Bible Survey OBADIAH
Who wrote the book?
In this, the shortest book of the Old Testament ~ Only 21 verses long ~ and is presumed that Obadiah was the author ~ but nothing else is known about him.
His Hebrew name means “a worshipper of Yahweh” ~ a common name that was shared with 12 other men in the Old Testament.
The time of writing is greatly disputed ~ with a wide variety of proposed dates. The 2 most popular views are during the reign of King Jehovah of Judah (848 – 841 BC ~ when the Philistines and Edomites plundered Judah ~ 2 Chronicles 21:16-17) and shortly after the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (587-586 BC).
Though the identity of this prophet is shrouded in mystery, Obadiah’s focus is on Jerusalem in this prophecy of judgment on the foreign nation of Edom.
Why is Obadiah so important?
The majority of the book pronounces judgment on the foreign nation of Edom, making Obadiah one of only three prophets who pronounced judgment primarily on other nations (Nahum and Habakkuk are the others).
Obadiah’s singular focus points to a significant, albeit difficult, truth about humanity’s relationship with God: when people remove themselves from or place themselves in opposition to God’s people, they can expect judgment
Obadiah hold faith in God’s justice and places his hope in the future triumph of HIS will on the nations.
Obadiah brings a pastor’s message to aching hearts that God is still on HIS throne and that HE still cares for HIS people.
Purpose of Writing:
Obadiah is a prophet of God who condemned Edom for sins against both God and Israel.
The Edomites are descendants of Esau and the Israelites are descendants of his twin brother, Jacob.
A quarrel between the brothers has affected their descendants for over 1,000 years.
This division caused the Edomites to forbid Israel to cross their land during the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt.
Edom’s sin of pride now draws a strong word of judgment from the Lord.
Obadiah’s message is final: the kingdom of Edom will be destroyed completely.
Edom has been arrogant, gloating over Israel’s misfortunes, and when enemy armies attack Israel and the Israelites ask for help, the Edomites refuse and choose to fight against them, not for them.
These sins of pride can be overlooked no longer.
The book ends with the promise of the fulfillment and deliverance of Zion in the Last Days when the land will be restored to God’s people as He rules over them.
Verse 21 of the Book of Obadiah contains a Messianic Prophecy of Christ.
“Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the LORD’s” (NKJV).
These “saviors” (also called “deliverers” in some versions) are both the apostles of Christ and the preachers of God’s WORD in these latter days.
They are called “saviors,” not because they provide our salvation ~ but because they preach salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and show us the way to obtain that salvation.
The Word preached by them, are the means by which the good news of salvation is delivered to all men.
While Jesus Christ is the only Savior ~ who alone came to purchase salvation ~ and is the author of it ~ paid for by HIS death on the cross.
What’s the big idea?
Obadiah’s name, meaning “worshipper of Yahweh,” offers an interesting point to the message of judgment he pronounced on Edom ~ Judah’s neighbor to the south.
As a worshipper of Yahweh ~ Obadiah placed himself in a position of humility before the Lord
NOTICE God sent a man named “worshipper of Yahweh” to the people of Edom on purpose
Edom had been found guilty of pride before the Lord (Obadiah 1:3).
They had thought themselves greater than they actually were ~ great enough to mock ~ steal from ~ and harm God’s people.
But the “Lord GOD,” a name Obadiah used ~ to stress God’s sovereign power over the nations ~ will not stand idly by and let His people suffer forever (1:1).
Through Obadiah ~ God reminded Edom of their poor treatment of His people (1:12–14) and promised redemption ~ not to the Edomites but to the people of Judah (1:17–18).
The nation of Edom ~ which eventually disappeared into history ~ remains one of the prime examples of the truth found in Proverbs 16:18:
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
How do I apply this?
Obadiah’s prophecy focuses on the destructive power of pride.
It reminds us of the consequences of living in a self-serving manner, of following our own feelings and desires ~ without considering their impact on those around us.
Though such pride has been part of the lives of fallen human beings since fall in the Garden of Eden ~ Obadiah offers us a reminder to place ourselves under God’s authority ~ to surrender our appetites to His purposes ~ and to find our hope in being His people
Second, when God comes to punish HIS enemies ~ HE also comes to bless HIS people
When Pharaoh’s mighty army is drown in the Red Sea ~ it is done so Israel can travel onward toward Canaan
When Amalek is beaten. It is so God’s people can be at peace
REMEMBER the acceptable year of the LORD is also the day of God’s vengeance
This is why David sang (Psalm 101:1), “I will sing of faithful love and justice”
Obadiah verse 4, “Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD.”
Obadiah verse 12, “You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble.”
Obadiah verse 15, “The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”
God will overcome in our behalf if we will stay true to Him.
And ~ unlike Edom, we must be willing to help others in times of need.
Pride is sin.
Proverbs 6:16-19 “The LORD hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to Him:
Arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers”
We have nothing to be proud of except Jesus Christ and what He has done for us.