On David’s return from his sabbatical this week, he introduced a new series called ‘ONE’, where he will be focusing on all the one-chapter books of the Bible in turn. This week, he started with the book of Obadiah.
David provided at first some context to the chapter. He referenced the Edomites, who came from the tribe of Esau and had a long-standing rivalry with the tribe of Israel. The book of Obadiah gives an overall sense of how torturous the Edomites were to the Israelites and how God declares his explicit and final judgement. These are not empty threats from God, as we later see the tribe of Edomites disappear.
What do we know about Obadiah?
David highlighted that we know very little about Obadiah, but God revealed His Word to him and passed it on. All of us also have this opportunity. Another thing we know about him is the meaning of his name, which translates to ‘worshipper of Yahweh’ or ‘servant of the True God’. Are we God worshippers?
What caused God’s reaction to the Edomites?
Verses 11 to 13 highlight some of the actions which elicited a reaction from God. They displayed violence to close relatives, did nothing to help their neighbours during the Babylon invasion and went even further than this and gloated over them. Some Edomites joined in, killing Israelites who were trying to escape.
The reason for God’s catastrophic word was ultimately because of pride, highlighted in verse 3:
Pride is a heart-wrecker, relationship-wrecker and faith wrecker, which God hates. Unless this is dealt with, the consequences are deadly.
David quoted John Stott, who states: “Pride is more than the seven deadly sins; it itself is the essence of all sin.”
What is pride?
- Pride is where it is all about me, and when we think we are above others.
- Pride manifests itself in vanity, arrogance, conceit, inflated ego, self-promotion, being obsessed with what others think of us and it affects every single person.
How does God offer a way out from this?
David quoted from 1 Peter:
The Edomites knew nothing of humility and therefore distanced themselves from God and exposed themselves to inevitable judgement.
For those who humble themselves, God provides grace, forgiveness and restoration internally as well as externally. The way to receive this is via Jesus.
David finished by challenging us with this verse:
We should follow Jesus’ ultimate example – Jesus made himself nothing, humbling himself by being obedient to death on a cross.
- Are we following Jesus’ example of humility?
- Let God search our hearts and be honest with ourselves: do we need to humble ourselves before God? If we seek forgiveness, we will receive God’s grace.