Your Day Will Come

Obadiah 1:8-14

Last time God’s prophet Obadiah charged Edom with sin of pride, in particular: pride of wealth, pride of alliance. In first verse of our text (v.8) primary “aggressor” against Edom comes to foreground – God. On the ground would look like surrounding nations / world powers taking out their aggression on Israel, then Judah, now Edom. God intended Israelites and Edomites not be misled into thinking those were only powers involved. Assyria and Babylon and others were acting as God’s agents, the human instruments God used to bring about his divine purpose.

Another highly significant truth here: all described directly and indirectly in Obadiah not simply social ills, government expansionism, military aggression. Fundamental issue God is dealing with: sin… against him, against his people. There is also the sin of God’s people being addressed, too. Edom pretty good picture of “six things the Lord hates” – read Prov. 6:16-19

God goes after Edom because they are behaving badly toward his people. God is displeased with Edom because they behave contrary to his character/expectations. But what about Assyria or Babylon? = why do the wicked prosper? God’s response: I’ll take care of them, see Habakkuk. God allows nothing to hinder his redemptive plan – not attacks, opposition, hindrances from those outside the church, nor sinful behavior of those within the church.

Immediate focus of attention here is Edom, their behavior toward God’s people which ultimately is sin against God. Edom’s behavior fueled by pride, something everyone can relate to from personal experience. Here, God identifies two more sources of pride that he will strip away from Edom, then lists out eight specific actions that were harmful to Judah and ultimately Edom.

A. two more things v.8-9

God still speaking, yet with difference

through v.7: this is what will happen to you; v.8 & 9: this what I will do to you – might be able to blame other woes on neighbors, not these grievous losses – God rightly gets full credit

pride of wisdom

know Edomites were descndants of Esau; not so commonly known is who 1st generation Edomites were – read Gen. 36:8-11; identified in Job 4:1 as being from Teman

see even in that generation – endowed with good mind and practical wisdom but… did not include right understanding about God – Job 42:7the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right””

not hard to imagine how their wisdom deteriorated from there in following generations, yet still maintained as source of pride

devastating to culture to experience brain drain – happened in numerous places in 20th cent., was what God would do to Edom

pride of power

relied on location for much of their security, alliances with powerful neighbors for some – third element, their own military

might only take few stout men to defend access to city – doesn’t matter when there no stout men; would be left totally vulnerable to attack and defeat by God’s purposeful actions

B. summary indictment and verdict v.10

charge: violence toward a brother

God says all of that to say this: the crime most serious in God’s eyes – sinful behavior toward their brother… Judah & Israel

more problematic because, at same time they were sinning against Jacob’s children, God was demonstrating great compassion

God’s “default” to show mercy long past when punishment is justified; he expects people to do same, esp. toward family

verdict: covered with shame

used to be cliche: bigger they are, harder they fall; for Edom – greater their pride, more humiliating their downfall

evidence of their guilt – completely covered in shame, no redeeming qualities visible as true nature of evil deeds revealed

sentence: cut off forever

followed by fearsome pronouncement: cut off forever; would be a day when because of determined rebellion, would cease to exist as distinct people

must remember couple things: God speaking through his prophet Obadiah to Edomite people as nation, a group; does not mean every individual Edomite guilty as charged, facing same doom

also: God always leaves door open for repentance – if threatened consequences bring about positive change, wonderful

C. specific charges v.11-14

11a On the day that you stood aloof, …11c Even you were like one of them.

bystanders to injustice not without guilt – stood on the other side (and simply watched) while city overthrown and plundered

attitude of prideful aloofness – could have gone to aid of brothers but didn’t want to get their hands dirty, nothing in it for them anyway

in God’s view, even though fingerprints may not have been on weapon, were just as responsible / guilty as those involved – no neutral territory in God’s sight

12a You should not have looked on the day of your sibling,

looking down with contempt on Judah for predicament they had gotten themselves into and thinking never happen to us

no nation is above reproach, certainly true of Edom in light of evil behaviors seen already in Amos – unjust taking of human life, involvement in human trafficking

true also on individual level – every person truly destined for heaven is sinner saved by grace from merciful loving God

12b You should not have rejoiced over the Judahites

Edomites actually took pleasure in misfortune of their brothers – loss of possessions, freedom, and for many, loss of life

without question a sin-corrupted and twisted mind that enjoys seeing harm come to others – think 1st-century Rome, blood-thirsty mobs at the arena

should rejoice when God displays his righteous justice, when his truth is vindicated; far cry from joy over misfortune of others

12c You should not have raised your voice (to boast)

used downfall of Judah as platform on which to exalt themselves, boast in their good fortune in contrast with their brothers

is a hollow victory that has to come at expense of others – Edomites actually viewing Judah as their enemy, saying things about them they never would dare to say when Judah was healthy and strong

13a You should not have entered into the gate of my people

perhaps didn’t show up until after Judah’s defeat was certain, then entered the city looking for what was left behind of value

no thought of compassionate care for sick and injured, no intention to meet their need, intent only on feeding their greed

13b You should not have looked in a gloating way

takes rejoicing over misfortune to next level – what’s in it for me, how can I benefit from their calamity, what they had to abandon

turning blind eye toward human cost of conflict, looking only toward what would advance their own cause or position

13c You should not have taken its wealth

didn’t actually throw rocks through the windows but were close on heels of the mob, cleaning out inventory, profiting from other’s hardship and loss

“to the victor belong the spoils” may be mankind’s approach to conflict but is not God’s way – all Judah had for material possessions owned by God and entrusted to them, not Edom

14a You should not have stood at the crossroads To finish off its refugees.

Edom added their resources to those of aggressor to cut off escape from conflict – blocking road to safety, same as centuries earlier: blocked escape from Egypt, now blocking escape to Egypt

this time not simply an inconvenience – put lives of escapees from Judah in real peril, especially if Edom “cut off” people, not road

14b You should not have incarcerated Its survivors

rounding up those who escaped capture by enemy, turning them back over to (probably) Babylon – e.g. China built detention center for N Korean refugees, ultimate goal: repatriation

only “crime” they committed was being Jewish, treated by Edomites in harsh unjust way totally unbecoming to brothers

on that day you did this

every statement “you should not” = an implied “you should have” done the opposite – grieved with them, aided them, protected them, given them refuge….

prophet in effect telling them: you have had your day, that day when mistreated your brother – another day is coming… see v.15

D. two lessons

comfort: God protects us from our enemies

means God protects his people from his enemies and theirs – must remember those enemies are really agents of Satan

God does not protect from all harm… some of it he uses for our good, his glory; he does prevent Satan/agents from achieving his goal, destruction of Christ and his church

easy to lose site of that piece re: persecution against Christians here and around the world – gotta remember nature of real battle and its goal

warning: don’t be like them

should model God and his character – constantly depending on God to supply all resources we need to live pleasing to him

also need to be mindful – spiritual warfare has human consequences; must uphold brothers and sisters in prayer, lend helping hand as God gives opportunity

most of all – must keep cross of Christ prominent — that prevents pride of all sorts, supplies right framework with which to relate to others whether saved or lost

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s