Summary: learning to forgive




A. The nation of Edom and the nation of Israel can trace their

beginnings back to two twin brothers

1. Edom traces their beginning back to Esau and Israel

traces their beginning back to Jacob

2. As you look at these two brothers, you find a less than

cordial relationship

a. Esau, the oldest was his father’s favorite-- Jacob, his

mother’s favorite was the youngest

b. Because of the parents showing their favoritism, there

was competition between the two sons

3. That competition led to two incidents that had far

reaching consequences

a. Jacob desired the family blessing and birthright which

was supposed to go to the oldest son

b. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of red stew

c. Jacob later tricked Isaac into giving him the blessing

B. After all was said and done, Esau was left with a hatred for


1. Jacob had to run away from home for a period of twenty

years before his brother’s anger subsided

2. But, the animosity between the two brothers was passed

down to the nations that bore their names

a. Edom would later refused Israel passage through their

land when they came out of Egypt

b. Edom would later take their revenge of Israel and join

the Babylonians in attaching and defeating Israel

3. As a result of their refusal to forgive their brother, God

sent Obadiah with this message about His revenge on



A. An unforgiving spirit can be passed on to others

1. What started out between just Jacob and Esau was passed

on for centuries down to their off spring

2. An unforgiving spirit can spread like leaven and affect:

a. An entire family

b. An entire church

c. A business, school, etc.

3. When an unforgiving spirit affects a group, people in that

group have a tendency to take up an offense and take


a. The result is division in a church which the Holy Spirit

cannot work in

b. Bitterness, anger and envy which kills any spirit of joy

and praise

4. An unforgiving spirit, passed on to others, leaves scars

that often never go away

B. The danger of refusing to forgive can also be seen in how

we take revenge

1. The Bible tells us that when one who offends us will not

make it right, that we are to:

a. Forgive them from the heart-- this is for our sake and

our good

b. Pray for those who hurt us and despitefully use us

c. Turn them over to God and leave vengeance up to Him

2. When we don’t forgive, we will seek to avenge ourselves

3. When we take vengeance into our own hands, we will

adopt the world’s ways

a. Edom went in with the ungodly Babylonians to get their

vengeance v. 10-14

b. When we seek to avenge ourselves, we may be tempted

to slander and lie about another person

c. When we seek to avenge ourselves, we may be tempted

to take advantage of them

4. When we take vengeance in our own hands and adopt the

world’s way to do it, God will have to deal with our sin

as well as their’s

a. That is what the book of Obadiah is all about

b. Don’t let self righteous pride cause us to think that God

won’t deal with us v. 3-4

5. His dealing with our sin can then embitter us



A. When we forgive, we are being like Him

1. Jesus has forgiven us

a. Jesus has forgiven us of offenses we committed out of

ignorance-- we sometimes offend people and don’t

intend to and don’t even realize it

b. Jesus also has forgiven us of the times when we

knowingly and rebelliously offended Him

2. Notice how Jesus made this forgiveness possible

a. We hurt and offended Him, yet He stepped in and paid

the price of our offenses

b. We hurt and offended Him yet he stepped up and made

the first move toward reconciliation-- seen in His

dealings with Adam and Eve

3. Jesus’ forgiveness brings about a reconciliation and

restores a broken relationship

4. The basis for our forgiving others is the forgiveness that

we have received from Christ-- parable of the unforgiving


B. God desires that we forgive in order to show others who

Jesus is

1. It was Stephen’s forgiveness of the ones who stoned him

that led Paul to see who Jesus was

2. Believers can only reach a lost world as we model God’s

truth before them

3. Modeling forgiveness would go a long way to bring

people to Christ


A. If God’s family can’t model forgiveness, then why should a

lost world believe us when we talk about Jesus forgiving


B. God expects us to forgive one another

C. The consequences are too high not too

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Joseph Ford

commented on May 29, 2016

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