God’s Renewing Word of Peace and Justice
Obadiah 1-21: This short book comes from an undetermined time after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Edom, Jerusalem’s age-old enemy, not only rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem but also looted the city and helped the invaders. In today’s reading, Obadiah prophesied that Edom would be punished and defeated, along with other nations that were enemies of Israel.
1 This is the prophecy of Obadiah—what the Sovereign Lord said about the nation of Edom.
The Lord Will Punish Edom
The Lord has sent his messenger to the nations,
and we have heard his message:
“Get ready! Let us go to war against Edom!”
2 The Lord says to Edom,
“I will make you weak;
everyone will despise you.
3 Your pride has deceived you.
Your capital is a fortress of solid rock;
your home is high in the mountains,
and so you say to yourself,
‘Who can ever pull me down?’
4 Even though you make your home
as high as an eagle’s nest,
so that it seems to be among the stars,
yet I will pull you down.
5 “When thieves come at night,
they take only what they want.
When people gather grapes,
they always leave a few.
But your enemies have wiped you out completely.
6 Descendants of Esau, your treasures have been looted.
7 Your allies have deceived you;
they have driven you from your country.
People who were at peace with you have now conquered you.
Those friends who ate with you have laid a trap for you;
they say of you, ‘Where is all that cleverness he had?’
8 “On the day I punish Edom,
I will destroy their clever men
and wipe out all their wisdom.
9 The fighting men of Teman will be terrified,
and every soldier in Edom will be killed.
Reasons for Edom’s Punishment
10 “Because you robbed and killed
your relatives, the descendants of Jacob,
you will be destroyed and dishonored forever.
11 You stood aside on that day
when enemies broke down their gates.
You were as bad as those strangers
who carried off Jerusalem’s wealth
and divided it among themselves.
12 You should not have gloated
over the misfortune of your relatives in Judah.
You should not have been glad
on the day of their ruin.
You should not have laughed at them
in their distress.
13 You should not have entered the city of my people
to gloat over their suffering
and to seize their riches
on the day of their disaster.
14 You should not have stood at the crossroads
to catch those trying to escape.
You should not have handed them over to the enemy
on the day of their distress.
God Will Judge the Nations
15 “The day is near when I, the Lord,
will judge all nations.
Edom, what you have done
will be done to you.
You will get back what you have given.
16 My people have drunk a bitter cup of punishment
on my sacred hill.
But all the surrounding nations will drink
a still more bitter cup of punishment;
they will drink it all and vanish away.
The Victory of Israel
17 “But on Mount Zion some will escape,
and it will be a sacred place.
The people of Jacob will possess
the land that is theirs by right.
18 The people of Jacob and of Joseph will be like fire;
they will destroy the people of Esau
as fire burns stubble.
No descendant of Esau will survive.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
19 “People from southern Judah will occupy Edom;
those from the western foothills will capture Philistia.
Israelites will possess the territory of Ephraim and Samaria;
the people of Benjamin will take Gilead.
20 The army of exiles from northern Israel
will return and conquer Phoenicia as far north as Zarephath.
The exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sardis
will capture the towns of southern Judah.
21 The victorious men of Jerusalem
will attack Edom and rule over it.
And the Lord himself will be king.”
Today’s Key Verse: Obadiah 15a
“The day is near when I, the LORD, will judge all nations.”
What did Edom do (or not do) to God’s people that brought upon God’s judgment (verses 10-14)? Why did Edom think it was safe from harm and what warning was given (verses 2-9)? What sorts of things do we depend upon for security today?
Mighty Lord God, forgive us when our pride gets in the way of our judgment, when we arrogantly boast of our strength and security. Be merciful, Lord, and protect your people. Amen.
Nahum 1:1-15: The prophet Nahum announces the downfall of the Assyrian Empire.