Punishment For Your Enemies
Because of the
violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame,
you will be destroyed forever. (Obadiah 10 - When there is only one
chapter, only the verse is written.)
Has anyone ever mistreated or taken advantage of you? Has a friend or
family member ever turned on you and treated you unjustly? Instead of
getting angry with these people, pray that God will spare them from His
wrath. Pray that God will have mercy on them. For it is written that
God Himself will take care of such injustices. God promised to
bless His people and protect them in the first book of the Bible
(Genesis 12:1-3). This promise is affirmed in the Book of Obadiah, the
shortest book in the Old Testament with only 21 verses.
The Book of Obadiah tells about the longstanding feud between the twin
brothers, Jacob and Esau. Esau's descendants, the Edomites, stood by,
cheered and gloated when Judah was captured by the Babylonians.
The Edomites looted Judah's possessions in the aftermath. They even
captured some of Jacob's descendants who tried to escape and handed
them over to the enemies.
God wasn't pleased with the way these family members treated other
family members. Therefore, He punished the Edomites by making them
small and despised among the other nations. He promised the Edomites,
"As you have done, it will be done to you, your deeds will return upon
your own head." (Obadiah 15b) God brought them from their high
and mighty position and elevated the descendants of Jacob to reign
Life Application: God will punish those who mistreat His people.
A Strong Message of Judgment
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. (Obadiah 15)
is unique about Obadiah? Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old
Testament (only 21 verses), but it carries one of the strongest
messages of judgment in the Old Testament. The major theme of Obadiah
is judgment upon Edom because of arrogance and cruelty to God's chosen
people. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau and bitter enemies of
the people of Israel. God warned the Edomites about their behavior
toward His chosen people. Since they continued in their contempt toward
Israel, God promised that He would bring destruction upon Edom, and
there would be no remnant left of that nation. He would not acknowledge
their pleas. He would offer no words of consolation, comfort or hope.
God had sealed Edom's fate and there was no possible deliverance.
was God so angry with Edom? God was angry with Edom and promised wrath
against Edom mainly because of its arrogance. Edom gloated over the
destruction of Jerusalem and even took part in destroying it. Ideally,
Edom should have been allies with Israel; instead Edom was Israel's
Life Application: God wants us to be allies with
those who are doing the work of the Lord. He is not pleased when we
seek to destroy God's servants or gloat over their downfall. We, too,
will be judged by the way we treat God's representatives. God promised
to protect His special people against any who would try to do them
harm. "I will bless them that bless you, and I will curse them who
curse you" (Genesis 12:3).