We begin and end a new book today, the book of Obadiah.
Obadiah is the shortest book in the Bible and very little is known about this man other than the meaning of his name.
Obadiah means “servant (or worshiper) of The Lord.”
Obadiah was speaking especially of the doom of Edom, but was also speaking to the Jews in Judah, and God’s people everywhere.
The book was possibly written during either the reign of Jehoram in Judah 855 BC – 840 BC OR possibly during Jeremiah’s ministry which was 627 BC through 586 BC.
The people of Edom were the descendants of Esau. Esau and Jacob/Israel were brothers and their parents were Isaac and Rebekah. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob (for a bowl of stew…he was known for enjoying his food which is why he was also called Edom and his descendants called The Edomites.) After Esau sold his birthright, Jacob and his mother Rebekah deceived Isaac into giving Jacob, Esau’s blessing as the oldest. NOW you can see why there was always conflict between The Edomites and the Israelites. The Edomites NEVER passed up an opportunity to attack or invade God’s people. This 21 verse book will predict that the Edomites will be destroyed forever. And so it has been.
There are two themes in this short book, Justice and Pride.
As we just read the Psalms and Proverbs we recall that God countlessly reminds us that He will eventually bring Justice, and it is not our “job” to judge or bring justice…..ONLY HIS. The capital of Edom was Petra. Petra was a rocky mountainside just south of the dead sea. The Edomites would attack enemies and then retreat to this city that was virtually untouchable because of it’s topography. It was built on the cliff of a Red mountain. Interestingly, Esau’s name in Hebrew meant “red”…..and the capital of Edom was built on the cliff of a RED mountain!! Because their city was so well protected and virtually untouchable by enemies, the Edomites were very confident and prideful that they could attack any nation and never be attacked back.
I don’t know if any of you have ever read the “Left Behind” series of books but each time I hear of Petra I think about this being the very place in this series where the Christians in the last days fled to. In that series, Petra was a beautiful example of how God used something that had once been used for evil…. as a place of refuge for the Christians during the Tribulation.
The key verse in this book is verse 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 own head.”
Here is a picture of Petra and the Book of Obadiah, a message from the Lord will address them and pronounce their destruction once and for all.
Sharing HIS love,