Obadiah is the least popular book in the bible. That’s probably because its in the Old Testament, it’s small, it’s written in a situation we are unfamiliar with and it’s message seems a bit harsh. All the prophets tell us something of the gospel and Obadiah is no different.
Obadiah is God’s message against the nation of Edom. They, along with many others nations (including God’s people, the Israelites) have rebelled against God and, as a result, are facing God’s judgement. It’s a hard message, but it’s one that sheds light on the good news about who God is and what he has done.
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down, declares the LORD.
(Obadiah 3-4, ESV)
The Edomites are proud. They are a successful, mighty, conquering nation and they are proud of it. Pride has deceived and tricked them into putting confidence in their own strength. Their lofty location in clefts of rock makes them feel safe. Their position amongst the other nations makes them feel secure. They see themselves above danger, soaring with the eagles, up with the stars. “Who will bring me down?” is a rhetorical question. They think they are untouchable. And it feels good to feel untouchable.
But they are not untouchable. They are not out of God’s reach. God is going to bring them down and make them small. After that, other nations will look down on and despise them, not quake in fear at the mention of their name.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. If He is smashing the source of our pride, we’ve got a chance of humbly recognising our need of His grace.
Real safety and security is not found in being the best or the strongest. It’s not found by getting to the top of the pile. I am not untouchable. However secure I feel, if it is based on myself or my circumstances, it will come crashing down. Security, shelter and safety are found in being with God. The people who escape this judgement are described in v17 as the ones on mount zion - the people who are with God. The answer is not in a place or position but in a person, a person who rules the universe and loves us. Jesus