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Bible Pathways 9/23/2000

September 23

Amos 6 -- Obadiah 1

The Edomites, the descendants of Esau, had been hostile to the Israelites throughout the centuries because Esau (Edom) blamed his brother Jacob (Israel) for his loss of the family birthright. Esau had shown contempt for the Abrahamic birthright by marrying heathen women. The incident of giving the birthright to Jacob in exchange for a simple meal (Genesis 25:33) revealed his disregard for spiritual values and his attitude of contempt toward Father Abraham, as well as toward God. Knowing the hearts of these two brothers, God said of them: Jacob I have loved (chosen), but Esau I have hated (rejected) (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).
The prophet Obadiah foretold the eventual triumph of Israel, as well as the complete destruction of the Edomites: For your violence against your brother Jacob shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off for ever. . . . There shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord has spoken (Obadiah 1:10,18).
Esau had moved to Mount Seir, where his proud and cruel descendants, the Edomites, felt secure in their mountain fortress. Their attitude of self-sufficiency and lack of regard toward God led them to ignore the warning of the prophet Obadiah. Throughout their history, the Edomites hated the Israelites, the chosen people of God.
While leading Jacob's descendants out of Egypt, Moses requested permission to pass peaceably through the land of Edom on the way from Egypt to the Promised Land; but the Edomites were hostile and 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 from Gaza. They also raided Judah in the days of King Ahaz to take even more captives to be their slaves (II Chronicles 20:1-2, 22-23; 21:8-9, 16-17; 28:16-17; II Kings 8:20-22; Amos 1:6,9). When Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and 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 robbed them (Obadiah 1:13). Furthermore, in their determination to destroy the Israelites, the Edomites blocked roads and delivered the refugees to the Babylonians (1:12-14).
Because of their treachery, God foretold that Edom should be robbed even till its . . . treasures were searched out (1:5-6) and the nation would be utterly destroyed (1:9-10,18). Unlike the prophecy against the Edomites, who were eventually to be destroyed and never to be restored, Obadiah foretold that Judah would recover and one day would possess their possessions (1:15-17). This is a reminder to anyone who takes advantage of someone else to cheat, to steal, or do harm.
About four years after the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar's military forces swept through Ammon, Moab, and Edom. Several hundred years after that, this territory became known as Idumaea. Herod, the Roman-appointed puppet king who sought to kill the Child Jesus, was from Idumaea. Their name disappeared from history, just as Obadiah had foretold.
Social prestige, wealth, selfishness, and power often bring the same false sense of security to many today who are also headed for certain destruction. They are deceived by confidence in their own strength, wisdom, and possessions, and fail to realize that pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18).
The message of Obadiah also gives a sense of assurance, encouragement, and hope to the people of God. Even in the midst of overwhelming odds, the absolute justice of God and assurance of His faithfulness encourage us that the principles of right and wrong never change. Jesus expressed the inevitable spiritual Law of God's Kingdom: As you would that men should do to you, do also to them (Luke 6:31).
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 the good and the bad, the true and the false (Rev. 2 and 3).
Word Studies:
Amos 6:8 excellency means pride; 6:11 with breaches means into ruins; with clefts means into fragments; 6:13 horns means military power (Deut. 33:17; I Kings 22:11); 7:17 forth of his land means from its own land. Obadiah 1:7 wound means trap; 1:12 looked on means gloated over; 1:21 saviors means deliverers.


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Memory Verse for the Week:
Titus 2:13

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