Summary: A study in Obadiah
It Will Be Mighty Sore Where The Eagle Soars!
Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, but it covers a lot of ground in only twenty-one verses. Obadiah’s name means a slave or bondservant of Jah, a short form of Jehovah. Paul called himself a bondservant and we are to be the same. In that, we have a kinship to this writer.
Some folks do not like to study the Old Testament. They see no use for it since we are now in times of the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Besides, we are Gentiles and do not need to know all that ancient Hebrew history. This is not a new thing. There was a move among the early church to burn the Old Testament and forget it completely. Fortunately, God raised up a lad named Irenaeus (AD 120-202) to preserve the Old Testament for us.
I felt somewhat like a modern day Irenaeus in my Homiletics class. And y’all thunk I culdn’t spel! When they started talkin’ homily, I thought they said hominy and I got hungry! Anyway, when we were given assignments to prepare a sermon and I came up with an Old Testament passage and applied it to our day my classmates were astounded and amazed. They could not do it. I reckon their minds were made up that the OT wuz jist law and we wuz to fergit it. Well, I’m jist an old country preacher enuff to believe that God wrote it from kiver to kiver and there is sumthin’ everywhere that I need to know. After all, I thought that was the reason we were alearnin’ Hermeneutics. Ouch, that one made my head hurt. Anyway, my compatriots had forgotten to read I Cor. 10:11 and II Tim 3:16. If they had made that connection, they would not have been so dumbfounded at my sermons. Those passages tell me I am not supposed to throw out any Scripture. I am supposed to do an II Timothy 2:15 and know whether I’m to learn from the example or teach the doctrine. Seems fairly clear and easy to me, but then like I said I’m jist a simple man. So, let’s make Obadiah simple.
The Edomites were kin to Israel because they came from Esau. Now, we know that Jacob and Esau had a bit of a family feud, but they worked it out. Their descendents did not do as well. There was a constant rivalry and jist plain bad blood between them.
The Edomites were feeling right secure in their mountain fortress called Sela’ or modern day Petra on Mt. Seir. (Vs. 3) You may have heard of Petra in a prophecy sermon. This is where folks think the remnant of Jews will flee to during the Tribulation. In fact, one group has placed sealed New Testaments in the caves of that city so that when they get there they can read them and be saved. Now that is putting shoe leather to your beliefs.
With what seemed like an impregnable refuge, they got to be a might proud and haughty. Who could touch them? (Vs. 3) To attack was certain death and defeat. They most likely even got to believing that God was on their side.
Traditionally, when kin were attacked the rest of the family jumped in on the fight, but the Edomites disliked the sons of Jacob so much that they did not come to help them when other folks fought with Israel. Not only did they not help they jumped in and got a bit of the booty for themselves. (Vs. 12,13) Kings and Chronicles show us at least three times when they were against Israel when they should have been by their side. The lowest blow of all was that they caught those that were escaping and turned them over to the enemy. (Vs. 14) I’ve got kin like that myself so I understand what Israel must have felt like at these times.
They must have gotten even cockier with each time they looted Israel, but they forgot who was keeping accounts. They found out whose side God was on and that He does avenge His people. It would get mighty sore where the eagle soars because God was not going to pull any punches. (Vs. 4)
They got a lesson in greed. Because they could never get enough and left nothing whenever they spoiled their kinfolk, God cut them completely off. (Vs. 5,10)
They got a lesson in disloyalty. Because they had been disloyal to their family, the groups they had fed and had made treaties with were the ones that were used to bring about their demise. (Vs. 6,7) God has been known to allow the wicked to be punished by the very thing they enjoyed doing to others. (Job 18:8, Psalm 69:22, Prov 1:31)