THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part LIV: God's Recompense On Edom
A. The Edomites who descended from Esau adopted their ancestor's competitive hatred of his brother Jacob so as to despise Jacob's descendants, the people of Israel.
B. This animosity blossomed into terrible wrongs by the Edomites against Israel, so much so that eventually, God dealt with Edom very severely. This judgment on Edom serves as a lesson for us on how we treat others:
II. God's Recompense On Edom, Ezekiel 35:1-15.
A. The mountain range of Mount Seir that lay east of the Arabah and south of the Dead Sea comprised the land of Edom, so God's word of judgment on Edom came against Mount Seir, Ezek. 35:1-2. (B. K. C., O. T., p. 1295)
B. The Lord announced that He was against Mount Seir, that He would stretch out His hand against it and make the land most desolate, Ezekiel 35:3. God would cause Edom's cities to be laid waste, the nation would become a desolation and the Edomites would know that He was the Lord, Ezekiel 35:4.
C. God's reasons for this severe punishment of Edom are presented in Ezekiel 35:5 (as follows):
1. The Edomites had fostered a perpetual hatred of Israel, a hatred begun by their ancestor Esau against Jacob, Israel's ancestor, and continued against Jacob's descendants, Ezekiel 35:5a with Genesis 27:41.
2. The Edomites had expressed their hatred by heinously delivering their relatives, Judah's people over to their enemies when Babylon was invading and defeating Judah and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 35:5b), what is further described in Obadiah 10-14 as follows (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Obadiah 11-14):
a. The Edomites had stood by while their relative nation of Judah was invaded, Obadiah 10-11; Ibid.
b. The Edomites had proudly rejoiced over the captivity of their relative nation of Judah, Obad. 12; Ibid.
c. The Edomites had also actively participated in the sacking of Jerusalem, Obadiah 13; Ibid.
d. The Edomites had even helped set up roadblocks to prevent the escape of Judah's people, Obad. 14; Ibid.
D. Accordingly, Edom's punishment would fit her heinous acts of hatred against Judah, Ezekiel 35:6-15:
1. Since the Edomites had not hated the bloodshed of God's people of Judah, the especially heinous crime in that they let a relative nation suffer such a fate, God would cause Edom to suffer much bloodshed, v. 6.
2. Since the Edomites had helped sack Jerusalem and set up roadblocks that God's people might be cut off by Babylonian swordsmen, God would cause Mount Seir to become a waste and cut off from it all who came and went from it, Ezekiel 35:7.
3. The mountains, hills, valleys and ravines of the land of Edom would all be filled with slain Edomites for their participation in causing many Jewish people to be slain, Ezekiel 35:8.
4. As the Edomites had sacked Jerusalem along with the Babylonians, God would make Edom a perpetual desolation, her cities no longer being inhabited so that Edom would know that He was the Lord, Ez. 25:9.
5. The Edomites had even claimed that the nations of Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah would become Edom's possession when they fell, so God promised to have Edom's territory lost to others in accord with the anger and envy the Edomites had expressed toward God's people, Ibid., B. K. C., O. T., p. 1296. He would make Himself known among His people when He punished Edom, v. 10-11.
6. God had heard the Edomites revile the people of Israel, claiming Edom would then devour the lands of Israel that had been laid desolate, and how they had magnified themselves proudly against the Lord, what God had also heard, Ezekiel 35:12-13. Thus, while the whole earth will be rejoicing in the coming Messianic Kingdom of Israel, God would still make Edom desolate because Edom had rejoiced over the desolation of Israel in its fall to her Babylonian foes, Ezekiel 35:14-15a.
7. In the end, the Edomites would know that Israel's God was the Lord, Ezekiel 35:15b.
Lesson: For harboring a perpetual, proud hatred of their relative nation Israel and expressing it by standing by while they were invaded, by rejoicing over their captivity, by participating in their sacking and by setting up roadblocks to cause them to be slain, God would deal out great vengeance on Edom, leaving it perpetually desolate.
Application: (1) May we not hate anyone, but love all men, Matthew 5:43-48! [This does not mean that we should leave ourselves vulnerable to being abused, for we must withdraw from abusers, 2 Timothy 3:1-5. However, we should not hate those who abuse us!] (2) If we face hatred, may we not take vengeance, but let God handle it.