Morning Bible Study
The book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament at 21 verses.
Obadiah – “servant of Yahewh”
We actually don’t know much about this fellow, other than the writing he
The book is addressed to the people of Edom, the ancestors of Jacob’s twin
Though the Edomites were “brothers” to Israel, they were often at odds with
Play Israel and Edom map clip
The land of Edom lies within modern Jordan, southeast of Israel. It is a
mountainous desert land.
The ancient capital was Bozrah.
One of the most famous places is the ancient city of Petra, made famous by …
Play Indiana Jones – Petra clip
There is no clear indicator as to when the book was written.
The book describes the behavior of the Edomites during an invasion of
There were four such invasions of Jerusalem, but the scenario that seems to
fit the book was when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 586 BC.
When the Babylonians were conquering Judah, the people of Edom stood on the
sidelines and cheered for the Babylonians.
NKJV) Remember, O Lord,
against the sons of Edom The day of Jerusalem, Who said, “Raze it, raze it, To its very
After the Babylonians wiped out the southern kingdom of Judah, the
Nabateans from northern Arabia would come into the land of Edom and pushed out
most of the Edomites.
The Nabateans were the great stone carvers of Petra.
Most of the Edomites moved into southern Judea where they became known as Idumeans. Herod the
Great, king of Judea was an Idumean (Edomite).
The Idumeans revolted against Rome with the Jews
in AD 70, were obliterated by the Romans, and then faded into history.
1:1-9 Judgment coming to Edom
:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom (We have heard a
report from the Lord, And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying,
“Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle”):
:1 let us rise up against her for battle
In Obadiah’s vision, a messenger from God is sent to the nations to tell
them to fight against Edom.
:2 “Behold, I will make you small among the
nations; You shall be greatly despised.
:3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, You
who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who
say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’
:4 Though you ascend as high as the eagle,
And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you
down,” says the Lord.
:3 who dwell in the clefts of the rock
The Edomites felt safe in the natural protection of the steep canyons and
mountains around them. There were all
sorts of places to hide and defend themselves against attackers.
:3 The pride of your heart has deceived
Our pride keeps us from seeing things as they truly are.
Think of the children’s story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where the emperor
is tricked by a man pretending to be a tailor into thinking he is wearing the
finest clothes ever made when in fact he is naked.
His own pride, wanting to show everyone that he was the smartest
emperor that ever was, kept him from acknowledging that his new tailor’s “magic
clothes” weren’t just invisible to stupid people, they were non-existent.
Jesus wrote a letter to the church of Laodicea,
NKJV) —15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish
you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because
you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not
know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel
you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white
garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not
be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
The Laodiceans thought that they
were important people because of their wealth, when in fact they were very poor
in God’s sight.
Pride keeps us from thinking we need anything.
In truth, we are quite needy. We need God.
When Harry Truman was thrust into the presidency, by the
death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn (the Speaker of the House) took
him aside. “From here on out, you’re going to have lots of people around you.
They’ll try to put up a wall around you and cut you off from any ideas but
theirs. They’ll tell you what a great man you are, Harry. But you and I both
know you ain’t.”
C. S. Lewis called pride “spiritual cancer,” which eats up love and
contentment. It is actually a sign of our own insecurity and feelings of
Pride keeps my focus on “me”, and guarantees to make me miserable.
to Be Perfectly Miserable.
Think about yourself.
Talk about yourself.
Use the personal pronoun "I" as often as
possible in your conversation.
Expect to be appreciated.
Never forget a criticism.
2:3–4 NKJV) —3 Let nothing be done through
selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others
better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also
for the interests of others.
Fulfillment doesn’t come from focusing on your own
needs. It comes by meeting others’
:4 I will bring you down
If you continue to walk in pride, you are heading for a fall.
NKJV) Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty
spirit before a fall.
:5 “If thieves had come to you, If robbers by
night— Oh, how you will be cut off!— Would they not have stolen till they had
enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, Would they
not have left some gleanings?
:5 Would they not have left some
Normal thieves just take what they’re looking for and leave some things
Grape harvesters don’t pick all the grapes but leave some for the poor, the
But in contrast, Edom will be wiped clean.
AgainstThus says the Lord
of hosts:For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him,WouldAndAnd your fatherless children,I will preserve them alive;And let your widows trust in Me.”“Gather together, come against her,And rise up to battle!Despised among men.The who goes by it will be astonishedAnd will hiss at all its plagues.“No one shall remain there,Nor shall a son of man dwell in it.For who is like Me?Who will arraign Me?And who is that shepherdAnd His purposes that He has proposed against the
inhabitants of Teman:Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out;Surely He shall make their dwelling places desolate with
:6 “Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How
his hidden treasures shall be sought after!
:7 All the men in your confederacy Shall force you
to the border; The men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail
against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one
is aware of it.
:7 All the men in your confederacy
Edom had alliances with other countries, but these allies would turn on
Their downfall wouldn’t be from an outright enemy, but from someone they
When the Nabateans first showed up, the Edomites invited them to a
banquet. In the end, the Nabateans
turned on them and pushed them out of their own land.
:8 “Will I not in that day,” says the Lord, “Even destroy the wise men
from Edom, And understanding from the mountains of Esau?
:8 destroy the wise men
Edom had a reputation for having some pretty wise fellows.
Some believe that the oldest book to have been written in the Bible was
written by an Edomite – Job.
Job himself is thought to be in the genealogy of Esau as one of its “kings”
(Gen. 36:31-34) where he is listed as “Jobab”.
At one point Job gets sarcastic with his “friends” because they seem to
think that they know so much.
(Job 12:2 NKJV) “No doubt
you are the people, And wisdom will die with you!
The judgment on Edom includes the loss of wisdom.
Losing your wisdom
We could probably trace Edom’s loss of wisdom (and wise men) back to its
Paul also shows us how man can lose his wisdom.
NKJV) —18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in
unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has
shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His
eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
– Beautiful World clip
No matter how much people argue, to me it seems quite
obvious that there is a God. Just open your eyes and look around you.
although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were
thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were
darkened. 22 Professing
to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made
like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore
God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor
their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and
served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Paul goes on to talk about the moral depravity that man
falls into when he loses his moral compass – the truth that there is a Creator
who has made us.
“Professing to be wise, they became fools”
When you lose sight of God, you lose wisdom.
There is a connection between knowing God and having true wisdom.
Job himself wrote,
28:28 NKJV) …‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to
depart from evil is understanding.’
Wisdom starts when we get things straightened out with God.
:9 Then your mighty men, O Teman,
shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be
cut off by slaughter.
Teman was one of the chief cities of the Edomites .
1:10-14 Edom’s sin
:10 “For violence against your brother Jacob,
Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever.
:10 against your brother
Jacob and Esau were twins. Esau fathered the Edomites, Jacob fathered the
You ought to be nice to a brother. Before going into the Promised Land, Israel was
NKJV) “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother…
But the Edomites didn’t return the favor.
:11 In the day that you stood on the other side— In the day that strangers
carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates And cast lots for
Jerusalem— Even you were as one of them.
:12 “But you should not have gazed on the day of
your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the
children of Judah In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken
proudly In the day of distress.
:13 You should not have entered the gate of My
people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their
affliction In the day of their calamity, Nor laid hands
on their substance In the day of their calamity.
The Edomites enjoyed watching Jerusalem fall to the Babylonians.
:14 You should not have stood at the crossroads To
cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those
among them who remained In the day of distress.
:12 rejoiced over … their destruction
When Enemies Fall
To be honest, sometimes when we have a victory over our enemies, we’d like
to do a little victory dance…
God cares how we react when our “enemy” falls.
Don’t think of this “enemy” as Satan, but the humans around us that cause
We all have “enemies” to one degree or another.
24:17–18 NKJV) —17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let
your heart be glad when he stumbles; 18 Lest the Lord see it,
and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him.
What if your “enemy” has something going on in their life that you just
aren’t aware of? What if you don’t know
what’s going on in their head?
Thomas Merton writes,
Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is a savage
just because he is your enemy. Perhaps
he is your enemy because he thinks you are a savage. Or perhaps he is afraid of you because he
feels you are afraid of him. And perhaps
if he believed you were capable of loving him he would no longer be your enemy.
Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is an enemy
of God just because he is your enemy.
Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because he can find nothing in you
that gives glory to God. Perhaps he fears you because
he can find nothing in you of God's love and God's kindness and God's patience
and mercy and understanding of the weakness of men.
Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer
believes in God. For
it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice and mediocrity and materialism and
sensuality and selfishness that have killed his faith.
NKJV) —43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do
good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and
1:15-16 The Judgment
:15 “For the day of the Lord
upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you;
Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.
:15 the day of the Lord
We’ve seen this phrase in Joel (4x) and Amos (3x).
It speaks of a day of God’s judgment and is used for various times of
judgment on the nations.
There is an ultimate “day of the Lord”
when Jesus returns and judges the world.
:16 For as you drank on My holy mountain, So
shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink, and swallow,
And they shall be as though they had never been.
The Edomites will be swallowed up just like they swallowed up others.
1:17-21 Coming Kingdom
:17 “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance,
And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their
:18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the
house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau shall be stubble; They
shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor shall remain of the
house of Esau,” For the Lord has
The Israelis will be the fire, while the Edomites will be the fuel. They will burn them up.
:19 The South shall possess the mountains of Esau,
And the Lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of
Ephraim And the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall
:20 And the captives of this host of the children
of Israel Shall possess the land of the Canaanites As far as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad Shall possess the cities of the South.
:19 The South shall possess … Esau
When God fully restores Israel, these will be what some of their borders
will look like. They are not quite there
Play Israel Today and Tomorrow map clip
What it all boils down to is that Israel will not
only possess the land they have now, but their borders will stretch into modern
Lebanon to the north, Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories.
:21 Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion To judge
the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.
:21 saviors shall come to Mount Zion
Governors from all these places (including Edom) will rule from Jerusalem.
:21 the kingdom shall be the Lord’s
Ultimately, the kingdom will belong to Jesus.
:15 As you have done
Sowing and Reaping
The Edomites got what they gave.
NKJV) —1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge,
you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to
The way you judge others is how God will judge you.
The Buddhists have this thing called “karma”. It’s your good intents and good deeds that magically
contribute to a good future. And your bad
deeds contribute to a bad future.
There is some truth to this, except there’s nothing magical or impersonal
about it at all. God is behind it.
Paul makes is simple. He wrote,
NKJV) —7 Do not be deceived, God is not
mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who
sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the
Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while
doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do
not lose heart.
What kind of seeds are you sowing out in the world?
If you are doing things that will feed your sin nature
(your flesh), you can expect a heap of trouble.
If you do things that will invest in the Spirit, you will find everlasting
It starts by admitting you are a sinner and opening up
your heart to trust in Jesus.
It continues by doing good things.
Good things for yourself like reading
the Bible, praying, and going to church.
Good things for others like serving them.
What do you expect to harvest from the seeds you’ve sown?
The Edomites had sown bad seeds – seeds that brought corruption – being
cruel to their neighbors and rejoicing when they fell.
You don’t have to sow those kinds of seeds.
You can sow seeds that will produce eternal life.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,But there is a friend who sticks closer than a