Tag Archives: Obadiah

Obadiah

The Book of the Obadiah in the bibleThe book of Obadiah records the messages of the prophet Obadiah. As with most prophets, Obadiah’s message focuses on current events — in this case for the people of Edom.

The book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, and nothing is known about Obadiah except that he lived during the fall of Jerusalem. His message was focused on the people of Edom (the descendants of Esau), and was critical of them for their failure to come to the aid of Judah. This message carries with it a sense of justice and does not include any forgiveness toward Edom.

Obadiah is sometimes called a minor prophet. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t important, but merely that the book named after him is shorter. (Compare this to the major prophets, whose books are much longer.)

Posts about the Minor Prophets

For the past several months, most of the A Bible A Day posts have been about the minor prophets.  Recall that they are called “minor” not because their prophecy is insignificant, but because their books are short!

Though more posts may be added in the future, there are no more planned at this time.  See all posts about the Minor Prophets, or look at specific ones:

Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah

Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

Read more about the Minor Prophets on ABibleADay.com.

The Error of Edom

The short book of Obadiah is a stinging rebuke to the nation of Edom, not for what they overtly did, but for what they did indirectly: for a failure to act, for smug attitudes, and for capitalizing on the wrong actions of others.  Even though they did not directly do wrong, the outcome is quite clear:

“As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”

A few centuries later, Paul teaches the same lesson:

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.”

Hosea phrases this in the positive:

“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love”

However, Jesus said it best:

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you…For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

More succinctly, in what we call the Golden Rule, Jesus also said:

“Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

Yes, good words to live by.

[Obadiah 1:11-15, Galatians 6:7, Hosea 10:12, Luke 6:37-39, Matthew 7:12]

Obadiah on Justice

The book of Obadiah in the Bible contains a prophecy about the nation of Edom.

Among other things, Edom is criticized for their pride.  The primary issue, however, is not what they did, but what they didn’t do.  Theirs is not an act of commission, but of omission.

Specially, the gripe that God has for them is for violence afflicted on the nation of Judah.  Not that Edom actually committed the violence, but that they merely stood by and watched as other nations did it.

For this they are destined to be “covered with shame” and “destroyed forever.”  That is a harsh judgment for doing nothing.  There is no forgiveness offered to Edom and no restoration recorded; just punishment.

This shows us God’s heart for us to act justly and his displeasure for those who stand idly by and not helping those in trouble.

When we see someone in need, someone being taken advantage of or being treated unfairly, do we take action to assist or stand aloof like Edom?

[Obadiah 10-11]