally ignorant of their allies’ deceptive scheme. History tells us that in the late 6th or early 5th century B.C. the Nabateans went to the Edomites, who took them in for a banquet; and once they were welcomed inside, the Nabateans turned against their ally and killed the guards.
Obadiah 1:8-9 (NIV)