November 24, 2021

Obadiah—O Bad Edom

Obadiah 1-21

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The vision of Obadiah.

Edom Will Be Humbled

Thus says the Lord LORD concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the LORD,
    and a messenger has been sent among the nations:

The vision of Obadiah.

Edom Will Be Humbled

Thus says the Lord LORD concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the LORD,
    and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
“Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!”
Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
    you shall be utterly despised. 1
The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rock, 2
    in your lofty dwelling,
who say in your heart,
    “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
    though your nest is set among the stars,
    from there I will bring you down,
    declares the LORD.

If thieves came to you,
    if plunderers came by night—
    how you have been destroyed!—
    would they not steal only enough for themselves?
If grape gatherers came to you,
    would they not leave gleanings?
How Esau has been pillaged,
    his treasures sought out!
All your allies have driven you to your border;
    those at peace with you have deceived you;
they have prevailed against you;
    those who eat your bread 3 have set a trap beneath you—
    you have 4 no understanding.

Will I not on that day, declares the LORD,
    destroy the wise men out of Edom,
    and understanding out of Mount Esau?
And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman,
    so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter.

Edom's Violence Against Jacob

10  Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob,
    shame shall cover you,
    and you shall be cut off forever.
11  On the day that you stood aloof,
    on the day that strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
    and cast lots for Jerusalem,
    you were like one of them.
12  But do not gloat over the day of your brother
    in the day of his misfortune;
do not rejoice over the people of Judah
    in the day of their ruin;
do not boast 5
    in the day of distress.
13  Do not enter the gate of my people
    in the day of their calamity;
do not gloat over his disaster
    in the day of his calamity;
do not loot his wealth
    in the day of his calamity.
14  Do not stand at the crossroads
    to cut off his fugitives;
do not hand over his survivors
    in the day of distress.

The Day of the LORD Is Near

15  For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
    your deeds shall return on your own head.
16  For as you have drunk on my holy mountain,
    so all the nations shall drink continually;
they shall drink and swallow,
    and shall be as though they had never been.
17  But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape,
    and it shall be holy,
and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.
18  The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
    and the house of Joseph a flame,
    and the house of Esau stubble;
they shall burn them and consume them,
    and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau,
    for the LORD has spoken.

The Kingdom of the LORD

19  Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau,
    and those of the Shephelah shall possess the land of the Philistines;
they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria,
    and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20  The exiles of this host of the people of Israel
    shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
    shall possess the cities of the Negeb.
21  Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion
    to rule Mount Esau,
    and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.


[1] 1:2 Or Behold, I have made you small among the nations; you are utterly despised
[2] 1:3 Or of Sela
[3] 1:7 Hebrew lacks those who eat
[4] 1:7 Hebrew he has
[5] 1:12 Hebrew do not enlarge your mouth

Obadiah—O Bad Edom

Key Verse | Obadiah 1:15

For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
your deeds shall return on your own head.

Bio | Robin Rice

Good morning, Journeyers! I am so thrilled to be on this Journey with you today. Below is an Obadiah acrostic highlighting a few things about myself.

verwhelmed by God's incredible love for me
ible Teacher at Trinity Christian Academy
lumna from Trinity Christian Academy
edicated to teaching kids in Starting Blocks
I love my husband of 23 years, Robbie Rice
A mom to Ramie, Riley, and Rhett
ebrews 13:5 is my favorite Bible verse

Let's get started!!

Central Truth

The day of the Lord is near for you, me, and ALL NATIONS. May we be a people of humility and not pride or self-righteousness.

Devotional | Obadiah 1-21

Though the smallest book in the Old Testament, Obadiah is packed with a huge challenge. Written by the prophet Obadiah, it is a message of warning directed at Edom, Israel's relative neighbor. A...

Though the smallest book in the Old Testament, Obadiah is packed with a huge challenge. Written by the prophet Obadiah, it is a message of warning directed at Edom, Israel's relative neighbor. A little history: Jacob and Esau were brothers, born to Rebekah and Isaac, who had Abraham and Sarah as grandparents. Jacob became Israel, Esau became Edom, and these families were in continual conflict.

Verses 1-14: Obadiah accuses Edom of pride and self-exaltation. Edomites lived up high in the clefts of the rocks, but also arrogantly believed they were superior to the Israelites. That pride led the Edomites to participate in the destruction of Jerusalem when the city was being attacked. Obadiah explains that Edom will be brought down to the ground. What they have done to Israel will be done to them.

Verse 15: This verse serves an important link to the rest of the book. There is a shift from Edom to ALL NATIONS. We read that the Day of the Lord is near against ALL NATIONS.  

Verses 16-21: All prideful nations that act like Edom will face God's judgment in the same way. They will fall from their prideful heights and come to ruin. Edom's pride and fall is an image of the pride and fall of all nations, even our own nation.

Verses 17-21: The book ends with hope, which is the restoration of God's kingdom—the New Jerusalem that is revealed in Revelation 21-22. 

Personally, I am just like the Edomites. Edom's pride is an example of the human condition. I am convicted of my own judgmental attitude that fuels my ugly self-righteousness. I have judgmental thoughts toward others that, in some twisted way, makes me feel better about myself. I need to continually confess my pride and humbly allow the Lord to change my proud heart. As I have heard before, "If you don't break yourself and become humble, God will do it for you." Lord, help me.

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Discussion Questions

1. Where do you see pride, a judgmental attitude, and/or self-righteousness in your life? Take some time now and confess that before the Lord.

2. How do you respond to the misfortune of others or the dark hours of your enemies? What does God think when you use their tragedy to your advantage?

3. How are you practicing James 4:10 or 1 Peter 5:6-7 in front of your family, friends, and community?

4. Obadiah reveals how Edom allowed injustice toward the Israelites. Where in your own life are you guilty of either promoting or allowing injustice?

10 Comments available

Greg Jones about 1 year ago


The overarching story of the Old Testament points toward God blessing all nations through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. The Old Testament continually revealed a purification process. Prophets knew exposing metals to fire removed impurities. At a crossroad in the process it could also prove he purity of metals.

Obadiah points readers to Genesis to show purification processes and crossroads.

Genesis4:5-7 Cain at a crossroad.

Genesis4:8 Cain kills.

Genesis4:9-15 Process/punishment to remove impurities.

Genesis going forward.

Genesis27:41 Esau could kill.

Genesis33:4-5 Esau at crossroad. At the crossroad this Esau is contrary to the Esau who wanted to kill Jacob. “Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you”.

Genesis4:7 to Genesis 33:4-5 has tracked positively.

Greg Jones about 1 year ago

2/2 Obadiah ties the events of his day back into Genesis. His words walk an original reader negatively from Genesis 33:4-5 backwards to Genesis4:9-15.

V6-How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out!-Genesis27

V14-At the crossroads…-the Esau of Genesis27:41, meets Jacob in Genesis33:4-5,

V15-18 Obadiah speaks to Edom from Genesis33:4-5. Their actions are not like Esau’s towards Jacob, sin’s desire is not their desire, this sin will lead back to the aftermath of Abel’s murder.

In the Old Testament it’s easy to associate death with losing. But in the first death, Abel’s, associating death to losing is like associating Cain’s act of murder with winning. New Testament writers do something similar to the prophets. They see Jesus and their times through the lens of scripture. For them associating Jesus’ death with losing, is like associating Judas’ reward with winnings.

Michael Scaman about 1 year ago

In the days of David, when the ark moved from Phillistia the city of unbelieving Gath, it went and super blessed Obed Edom the Gittite.

It went from unbelieving Gath to believing Gath (Gittite) to someone who was Obed (the servant) of Edom and God super blessed his house.

Poetic or not God showed what he can do and how he can save.

Linda Green about 1 year ago

Am with you on the pride snare, Robin. Obadiah 3 is so true: “The pride of your heart has deceived you…” I can see it so clearly in others, but sadly pride deceives me so I can’t see the unpleasant truth about myself.

It used to upset me that God said he loved Jacob but hated Esau )Malachi 1:2b-3). Until it became clear that God was speaking of nations. Love that God is always merciful to any sinner from any nation that repents and seeks Him. He is good and trustworthy.

Sue Bohlin about 1 year ago

Clever bio, Robin! Way to go!

Minutes after reading that God told Edom He would wipe them off the face of the map (which He did–all we need to do is look at a map of the Middle East today), I got a text from my sister (and fellow JTJer) in Egypt on a diving trip. They are on the land portion of their trip and will be seeing pyramids and camels tomorrow. I was struck by the contrast between Edom disappearing from world dynamics because of all the “you should not haves” we read today, and the unimaginable length of Egypt’s history over MILLENNIA. Realizing that tomorrow, Julie may be looking at the very same pyramids that Mary, Joseph and toddler Jesus would have seen in their sojourn in Egypt. Because God is sovereign over ALL world history.

I’m just shaking my head in wonder . . .

Hugh Stephenson about 1 year ago

3 of 3

Jesus gives me a great example in Matthew 4:1-11. Offered all the world from the one who ruled it, He said no.

Then what happened:

“Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”

I am son of Adam just as Esau/Edom is.

I am a bully just like the ones I hated and fought.

What I saw in others and hated was what I need to see in myself.

Larry Crabb says this to God – “You’re always moving toward Your plan to replace the kingdom of self-centered relating with the kingdom of God obsessed relating”, (66 Love Letters).

Hugh Stephenson about 1 year ago

2 of 3

I am taught that, in Hebrew, Edom has the same letters as Adam, (humanity). God renamed Esau to Edom/Adam when he chose the desires of his human flesh, (a meal when he was hungry), over the promises of God, (his birthright); (h/t Larry Crabb).

Biggest and most tragic sin for me? Abortion.

Same choice: choosing the desires of my flesh over the promises of God. A fleeting momentary pleasure for decades of agony. I link to Hebrews 4:15.

Three times through re;gen I couldn’t shake the guilt. In 2016, a deep, deep dive into God’s Word brought me to an understanding of the hideous depth of my sin- the immense chasm between me and Him- and a realization that Jesus is the only bridge to permanent forgiveness and a new life.

I came to see the hope of God’s kingdom – restoration.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 year ago

1 of 3

GM Robin!! We are so lucky to have the Rice family at Watermark!!

Love your acrostic and your Central Truth/Key Verse.

I am taught that it’s better to be humble than to be humbled, (Proverbs 3:34).

What an amazing 21 verses! I am thankful that God continues to teach me His truths by showing me facet after facet of it, (2 Timothy 3:16).

Pride. The original sin. The great killer.

What does this book teach me about my pride?

As a teenager I hated getting bullied. Right with it was seeing someone else get bullied. Virtually every fight I got into involved one or the other.

So, what does the story of Esau/Edom teach me?

Paraphrasing Larry Crabb- Forgiveness builds relationships. Getting even destroys them.

Which one does Satan want me to choose? The one that feeds my flesh and draws me way from God, (Genesis 3:1).

Michael Scaman about 1 year ago

Isn’t it amazing how God chooses to leave a witness.

The hills of Petra where the Edomites were from who Obadiah spoke to are even reddish rocky hills like the forefather of the people of Edom, Esau, a reddish man.

It probably reminded people of the account in Genesis.

Michael Scaman about 1 year ago

The older (Esau and his descendants the Edomites) will serve the younger (Jacob). This was revealed to ‘the mom’ during her pregnancy.

No words of God will ‘fall to the ground’ and fail. And yet this only happens with the resurrection of Jesus. The Herod’s rule who are Idumeans (aka Edomites). Bethlehem was literally in the shadow of Herod having a nearby gettaway castle for Herod, Esau’s most famos descendant. Herod loses. Jesus wins and He wins big.

God will be proved true in the end.

God will ‘toss his sandal at Edom’ and clean his dirty laundry with ‘Philistia my washbasin’. Game over! (Psalm 60:8 and Psalm 108:9). Will be true despite this being a long time coming. Easau has faded into history but “the kingdom is the Lord’s” (as Obadiah ends). Herod loses. Jesus wins and Jesus wins big!

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