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.
Part 1 - The Untouchables
Part 2 - The Joy of (other people's) pain
For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.
(Obadiah 15, ESV)
The Israelites had been defeated, destroyed and carried off into exile. As they looked around at the surrounding nations, it seemed as if evil was was winning. Obadiah’s message brings the comfort that justice will be done. People who cause suffering for others will be judged for those actions.
Being sinned against does not make the Israelites innocent, large parts of the OT prophets are similar messages of judgement against them! But living in a world that seems unjust we can take comfort that, at the end, the perfect judge will be ruling from his throne and nothing will have been unaccounted for.
The greatest comfort comes from the fact that, although I also deserve judgement for my actions, words and thoughts, the perfect judge took that judgement for me on the cross.
[Jesus death on the cross] was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
(Romans 3:26 ESV)
(Romans 3:26 ESV)
Every wrong act will receive it’s rightful punishment. That punishment is either taken by the person themselves or by Jesus on the cross.