Sunday, April 15, 2012

Obadiah - Condemnation of Edom

LINK: Obadiah


Please read INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHETICAL BOOKS if you have not already done so. 


BACKGROUND

Map from www.wikipedia.org

Scholars disagree as to when the incidents in Obadiah occurred. Some say 841-824 B.C., at the end of the reign of Jehoram of Israel (853-841 B.C.) and overlapping with the reigns of Ahaziah, Athaliah, and Joash of Israel. This is also around the time the Philistines and the Arabs invaded Jerusalem. This is the time period I have chosen to place Obadiah. We are reading this book at the completion of the readings about these kings and one queen.

Other scholars put Obadiah during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem between 605 and 586 B.C. 

Here is where I have chosen to put Obadiah within the historical narrative of the Bible: 


2 Chr. 22-24:  841-796 (2 Kings 8-13)
                       841-825 - OBADIAH 1 
                       825-809 - JOEL 1-3 

See the "Overview and Timeline of YEAR TWO" for a complete picture of the prophets within the historical narrative.

Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. I just listened to it while going on my morning walk. It is written in poetic language and written in the form of a dirge of doom.


We know nothing about Obadiah other than his name means "servant (or worshiper) of the LORD." His mission was to give God's judgment against Edom.


Do you remember from whom the Edomites descended? Esau! The conflict between Edom and Israel started all the way back to the struggle in the womb between the twins, Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25-36). While the brothers eventually reconciled, the people who descended from them never did! 

After the divided Kingdom, Edom was a dependency of Judah. In the time of Nebuchadnezzar II the Edomites helped plunder Jerusalem and slaughter the Jews. For this reason many of the prophets denounced Edom violently. Five years after Edom helped plunder Jerusalem, they were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. Then, they were routed by Judas Maccabeus in 164 B.C. The nation no longer existed by the first century A.D.


Obadiah condemns Edom for their refusal to aid Israel during their wilderness wanderings (Numbers 20:14-21) and later during a time of invasion. Obadiah describes Edom's crimes, tries their case, and pronounces a judgment of total destruction. "The Day of the LORD" refers to any time God judges by entering into world affairs. We will hear much more about this phrase as we continue to read through the prophetical books.

REFLECTION


The original feud between Jacob and Esau had far reaching consequences! How are things going with your immediate family? Is there a brother, sister, parent, child, in-law -- with whom you are in strife?

Also, reflect upon yesterday's quote by Eugene Peterson about prophets. Often, we hold people with this spiritual gift at bay because we do not always like to hear the plain truth about our spiritual condition. How do you respond to the truth tellers in your life?


APPLICATION


Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! 
(Psalm 133:1)


Meditate on this verse and go make peace with your family member!

OR

Embrace a person with the gift of prophecy today! :) They are so important in the body of Christ!


PRAYER


Lord, we pray for unity in our families and openness to prophetic teaching. In Jesus' name, amen.

Now, put Obadiah up on the shelf. You are done!!! Wasn't that easy? That is one prophet down, only sixteen more to go. GO FOR IT! 


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