The King is Coming, and Justice Will Prevail (Obadiah 1; Psalm 82)

Scripture reading – Obadiah 1; Psalm 82

Our Scripture reading is the Book of Obadiah, and Psalm 82. The Book of Obadiah, consists of one chapter, which contains twenty-one verses, and is the smallest book in the Old Testament.

With the exception of his name (1:1), little is known regarding the prophet Obadiah. We know he was a contemporary of the prophets Habakkuk, Haggai, and Malachi. Obadiah ministered in Judah, but his prophecy was directed to Edom. The key city of Edom in ancient times was Petra, the “Red Rose City” of the desert.

The Edomites were descendants of Esau (Genesis 25:30; 36:1), who was the son of Isaac (Genesis 25:19-26), and the twin brother of Jacob (1:10). The strife between Esau (the father of the Edomites) and Jacob (the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel), began in their mother’s womb, and continued throughout their lifetimes. In fact, the animosity between the brothers was passed on to their offspring, and arguably continues today with the strife we witness in the Middle East between Israel, and the followers of Islam.

Consider Obadiah’s prophecy in three parts.

  1. The charge against Edom and the prophecy of their destruction (1:1-9); II. The sins Edom committed against Israel (1:10-18), whom Obadiah identified as “thy brother Jacob” (1:10); III. God’s promise to deliver Israel from captivity (1:17-18), defeat her enemies (1:19-20), and establish His millennial kingdom and throne in Jerusalem (1:21).

Obadiah 1:21 has yet to be fulfilled, but the verse points to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will sit on David’s throne, and reign as the Messiah King. When that day comes, it will be fulfilled which Paul wrote in his letter to the believers in Philippi: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Closing thoughts – In God’s sovereignty, He rejected Esau (the firstborn son of Isaac, and father of the Edomites), and chose Jacob and his lineage to be heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3).  While Israel was commanded to view the Edomites as “thy brother” (Deuteronomy 23:7), the descendants of Esau harbored resentment for Israel as evidenced in Obadiah’s prophecy against that people (Ezekiel 35:5).

Take heart believer! Though the world around you seems out of control, God is on His throne, and every promise and prophecy will be fulfilled!

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith

Psalm 82 – The Failure of Judges to Execute Righteous Judgment

The focus of Psalm 82 centered upon the failure of judges to rule judiciously in the affairs and disputes that arose among the people.   The psalmist reminded the judges, “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods” (82:1). God was portrayed in a posture of authority, presiding over the gathering of “the mighty.”

After reminding the lawgivers that God is sovereign, the psalmist reproved the judges, saying, “How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?” (82:2) The judges of that day had been derelict in their duty, dishonest in their judgment, and guilty of accepting bribes and granting favors to the wicked (82:2).

The psalmist reproved the judges, and reminded them they were entrusted with the responsibility to, “3Defend the poor and fatherless: Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4Deliver the poor and needy: Rid them out of the hand of the wicked” (82:3-4). The duty of the judges was not to show favor to the poor and orphans, but to insure justice to the weak and oppressed, as well as any who found themselves in “need” of justice, regardless of their financial or social status.

Psalm 82:5 reminds us when the balance of justice is weighed in favor of the wicked, darkness prevails (82:5a), and the principles of truth and righteousness are “out of course” (82:5b). Psalm 82:6 admonishes those in authority that they are representatives of God. They are mortal men and will die, and face the righteous judgment of the LORD (82:7).

The psalm concludes with the psalmist appealing to God to execute judgment, and render justice, for all nations and people will be weighed in His final judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Closing thoughts – Men and women who wield authority, and have the responsibility of enforcing the law, would be wise to heed the warning recorded in Psalm 82. The nations of the world are plagued by dishonest politicians, crooked lawyers, and unjust judges who are often guilty of ruling in favor of the wicked, while oppressing the poor and weak.

Let all in authority, who bear the trust of God in civil and spiritual matters, be reminded that God is the final judge, and every man will stand one day in the shadow of His throne and face His judgment (82:7-8; Revelation 20:11-15)).

Romans 14:11-12 – For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

A video of today’s devotional is available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/grbin2ghTiU

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith