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Bible Pathways 09/23/2002

September 23

Read Amos 6 -- Obadiah 1

In Today's Reading:

Woe pronounced upon sin; visions of locusts and their destruction; vision of plumbline and basket of summer fruit; famine of God's Word; certainty of Israel being scattered and Edom being destroyed; prophecy of future restoration for the people of God.

Verses for Today:

For thy violence against thy brother Jacob . . . thou shalt be cut off for ever . . . for the Lord hath spoken (Obadiah 1:10).

The Edomites had been hostile to the Israelites for centuries because Esau (Edom), their ancestor, blamed his brother Jacob (Israel) for his loss of the family birthright. Esau had shown contempt for the Abrahamic birthright, first by selling it to Jacob for a simple bowl of pottage (Genesis 25:33) and then by marrying numerous heathen women. This revealed Esau's disregard for spiritual values and his contempt for God. Knowing the hearts of these two brothers, God said of them: Jacob have I loved (chosen), but Esau have I hated (rejected) (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).

The prophet Obadiah foretold the eventual triumph of Israel (Jacob's descendants), as well as the ultimate destruction of the Edomites.

Esau had moved to Mount Seir, where the Edomites, his proud and cruel descendants, felt secure in their mountain fortress. Their self-sufficiency and disinterest in God led them to ignore Obadiah's warning.

While leading Jacob's descendants out of Egypt, Moses had requested permission to pass peaceably through the land of Edom on the way to the Promised Land; but the Edomites had refused (Numbers 20:14-21).

About 600 years later, in the days of Jehoshaphat and Jehoram, 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 ( 2 Chronicles 20:1-2; 21:8-9, 16-17; 28:16-17; 2 Kings 8:20-22; Amos 1:6). 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. They blocked roads, robbed them, and delivered the refugees to the Babylonians (Obadiah 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. From this territory, called Idumaea by the Greeks, came Herod, the Roman-appointed puppet-king who sought to kill the Child Jesus. Eventually, the Edomites disappeared from history, just as Obadiah foretold.

Unlike the prophecy against the Edomites, Obadiah foretold that Judah would recover and one day would possess their possessions (1:15-17).

Social prestige and wealth often bring a false sense of security, much like that of the Edomites. Some are deceived and fail to realize that pride goeth before destruction (Proverbs 16:18).

Christ Revealed:

As the Plumbline (Amos 7:7-8). A plumb line is an instrument used in measuring an absolutely straight vertical line. Christ alone is qualified to walk in the midst of His people, measuring and exposing good and bad, true and false (Revelation 2 and 3).

Word Studies:

Amos 6:8 excellency = pride; 6:11 with breaches = into ruins; with clefts = into fragments; 6:13 horns = military power (Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11); Obadiah 1:12 looked on = gloated over; 1:21 saviours = deliverers.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Bob Clement (TN) · Pray for one another · Country: United Arab Emirates (2 million) on the eastern Arabian Peninsula · Major languages: Arabic and Farsi · Pressure and hostility against Christians are increasing · 95% Muslim; 4% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for ways to share His love with others (Hebrews 6:10).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 14:13

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