Judgment and Deliverance
I thank You, God, that in every situation, You’ve got my back.
Read OBADIAH 15–21
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.
16 Just as you drank on my holy hill,
so all the nations will drink continually;
they will drink and drink
and be as if they had never been.
17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;
it will be holy,
and Jacob will possess his inheritance.
18 Jacob will be a fire
and Joseph a flame;
Esau will be stubble,
and they will set him on fire and destroy him.
There will be no survivors
The Lord has spoken.
19 People from the Negev will occupy
the mountains of Esau,
and people from the foothills will possess
the land of the Philistines.
They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria,
and Benjamin will possess Gilead.
20 This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan
will possess the land as far as Zarephath;
the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
will possess the towns of the Negev.
21 Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion
to govern the mountains of Esau.
And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do biblical passages containing prophecies against ancient nations shape us as Christians today?
The fact that Obadiah’s prophecy has been preserved as Scripture means it was thought to have ongoing significance for later audiences. We get a hint of that in today’s passage. Edom represents more than a minor nation. Obadiah links Edom’s fall with “the day of the Lord” that is approaching “for all nations” (15). God’s treatment of Edom becomes a pattern for how he will deal with all those who have opposed him and his ways.
At the same time, the Lord promises deliverance and restoration for his people. For Obadiah’s immediate audience, this includes return to the land after exile (see how many times the words “occupy” and “possess” are used in verses 19 and 20). From a long-range perspective, embracing the whole of history, Obadiah declares that wrongs will be made right and the Lord will reign over all.
Obadiah’s message remains significant for us, as it did for his first audience. God is Lord over all nations, his concerns stretch to the far corners of the world—in mercy and in judgment—and the ultimate destiny of all things is in his hands. On a personal level as well as a global level, Obadiah still speaks to us today.
Reflect on God’s supremacy over all and the implications of that for you. Turn your reflections to prayer and praise.
God, You are powerful—You are above all and over all. I know that You are on the throne and nothing can stop You.
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