-This is the shortest book in the Old Testament and consists of only one chapter. There is scant knowledge about the prophet Obadiah and the actual time of this prophecy. Scholars, doing their best, can only place this prophecy vaguely in either the time of Jehoram of Judah, 855-840 B.C., or possibly during the time of Jeremiah’s ministry, 627-586 B.C. at the time of the Babylonian invasion. As you can see, this is a wide time gap, but there is no substantial evidence to determine when this book was delivered by the Spirit of God.
-The important thing to remember is that the LORD did pronounce justice for His people through Obadiah and would bring down the pride of the lofty living Edomites for the everlasting destruction of their nation because they had treated the chosen people of God with contempt and violence. They had rejoiced at the calamity of their brothers (Edom comes from Esau, Jacob’s brother and son of Isaac and Abraham, Genesis 25:19-26; 32:3) and felt secure in their mountainous dwelling (they lived south and east of the Dead Sea region in what is today modern Jordan, this is where Petra is, the famous stronghold mountain that could easily be defended from invaders). At the time of this prophecy Edom would more than likely have felt much more secure in their longevity and continuance as a nation than Judah. However, God foretells of their demise through His Word and will eventually bring them down for their pride and arrogance of heart (Obadiah 1:3-4). They will be ruined to never recover because of the violence they had perpetrated and allowed towards their brother, Jacob (Obadiah 1:10). They had gloated over the misfortune of their relatives, God’s people, and rejoiced in their day of destruction (Obadiah 1:12).
-Verse 15 moves into what I believe to be a futuristic prophecy with the familiar wording “the day of the LORD.” This, the prophet says, will be unto “all the nations” and has significance for the ramifications to any people group and their treatment of His people primarily referring to Israel, but also can refer to any of the believing people of God including Gentiles in His church. Their dealings will return on their head if they mistreat or stand aloof. Destruction is prophesied for those who go against the LORD’s anointed (Obadiah 1:16). Judgment is placed on the enemies of God “and the Kingdom will be the LORD’s (Obadiah 1:21).” *Application* It doesn’t matter how secure a country or nation feels about its economic prowess, natural abundance, or military might. The LORD God has ways of bringing a prideful nation down to its knees in humility and mercy and maybe even destruction when it turns its back on God and His people. The Sovereign LORD will always fight for His own. Our country, even the United States, will only survive as long as it blesses Israel and the people of God in His church. Eventually all nations who go against God’s Word will be judged and brought very low no matter how invincible they may appear. We cannot rely on our expertise, knowledge of ingenuity, or technology to sustain us forever. Only the LORD in His power is capable of that (Proverbs 3:5-6). As individuals and nations we cannot afford to allow ourselves to feel so comfortable and content with our wealth or security that we fail to look to the LORD for perpetuity and help God’s people. It is sin to stand by and do nothing when it is in our power to help (James 4:17). The theme of this book, Obadiah, reminds us of that undeniable fact.
Verses to Memorize: Obadiah 1:3, 15