Obadiah 17-21 – Promised Restoration

Read Obadiah 17-21

I learned today the Edomites were taken down in the 5th century B.C. God used a people called the Nabateans to defeat the Edomites and force them from their main city of Petra. The interval between prediction and fulfillment would, therefore, have been very short, assuming Obadiah was writing following the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem. When Obadiah prophesied this promise, it was probably thought to be crazy. Judah was the more likely candidate to not survive (that’s only when you take God’s will out of the equation)! The Edomites would later disappear from history completely, marking the total destruction of one of Israel’s enemies.

It always helps me to understand the context of a story to aid in understanding. The Negev region was very dry and hot in the southern part of Judah. The foothills would be found in western Judah. Phoenicia would be an ancient civilization along the Mediterranean, primarily located in modern-day Lebanon.

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Obadiah 15-16 – The Day is Coming

Read Obadiah 15-16

What a way to start out this reading! “The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations!” Obadiah has focused up to now on Edom, the long-time rival of Israel. But Edom was not the only nation to rejoice at Judah’s fall. All nations will be judged for the way they have treated God’s people. Has the “day,” referred to here, happened yet?

We know Edom ceased to exist as a nation. That land is now divided between present-day southern Israel and Jordan. This part of Obadiah’s prophecy, then, points toward other nations being judged and destroyed. “Yes, all you nations will drink and stagger and disappear from history.”

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Obadiah 10-14 – You Should Not Have…

Read Obadiah 10-14

Obadiah speaks to the reasons Edom is facing their judgment. They sinned for their evil behavior against their own relatives. This passage leaves no doubt “why” calamity would fall on Edom. The Edomites brought it on themselves for more than one reason.

There is so much emphasis on “you should not have” in this reading. We often kick ourselves after doing something we realize later was a mistake. Don’t we say, “I should have known better.” The Edomites won’t get a chance to say that since they will all be destroyed. All they have is the advance warning which sets the expectation for what is coming in motion.

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Obadiah 1-9 – Edom’s Judgment

Read Obadiah 1-9

Welcome to Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament. Its message is about oppression and betrayal, from both vantage points. We’ll also see examples of being the “innocent bystander” in perilous times. It’s thought that Obadiah would have written this prophecy sometime after the Babylonian conquest, but it is not clearly stated.

Obadiah’s message reveals God’s dramatic response to anyone who would harm his precious children. Edom was one of those nations, located southwest of the Dead Sea. The Edomite people were descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother. Remember the story about the birth right in Genesis 27? We see time and again in the Old Testament references to the hostilities and struggles Edom had with God’s people, Israel.  

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