Summary: The battle began with Jacob and Esau in their mother's womb, and continue with the nations of Israel and Edom. Obadiah addresses the cruelty of Edom against their brother Israel.
OBADIAH: PRIDE GOES BEFORE DESTRUCTION
(Study of Minor Prophets)
5/15/16 – Garfield
A. How many of you fought with your brother or sister growing up? Sibling rivalry is a very common
1. You may recall some of those battles between you and your brother or sister when you were younger,
and even still after 30, 40, 50, years.
Despite the occasional conflicts, arguments, and hurt feelings between you and your siblings, deep down you still love each other and you’re there for each other.
2. This, however, was not the case between two brothers in the Old Testament named Jacob and Esau—
the sons of Isaac (also known as Israel) and the grandsons of Abraham.
a. They were TWINS.
b. The RIVALRY between them began even before they were born- Genesis 25:22- “The babies
struggled together within their mother’s womb.”
c. Esau was the OLDEST, being first to be born, and as the OLDEST was in line to receive the BIRTHRIGHT passed down from the FATHER—the chief portion of the INHERITANCE and all the FAMILY PERKS that go with that. But most importantly, Esau would also RECEIVE the
COVENANT PROMISE passed down from his grandfather Abraham.
However, in Genesis 25:27-34 we read how Esau being FAMISHED while WORKING out in the FIELD one day and thinking he was about to STARVE to DEATH, sold his BIRTHRIGHT to his brother Jacob for a bowl of STEW. Needless to say, this intensified the RIVALRY between these two brothers making them BITTER ENEMIES.
3. “Jacob, through some trickery, received the BIRTHRIGHT and BLESSING from his father Isaac
that was intended for Esau.” You can read about that Genesis 27.
a. Both brothers eventually MARRIED and went their separate ways forming two NATIONS.
b. The DESCENDANTS of Jacob formed the nation of ISRAEL, while Esau’s DESCENDANTS
formed the nation of EDOM, which was also Esau’s nickname meaning “RED.”
The CONFLICT that started with these two brothers continued with these two NATIONS.
B. Fast forward a little over 1,000 years and we come to the prophecy of Obadiah—the shortest book in the
Old Testament. Written approximately around 840-845 BC.
1. As I pointed out in two weeks ago, by this time Israel is a DIVIDED KINGDOM—with Israel to the North and Judah to the South. The Nation of Edom is connected to the southern border of Judah.
2. The book of Obadiah is the only reference that we have of the Prophet himself. His name means
“Servant of the Lord.”
a. From the temper of the book we know that Obadiah was a PIOUS, PATRIOTIC and SENSITIVE resident of Judah who dared to put into WORDS the INDIGNATION and DISGUST that he felt about the nation of EDOM because of their EXPLOITATION of and CRUELTY against Israel.
b. As a SPOKESMAN of God, Obadiah waited patiently for God to bring about for Israel a glorious VICTORY over the EDOMITES, knowing that RIGHT would ultimately triumph over WRONG.
I. EDOM’S PRIDE BLINDED THEM TO THE NEED OF GOD- Obadiah 1-9
A. Obadiah said to the Edomites, “I have received a message from God and His message is, the pride of
your heart has deceived you”- v. 3.
1. The pride that the PROPHET is talking about here is much more than SELF-IMPORTANCE, it is
SELF-SUFFICIENCY—the sense of INDEPENDENCE from God.
We are now living in a CULTURE and SOCIETY where more and more people feel like they no longer NEED God. I believe that’s one of the main reasons we are seeing less and less people
in our churches today—they just don’t NEED God.
They don’t NEED God to DIRECT them toward what is RIGHT and avoid what is WRONG, the GOVERNMENT is now their new MORAL CODE. They don’t NEED God to point out SIN in their LIFE and lead them to REPENTANCE because SIN is no longer RELATIVE—there’s no such thing as SIN anymore. They don’t need God to LEAN ON during times of SORROW and DISTRESS; they have Dr. Phil, Oprah and Ellen for that.
2. Throughout the Bible God makes it very CLEAR that ARROGANCE or PRIDE is SINFUL and
will not be TOLERATED.
a. Solomon writes: “Pride goes before destruction”- Proverbs 16:18.
b. James reminds us that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”- James 4:6.
Because of the PRIDE of the Edomites, they were BLINDED to the fact that God had always been there for them. He had always BLESSED them. They, too, were Abraham’s descendants, and the recipients of God’s PROMISE. Well, that is, until they allowed their PRIDE to DECEIVE them and LEAD them down the PATH of DESTRUCTION.
B. They were BLINDED by their PRIDE in FIVE areas:
1. They TRUSTED in their SECURITY- vv. 3-4
a. “They live in the clefts of the rocks…and boast, ‘NO ONE can bring us DOWN.’”