November 24, 2021

Obadiah—O Bad Edom

Obadiah 1–21

Robin Rice
Wednesday's Devo

November 24, 2021

Wednesday's Devo

November 24, 2021

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.

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.

Obadiah 1–21

The vision of Obadiah.

Edom Will Be Humbled

Thus says the Lord God 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 1:2 Or Behold, I have made you small among the nations; you are utterly despised
The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rock, 2 1:3 Or of Sela
    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 1:7 Hebrew lacks those who eat have set a trap beneath you—
    you have 4 1:7 Hebrew he has 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 1:12 Hebrew do not enlarge your mouth
    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

Dive Deeper | 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 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.

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?