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Day 133 – Thru the Bible
Today we read Obadiah and continue Psalms. Here is the overview video for Obadiah.
Video – Read Scripture: Obadiah
How does today’s video help you understand Obadiah better?
Obadiah 1 – News of judgment will be broadcast among the nations so that the whole world will witness God’s salvation of Judah. This has now begun in the proclamation of the gospel. Edom had preyed upon Judah’s weakness (likely by joining the Babylonians in the pillage of Jerusalem, as indicated in Psalm 137:7–9, though scholars vary over identification of the precise circumstances to which Obadiah refers). Yet, despite its initial triumph, Edom would become “despised”, trading places with the once-despised nation of Israel because the proud Edomites did not understand that those things despised in the eyes of man are chosen by God to shame those who consider themselves powerful, mighty, and wise (Matthew 5:6). The gospel, in which the weak are made strong through the strength of another, is the ultimate instance of this counterintuitive principle (1 Corinthians 1:18–31; 2 Corinthians 13:4).
The “pride of your heart”, which is at the root of all fraternal violence (Genesis 4:5–7), was what caused Edom’s violence against Judah. Apart from repentance, such pride will inevitably lead to a fall (Proverbs 16:18; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5), but those who humble themselves will be exalted by God (1 Peter 5:6), following in the pattern experienced by their Savior (Philippians 2:5–11).
The attacks awaiting Edom would be excessive, pointing toward divine justice as the purpose behind them. Such utter destruction is not inconsistent with but rather required by the fulfillment of God’s promises in Jesus. For the cross of Jesus is the supreme display not only of God’s mercy but also of His justice: sin must be judged. And yet, in the marvel of grace, for those who are in Jesus, their end-time judgment has already taken place at the cross of Christ!
The Lord draws particular attention to the vaunted wisdom of His enemies, saying He will “destroy the wise men out of Edom.” The gospel of a crucified Savior is the ultimate example in human history of God confounding the world’s wisdom in the supreme display of grace (1 Corinthians 1:18–21).
Edom, rather than believing God’s promises to Jacob and hoping in their fulfillment, instead sided with the enemy of God’s people and celebrated Judah’s suffering. This drew God’s righteous wrath and secured their demise.
From the perspective of the whole Bible, this pattern of cruelly celebrating the unjust suffering of another is fulfilled in the religious authorities of Jesus’ day. They sought to preserve their position rather than to identify with the suffering servant who would secure all of the blessings promised to Abraham. As a result, the kingdom of God was taken away from them and given to those who would humble themselves by looking outside themselves to the rejected cornerstone, Jesus (Matthew 21:33–44).
While Edom had celebrated Judah’s suffering, the same fate awaited Edom at the hands of others. As the forerunner to Jesus, John the Baptist announced that the axe of God’s judgment was laid at the root of those who failed to produce the fruit of righteousness. They would become chaff like Edom, no matter their ethic lineage (Matthew 3:10–12). It is a whole-Bible gospel principle that God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
The day of the Lord will culminate in the full extent of God’s reign over the whole Promised Land. Mount Esau will be ruled from Mount Zion.
This triumphant and hopeful ending to Obadiah’s prophecy highlights the great theme of reversal that runs right through the whole Bible. God’s humbled people will reign with Him in the consummation of His kingdom in Jesus, while those who have resisted His rule will be humiliated (Deuteronomy 28:13, 44; Luke 2:34; 1 Peter 5:6).
Those sites described in Obadiah, while encircling the boundaries of Old Testament Israel, will be transcended in the worldwide dominion of Jesus (Psalm 72:9; Revelation 11:15; ch. 21). A remnant of Edom who would repent could, like us, live by faith—walking in God’s ways, showing humility, kindness, and mercy to others, and leaving final judgment in God’s hands (Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30).
The kingdom of the Lord, anticipated by Obadiah, finds its true and final fulfillment in Jesus. He came “proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14–15). In Jesus the long anticipated new creation reign of God is inaugurated. Today we live in the light of the dawning of God’s eternal kingdom.
Once again we are reminded that sin deserves judgement. And once again we are reminded that that judgement has already been satisfied by Jesus for those who are in Jesus.
How does this give you comfort?
Psalm 128 – We see here a blessing upon Zion, the City of God, and also upon the man who fears the Lord. The Psalm opens generically: “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord.” This promise, then, is for every Believer: to live in the fear reverence of God is to invite His blessing upon one’s life.
But as the Psalm continues, its application is directed particularly at a believing husband and father who fears the Lord (i.e., gives God proper regard). A man’s work, his wife, and his children all will prosper due to the fact that he—not they—respects the Lord. What grace there is here! How kind God is! While He does visit the sins of the father on the third and fourth generations, He shows kindness to “thousands” (Exodus 20:5-6) because of faithfulness to Him in this generation; the consequences of sin are ultimately exceeded by and eclipsed by grace toward those who follow God. This Psalm expresses this important truth with further implications for all those responsible for the nurture of others. As this man, this husband and father, lives by God’s grace a life in awe of God, he can expect God’s blessing to rest on his labor, on his wife, and on his children.
Call this the “umbrella principle,” perhaps. One man holds the umbrella faithfully, and, by God’s grace, countless others are protected under the cover it provides. The switch, then, in verses 5–6, seems to be this: as a man reveres God, his children are blessed, and so his city and nation likewise are blessed. As goes the husband and father, so go the children and nation. May we see our children’s children, because of God’s blessing and the faithfulness of God’s people!
Are you in awe of God? How is this reflected in your life?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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