Summary: Don't let pride blinds you to the need of God and the needs of others. Be humble and faithful. We need God's grace and mercy. As we are led by God, let us do the will of God and be instruments of blessings for others.
Obadiah reveals God’s stern words to Edom, a nation South of Judah.
• The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. Esau and Jacob are the twin sons of Isaac.
• Remember, Jacob cheated his brother for the father’s blessing? The two brothers were in perpetual rivalry. We read in the book of Genesis that even before they were born, they struggled in their mother’s womb.
Their competition continued throughout their lives, and consequently the lives of their descendants — the two nations of Israel and Edom.
• They were not good neighbours. Their descendents carried on the conflict, which comes into focus in this prophecy of Obadiah.
• Let’s read what the Lord has to say – Read Obadiah 1:1-9
PRIDE BLINDS THEM TO THE NEED OF GOD
The trouble with Esau and his descendants was pride. Obadiah states, “The pride of your heart has deceived you” (v.3).
• It is more than just self-confidence we are talking about; it is self-sufficiency, the sense of independence from God.
• Pride blinds them to the need of God.
The Edomites live “in the clefts of the rocks”.
• If you’ve been to Petra in Jordan you’ll see this. Archaeologists discovered the ancient fortress-city in 1812, which served as the capital of Edom.
• It is a marvel of ancient engineering. The only entrance to the fortified city is through a narrow crack in the rock. They were able to carved out dwellings from the rock cliff with doorways as high as 10m.
• Naturally the inhabitants felt very secure. But God is about to humble them, and teach them there is no lasting security apart from Him.
The Edomites were proud in at least 4 ways:
• They trust in their MIGHT - v. 3 says, they live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, and say, who can bring me down.
• They trust in their RICHES – v.6 tells of their hidden treasures.
• They trust in their ALLIES – v.7 says all your allies will force you to the border; your friends will deceive and overpower you. “I have special relations…”
• They trust in their WISDOM – v.8 the Lord says will I not destroy the wise men of Edom?
This is the attitude of Edom. They feel secure and in control. These externals make them feel good about themselves and their future.
• We are self-sufficient when we think or feel that we’re in charge, and that our future is in our hands.
• When we begin to put our confidence in self – our strength, our resources, our allies, and our wisdom, and not in God.
About a week ago, someone I know suffered a panic attack. I can see his struggle and the sense of helplessness. I’m not very familiar with this and so I went to look up on it in the internet.
A panic attack is a condition of adrenaline being released into the bloodstream. It causes the heart to pump harder than usual. It starts with the mind sending a message of fear and a signal to the adrenal glands that there is an emergency.
Of course, in reality there isn’t any emergency or danger. It’s just the mind sending a wrong signal. It’s like having the mind taking off on its own.
That’s how frail man is. We can’t even control how we want to think. If we can, we will not worry; we will have no fear, no anxiety, and no phobia of any kind. If you have spoken to those who are suffering from depression, you’ll know that there is no such thing as “snap out of it”. They can’t.
There is nothing man can boast. We are just frail people before a mighty God. We need His grace and mercy.
• It is sometimes good for us to experience this sense of helplessness, because then we will know that we need God.
PRIDE BLINDS THEM TO THE NEED OF OTHERS
Pride leads to self-centredness. The Lord levels a second charge against them – Read Obadiah 1:10-14
• The Lord says, “You should not…” 3 times. They stood aloof and did nothing.
• Their pride blinds them to the needs of their fellow brothers in Jerusalem. In fact, they were pleased to learn that Israel had fallen on tough times.
• Scholars believe this is referring to the defeat of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586BC. The Jews were then deported to Babylon in exile.
• The Edomites feasted their eyes on Israel’s misery, then came and looted the city. In fact, they took advantage of the situation for their own gain.
When does indifference become a sin?
• When God causes us to see a need and we are unmoved. It’s the sin of not doing the will of God.