Obadiah: Who does God love?
By Rick Phipps
Today’s key verse: 1:15
“The Day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your head.”
Side note: Obadiah’s name means “servant or worshiper of YAHWEH (Lord).
As Jeff wrote about the other day Obadiah is prophecy written to the nation (people of) Edom (descendants of Esau). Who were blood brothers to the Israelites (descendants of Jacob) yet hated them and aided the enemies of Israel. (Israel at this time was split in two…the northern kingdom Israel and the southern kingdom Judah)
Obadiah wrote: vs. 3: The pride of your heart has deceived you.
Edom felt secure and they were proud of their self sufficiency. They had no problem helping the enemies of Israel for they were sure that these enemies could not get at them. For Edom was a mountainous and canyon country. Their capital, Sela, later called Petra, was a city considered impregnable because it was cut into rock cliffs and set in a canyon that could be entered only through a narrow gap. (made me think of the narrow gap the 300 Spartans held if you know your Greek history or seen the movie)
But in verse 10 God condemns them: Because of the violence against your brother Jacob you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever.
The prophecy continues up to verse 15 with a rant against Edom but in verse 15 the prophecy takes a change with the words “for all nations“. God doesn’t play favorites…God is aware of more than just Israel and the nations that surround them. God is aware of every nation, every people group, everybody everywhere. Yes this judgement for sin is not limited by locale. And what sin is He relating to?
The verse continues with: “As you have done, it will be done to you;” Sound familiar? Jesus is quoted in Luke 6 as saying: “Do to others as you would have them do to you”. God’s ways were taught by Jesus as well.
The verse continues still with:”your deeds will return upon your own head.” Or as Paul wrote in Galatians 6:7…”Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
But for an even bigger picture of how this judgment spoken here as “for all nations” we need to read Matthew 25: 31-46 which is commonly titled in a lot of Bibles as ‘The sheep and the goats’. For here Jesus talks about the final judgment and how every person will be held accountable for their lives actions.
Reading Obadiah it’s easy to see the reality of harsh judgment for harsh actions. God wiped out Edom. And some will say ‘well they deserved what the got’. Proverbs 24:17 says:”Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles”. For no man is without sin; Romans 3:23 says: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
But when you break down Edom’s actions to everyday people like you and me then it definitely forewarns us to watch what and how we interact with the rest of the world. From fellow Christians to family members to outsiders.
God loves everyone…God loves everyone…God loves everyone…God loves everyone.
Jesus said: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16