Scripture reading – Obadiah 1; Psalm 82

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Our Scripture reading on this third day of January 2024 is taken from the Book of Obadiah and Psalm 82. This is the first of two Bible studies for today, with Psalm 82 being the second and bonus devotional.

Please note: Beginning with today’s Bible study, “Bonus Devotions” will be available only to those who subscribe to www.HeartofAShepherd.com.

The Edomites: The Recipients of Obadiah’s Prophecy

Obadiah 1

The Author of Obadiah

The Book of Obadiah consists of one chapter, contains twenty-one verses, and is the smallest book in the Old Testament. Except for his name, little is known regarding the prophet Obadiah (Obadiah 1:1). He was a contemporary of the prophets Habakkuk, Haggai, and Malachi.

The Edomites: The Recipients of Obadiah’s Prophecy

While he ministered in Judah, Obadiah’s prophecy was directed to Edom. The key city of Edom was the famous 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 (Genesis 25:24-26; Obadiah 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 (Genesis 25:22-23), and continued throughout their lifetimes. The animosity between Esau and Jacob was passed on to their offspring and arguably continues today with the strife witnessed in the Middle East between Israel, Hamas, and the followers of Islam.

Three Parts of Obadiah’s Prophecy

Three Parts of Obadiah’s Prophecy

Briefly, consider the prophecy of Obadiah in three parts—first, the charge against Edom and the prophecy of their destruction (Obadiah 1:1-9).

The people dwelling in Petra were proud and believed their fortress and habitation among the red rocks of that region was impenetrable (Obadiah 1:3-4a). Through His prophet, Obadiah, the LORD warned the Edomites He would bring them “down” (1:4b). Unlike thieves and robbers who steal what they can carry and leave the remainder behind, God warned Petra would be stripped of her wealth (Obadiah 1:5-6). Edom was famed for its wise men, and Petra was the habitation of scholars, but a great slaughter befell them after Obadiah’s prophecy (Obadiah 1:7-9).

Then, the sins Edom committed against Israel (Obadiah 1:10-18), whom Obadiah identified as “thy brother Jacob” (Obadiah 1:10). Why did this path of destruction against Edom come to pass? Because the LORD was jealous of Israel, and the Edomites had committed violence against His people. They joined with other nations and assaulted Jerusalem and the children of Judah (Obadiah 1:10-13). Edom stood in the way when the people attempted to flee and cut off their escape. (Obadiah 1:14).

Therefore, God promised to deliver Israel from captivity (Obadiah 1:17-18) and defeat her enemies (Obadiah 1:19-20). Then, in a far-reaching prophecy, Obadiah foretold the day would come to pass when He would establish His kingdom and throne in Jerusalem (Obadiah 1:21).

Summary thought for Obadiah

Obadiah 1:21 has yet to be fulfilled, but that verse points to the Second Coming of 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 foretold 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).

Summary thought for Obadiah

In His sovereignty, the LORD rejected Esau (the firstborn son of Isaac and father of the Edomites). He 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 the Edomites (Ezekiel 35:5).

Take heart and trust the LORD! Though the world seems out of control, God is on His throne! You can be confident every promise and prophecy of His Word will be fulfilled!

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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