EDOM'S JUDGMENT FOR HER PROUD HATRED OF ISRAEL
I: Edom's Doom Due To Her Pride
A. God's judgment of Edom "is mentioned in more Old Testament books than it is against any other foreign nation," for the Edomites had a long and bitter hatred of Israel. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1453)
B. The prophecy of Obadiah is a study on God's justice (Ibid.), and we begin with God's pronouncement of doom on Edom particularly for her pride, Obadiah 1-9. We view the passage for our insight and application.
II. Edom's Doom Due To Her Pride, Obadiah 1-9.
A. The prophet Obadiah, about whom we know nothing from Scripture, received a prophetic vision from the "Sovereign Lord" ('adonay Yahweh), a title that stresses the Lord's rule over all nations on earth (in 'adonai) and also His covenant relationship with Israel (in Yahweh), Obadiah 1a; Ibid., p. 1455.
B. That prophetic vision directed the nations to unite to humiliate Edom in battle, Obadiah 1b. We know from history that God used the Nabateans of northwestern Arabia and the Transjordan, the Jews under John Hyrcanus of the Maccabean era and the Romans to destroy Edom as a nation. (Ibid.; Zon. Pict. Ency. Bib., Vol. Three, p. 39; Ibid., Vol. Four, p. 347)
C. Edom prided herself in her "great wealth obtained by trading, looting, and by iron and copper mining in the region and in her nearly impregnable position geographically" (Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1455-1456). Yet, God declared that He would cause her to be made small in contrast to her self-exaltation, and to be despised instead of respected, Obadiah 2. (Ibid., p. 1456)
D. Edom's pride had deceived her into thinking no one could conquer her due to her geographical location in the mountains of Seir, what provided natural protection in the region's great heights and clefts of its rocks, Obadiah 3. Nevertheless, Edom was not impregnable to Almighty God, and He would bring her down though she viewed herself as an eagle who nested as it were among the stars, Obadiah 4.
E. Obadiah 5-9 then predicted the totality of Edom's fall and destruction because of her great arrogance:
1. Though thieves steal at night only what they want and though harvesters who pick grapes leave a few grapes for gleanings, in Edom's destruction, she would be stripped of all wealth, the invaders likely finding treasures hidden in Edom's many caves so that all of Edom's valuables would be taken, Obadiah 5-6; Ibid.
2. Though Edom prided herself in her alliances with other nations, which alliances were likely made for those nations to be able to trade with Edom, those allies would betray Edom, Obadiah 7a. They would pursue her people to their border, deceiving and overpowering them as they were unexpectedly ambushed by their friends and allies who ate bread with them supposedly in peace, Obadiah 7b; Ibid.
3. Edom felt secure in her wise men who could give her counsel, but God would arrange for the invading nations to destroy Edom's wise men, too! (Obadiah 8)
4. Even Edom's warriors would be in "complete dismay, and all Edomites who sought safety in Esau's mountains . . . would be slaughtered," Obadiah 9. Esau was Edom's forefather who bore a perpetual grudge against his brother Jacob, Israel's forefather, so the mountains of Esau that their powerful forefather had bequeathed to them would not protect the Edomites from being slaughtered by invaders!
Lesson: God called the nations to rise up and bring Edom down in humiliation in battle for her excessive false pride in her great wealth and seemingly impregnable geographical location. Regardless of Edom's sources of security, they would utterly fail her in God's judgment because of the sin of her great pride.
Application: (1) May we never rely on what material possessions we have as a source of self-sufficiency and pride, for doing so is covetousness which is idolatry (cf. Colossians 3:5b), and God can severely punish this sin! (2) May we learn to be content with what we possess versus cheating others out of their possessions like Edom did, and thus come under divine judgment. (cf. Hebrews 13:5-6) (3) May we not pride ourselves in our national security like Edom did, for God can remove that security like He did in having nations destroy her people in their seemingly impregnable homeland! (4) May we not rely on human friends or alliances we have as a form of security like Edom did, for trusting in man brings one under God's curse, for the Lord Himself should be our trust, Jeremiah 17:5. (5) May we not trust in our wisdom or rely on wise counselors above the Lord like the Edomites did, for God can remove such counselors like he did for Edom. (6) May we not trust in our armies for protection in place of the Lord like Edom did, for God can remove that security, too. (7) Our trust must ultimately be in the Lord.