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
Part 3 - Justice
Part 4 - On your own head
Part 5 - The Cup
Safe in the fire
The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau, for the LORD has spoken.
God’s judgement is pictured like a fire that will burn up the Edomites. the interesting thing is that the Israelites are pictured as being part of that fire. God using one nation as part of his judgement against another nation is not unusual, but how are the Israelites not getting burned up? They have also rebelled against God, they should not be able to survive the fire either.
Who can survive the fire? No one who is relying on themselves, but the ones who are WITH the Holy God, just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked around in the furnace with Jesus. It is His presence that allows us to be unharmed by the fire of his judgement.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”
(Daniel 3:24-25 ESV)