In order to understand the vision God gave to His chosen prophet Obadiah, we will define a few places on the map of today. Not much is known about the prophet Obadiah except that he worshipped God. This is the shortest book in the Old Testament with only twenty one verses.
The ancient land of Edom bordered ancient Israel. Today this land is known as Southwest Jordan. It is located between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. Thirteenth hundred years before Jesus was born, the descendants of Esau were the Edomites who occupied this area.
When king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, the Edomites helped the king by capturing those Israelites who fled. History shows that Edom was an enemy of Israel as they treated the Israelites with cruelty and sold them into slavery. Petra was one of the wonders of the world as it was a unique plateau built high up like an Eagle’s nest…the place where Esau settled after he sold his birthright to his brother Jacob.
In Genesis chapter 14 you can read how Esau took the land from the Horites. In Deut 2:12 we read that Sela, or Petra “Rock” was the capital of Edom. With patience God commanded Israel “Do not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother.” Deut 23:7 The Edomites held the generational curse, or the selfish attitude of Esau. The Edomites denied the Israelites passage through Edom on the way to Canaan. Number 20:14 Because of the cruel pride and hatred towards Israel, this is what God showed Obadiah in a vision about Edom.
“See, I will make you (Jordan) small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down.” Declares the Lord.” Obadiah 1:1-4
Once God proclaimed what would happen to Edom, (Jordan) nothing can save a guilty nation. King Nebuchadnezzar crushed the Edomites and they lost their existence as a nation one hundred fifty years before Jesus.
The name Edom perished with the capture of Jerusalem by the Romans. “As you have done, it will be done to you.” Obadiah 1:15. The book ends with God’s promise to restore to Israel what was lost. The first step towards the future of the Jewish nation is for it to get back the Promised Land.
“But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess it’s inheritance.” Obaduah 1:17
The term Mount Zion is the Hebrew term for the City of David. 2 Samuel 5:7, 1 Chronicles 11:5; 1 Kings 8:1, 2 Chronicles 5:2. Today Mount Zion is now used as the name of ancient Jerusalem’s Western Hill. LESSON: Certain doom is the future of the proud while deliverance is for the meek.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
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