Dare To Be Different
Holy God, by Your Spirit, nourish my mind with new truth from Your Word as I read it now.
Read Obadiah 1–14
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Obadiah comes as a warning not to place our security in those things that can disappear.
As well as accusing the Edomites of betraying their brother Judah during the Babylonian invasion into Jerusalem, Obadiah condemns their pride and false security. Dwelling in the rugged mountain terrain, a natural fortress, Edom often brags of its superior defense and security (3): “Who can bring me down to the ground?” Edom seeks to be like an eagle, building its nest “among the stars” (4). Economically, the people are secure because of their “hidden treasures” (6). Internationally, they strengthen themselves by making allies with neighboring countries (7). Teman (representing Edom) is famous for its wise men (8; Jer. 49:7) and warriors (9). Edom seems to be insurmountable in human eyes, but God will strip off its natural defenses (2–4), wealth (5,6), allies (7) and human resources (8,9).
“There is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). Thousands of years after Obadiah’s time, human nature remains the same. Like the Edomites, we are living in a society which strives to achieve, to break records, to aim high, to stand out, to be recognized, to make money, to gain power…! All in all, a person with great fame, wealth and power is often considered “successful” in our society.
However, Jesus’ teaching is revolutionary. He advises people to choose the lowest place instead of the place of honor (Luke 14:7–11). The humble one is the greatest in God’s kingdom (Matt. 18:4). Jesus teaches people to do good deeds in secret instead of drawing public attention (Matt. 6:1–4). He encourages people to store up treasures in heaven, but not on earth (Matt. 6:19–24). Success should not be in terms of seeking power, but in serving others like Jesus himself did (Matt. 20:28; 23:11; John 13:1–17).
The name Obadiah means “the Servant of the Lord.” To whom can you be a servant this coming week?
Praise to You, God! You disturb me in my complacency, show me the wrong that I must put right and show me the way to live!