Summary: God rewards us as we participate in his deliverance and establishment of his kingdom
Today, we move to the book of Obadiah. The only one chapter book in the Old Testament. It's a story of a distant cousin rivalry. They were warring cousins much like the hatfields and the McCoys. Their feud begins at the moment His brother, Essau also falls prey to his brother’s swindle for a bowl of stew after a hunt. It continues and cme more serious when Jacob takes it one step further and fools his blind father Isaac to give up his brother’s birthright inheritance. It was a moment that would establish Essau to lead a tribe who would be known as the Edomites and Jacob would be known as Israelites. The two would never gather for a family reunion. The hatred would become generational, kind of like fans from either the Chicago White sox and Chicago cubs. They would forever live in conflict. In fact, a day would come when the Edomites would watch their couszins be overrun by the Babylonians and actually turn over those who would try to escape to the conquerors. Edom would watch and almost cheer as Israel people, and possessions would be carted off by the conquers.
Obadiah is speaking of the rivalry when He offers a universal truth in a prophetic way. It’s a truth found in both the new and old testament. It’s called: the law of the harvest.”
Let’s take a moment and read today’s scripture:
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.
3 The 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?’
4 Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
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.
8 “In that day,” declares the Lord, “will I not destroy the wise men of Edom, those of understanding in the mountains of Esau?
9 Your warriors, Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau’s mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.
10 Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever.
11 On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.
12 You should not gloat over your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble.
13 You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor gloat over them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.
14 You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble.
15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.
As you can tell, Obadiah is letting everyone know the Edomites will refuse to help their cousins during this time and they will be subject to the law of the harvest. He even outlines their three great errors that will be repaid and destroy them.
In verse 3, he points to their arrogance. The phrase “the pride of your heart” is pointing to the type of pride God hates. It’s the attitude that looks down on others and puts one's own desires before others.
Proverbs 6:16-19 says:
16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.