Obadiah’s name means “worshipper of Yahweh” and there are 13 Obadiahs in the Old Testament. One of them could have written this book!
Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, a mere 21 verses, and, at first glance, is not very promising: it talks of Divine judgement against Edom. It’s not even quoted in the New Testament , but, as with the full counsel of the Word of God, there is always hope.
Today, vv.1-4 talk of pride, the major point of contention between God, Obadiah, and his original intended audience. Even though this was not originally written to us, we can certainly take something from this.
The vision that Obadiah saw.
The Sovereign LORD says this concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the LORD.
An envoy was sent among the nations, saying,
“Arise! Let us make war against Edom!”
The LORD says, “Look! I will make you a weak nation;
you will be greatly despised!
Your presumptuous heart has deceived you—
you who reside in the safety of the rocky cliffs,
whose home is high in the mountains.
You think to yourself,
‘No one can bring me down to the ground!’
Even if you were to soar high like an eagle,
even if you were to make your nest among the stars,
I can bring you down even from there!” says the LORD.
Pride is such a dangerous thing for us to have because it is deceptive. We read that pride deceives the heart (v.3), and this is something God simply does not want in His people (Proverbs 16.5)
We can boast about anything really, can’t we: job, house, car, cars, income, clothes, or gadgets, all the while forgetting that all we have comes from God anyway (James 1.17). Paul writes to the Galatians and says that he will 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 (v.3). They lived high in the mountains, in the place we would know today 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 (vv.3-4).
No matter what we have got in our lives, no matter who we are, no matter what we may or may not have done, pride and self-centred boasting is never ok. In Proverbs 6 we read of things that the Lord hates…that are an abomination to Him. Number one on the list is pride:
If then we are to get as far away from pride as possible, how are we to live? Many times in Scripture we are encouraged to live humbly (Micah 6.8, James 1.21, for example). This life was impeccably demonstrated by Jesus, who,
…though he existed in the form of God
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,
by looking like other men,
and by sharing in human nature.
He humbled himself,
by becoming obedient to the point of death
—even death on a cross!.
Scripture to think on today:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sakes, so that you by his poverty could become rich.
(2 Corinthians 8.9)
During his earthly life Christ offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion.
For who is greater, the one who is seated at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.