Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, a mere 21 verses, and, at first glance, its not very promising; it talks of Divine judgement against Edom. But, as with the full counsel of the Word of God, there is always hope.
Obadiah’s name literally means worshipper of Yahweh, servant of Yahweh, and there are 13 Obadiah’s in the Old Testament, one of them could have written this book!
Today, vv.1-4 talk of pride, the major point of contention between God, Obadiah and his original intended audience, but, we can certainly take something from this…
1 The vision of Obadiah.
Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the Lord,
and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
“Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!”
2 Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
you shall be utterly despised.
3 The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
in your lofty dwelling,
who say in your heart,
“Who will bring me down to the ground?”
4 Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
though your nest is set among the stars,
from there I will bring you down,
declares the Lord.
Pride is such a dangerous thing for us to have because it is deceptive…we read that pride deceives the heart, and this is something God simply does not want in people (Proverbs 16.5)…we can boast about anything really, can’t we…job, house, car, cars, clothes, gadgets…forgetting that all we have comes from God anyway…and we should boast in nothing other than the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (Galatians 6.14).
For Edom, the original subject of this short text, they boasted in their surrounds. They lived in the clefts of the rock, the place we would now know as Petra, Jordan. They felt so secure being in that place but failed to realise that God can shatter pride just as easily as He can shatter stone walls (Joshua 6 anyone?).
The other side of this is humility, demonstrated impeccably by Jesus. Our attitude, actions, and reactions can be proud, or they can be humble.
Scripture to think on today;
Philippians 2:1-11 ESV –
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Luke 2:51 ESV –
51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV –
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Hebrews 5:7 ESV –
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
Luke 22:27 ESV –
27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.