When we first read the book of Obadiah, it's easy to regard its contents as little more than a prophetic tirade in which God's wrath is directed toward Israel's enemies. We see His wrath and the reality that evil does not go unpunished. But the book has far more to say than simply those two truths.
Some other key points include the fact that we should be careful about what we plant, because the time of harvest will come quickly. God is offended by wrongdoing, and He brings justice for the oppressed.
Obadiah details the main reason for the judgment of Edom: "Because of the violence you did to your close relatives in Israel, you will be filled with shame and destroyed forever" (v.10). The details of the violence against Israel are given in the next four verses: They stood aloof and withheld assistance (v.11).
They rejoiced over Judah's downfall (v.12). They plundered Jerusalem (v.13). They prevented the escape of Judah's fugitives (v.14). Edom's sins against Israel progressed downwards. At first their sin was simply indifference, but then it became the promotion of evil and, finally, participation in the evil. This reveals sin's downward path. While writing this article, I received a text message. A church friend was asking for my help. I was tempted to ignore it, as it would inconvenience me. However, I was reminded that Edom's downfall began with withholding assistance. So I quickly attended to the request. Often we'd like to think that somebody else's trouble is none of our business, but Galatians 6:9-10 reminds us, "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to those in the family of faith." , Poh Fang Chia
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