May 13

Obadiah 1, Psalm 128

The book of Obadiah contains strong warnings against the proud.  Charles Spurgeon said, “Success can go to my head, and it will, unless I remember that it is God who accomplishes the work.  That He can continue to do so without my help, and that He will be able to make out with other means whenever He chooses, cuts me down to size.”  Jesus in His sermon against the scribes and the Pharisees in Matthew 23:12 says, “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The historical account involves an ancient family feud between the descendants of Jacob (Israel/Judah) and his brother Esau (Edom).  In Malachi 1:2-3 we read a verse which sometimes troubles people, “…Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? Says the Lord.  Yet Jacob I loved; But Esau I have hated…”.  Esau represents carnality, the flesh, materialism, etc.  Jacob represents those sensitive to His Spirit.  Any who believe it is unfair that God would hate Esau miss the point.  Jacob, and us for that matter, are sinners that are unlovable and undeserving of His mercy and grace.  We should be amazed that He actually loves us rather than hates those who represent pure carnality.  Only in understanding our true unworthiness can we seek repentance and seek Him.  The history of Edom reveals a nation and a people who would either gloat, rejoice or participate in Israel’s misfortunes.  So, when we read a small book of judgment on a nation like Edom, it also applies to any of us who rejoice over the calamity of another or when we relish in our own pride, intellect, importance, success, self-sufficiency, etc.  We must all remember Paul’s word in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

There are some interesting findings about Edom.  In Obadiah :5-6, it mentions that all of their treasure would be stolen.  When Petra was discovered in the early 1800’s, although the buildings carved into rock remain, not a single item or artifact was found in a population at it’s apex of 1 million people.  This finding is unique among archaeological finds.  When it speaks of their wisdom in verse 8, to this day it remains an unsolved mystery how such an arid place (only 1 inch of rainfall/year), could support an abundant agriculture and a population of 1 million.  Like every other prophecy written in God’s book, they have all been fulfilled with razor sharp accuracy or have yet to be fulfilled.  We in His Word should be thankful for this, for this gives us assurance that all future prophecies will be fulfilled with that same level of accuracy.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato