Five visions: (1) Locusts — an invading army (Amos 7:1-3); (2) Fire — consumed by (7:4-6); (3) A plumb line — measuring correctness, Israel defective (7:7-9); (4) Ripe fruit — the end is coming (8:1-14); (5) God at the altar — Israel to be destroyed (9:1-10). The promise of God to David kept (9:11-15). God speaks to Edom (Obad. 1:4,15-18, 20-21).
The Edomites had been hostile to the Israelites for centuries from the time Esau (Edom) forfeited his family birthright and was replaced by his brother Jacob (Israel). The prophet Obadiah foretold the eventual triumph of Israel, as well as the complete destruction of Edom: For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. . . . for the Lord hath spoken it (Obad. 1:10,18).
Esau had moved to Mount Seir where the Edomites, his descendants, felt secure by building for themselves a mountain fortress. Their self-sufficiency and disinterest in the will of God deluded them and caused them to ignore Obadiah's warning.
The Edomites conspired with Ammon and Moab against Judah and took Israelite captives. They also raided Judah in the days of King Ahaz to take even more captives to be their slaves (II Kin. 8:20-22; II Chr. 28:16-17). When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian army, some of the Jewish escapees tried to flee out of the land; but, the Edomites took advantage of the fleeing Israelites and blocked roads, robbed them, and delivered the refugees to the Babylonians (Obad. 1:12-14). Because of their treachery, God foretold that Edom would be utterly destroyed (1:9-10,18).
About four years after the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar's army swept through Ammon, Moab, and Edom. Edomite refugees fled to the western area of their country south of Judea. They then made incursions northward into Judea, taking part of that land. This territory became known as Idumaea, from which later came Herod, the Roman-appointed puppet king who sought to kill the Child Jesus. Eventually, the Edomites disappeared from history, just as Obadiah had earlier foretold. Unlike the prophecy against the Edomites, Obadiah foretold that Judah would recover and one day would again possess their possessions (1:15-17).
The absolute justice of God and our assurance of His faithfulness encourage us to know that the principles of right and wrong never change. Jesus expressed the inevitable spiritual law of God's Kingdom: As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise (Luke 6:31).
Thought for Today:
When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine Holy Temple (Jon. 2:7).
As the Plumbline (Amos 7:7-8). A plumb line is an instrument used in measuring an absolutely straight vertical line. Being perfect, Christ alone is qualified to walk in the midst of His people, measuring and exposing good and bad, true and false (Rev. 2 & 3).
Amos 6:8 excellency of Jacob =pride, arrogance (Jacob means the whole of Israel, including the palaces of Jerusalem and Samaria); 6:11 with breaches =into ruins; with clefts =fragments; 6:13 horns by our own strength =pride over their accomplishments, military power (Deuteronomy 33:17; I Kings 22:11).
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Debbi Belisle's birthday • Country: Brunei (400,000) on the northern coast of Borneo • Major languages: Malay and English • Limited religious freedom • 66% Muslim; 19% Chinese religions; 6% animist; 4% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for His mercy to cleanse from all sins (Ps. 51:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:4