Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Flashes of visions whizzed through Prophet Obadiah’s mind as he stood praying for the remnants of Israelites to be spared from further agony. The downfall of Jerusalem had severely dented the faith of most as they sat there in a foreign land. For some remnants, especially prophets, there remained a great hope amidst dreaded despair as they pondered deeply of Yahweh’s next move. Their God had never left his throne a single time and his grip on nations had not slipped an inch.

Sadness filled Obadiah’s heart as the word, ‘Edom’ appeared over and over again in the vision. “Isn’t Edom a close brother of Jacob? Isn’t he a kinsman? How could they do such a heinous thing to their brothers?” Prophet Obadiah questioned God’s Word in his heart. Immediately, he remembered ancient Cain’s ominous answer to God’s rhetorical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The historical feud between Jacob and Esau was well known. Since that fateful day when the birthright of Esau as the eldest son was ‘stolen’ by Jacob when he deceived their father, Isaac, the anger of Esau’s descendants never subsided. (Read my take on the issue at my other post on Isaac – under Bible Actors’ Series) Sometimes the minds of men could create a bondage that would last for a long long time.

“You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their disaster,” prophet Obadiah cried out the words of God. At their fortress on the solid rocks of Petra, the Edomites laughed and scoffed as the Israelites were slaughtered and exiled. They even made sure no one escape Babylonians’ murderous rampage by capturing and handing over the survivors. The prophet wept as anger rose from within him. “How could brothers turn against their own households and ally themselves with the enemy in the time of destruction?” he shook his head in disbelief.

As Obadiah knelt in agony, the word of God came like a healing balm.

“The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau." The LORD has spoken. People from the Negev will occupy the mountains of Esau, and people from the foothills will possess the land of the Philistines. They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria, and Benjamin will possess Gilead. This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan will possess the land as far as Zarephath; the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad will possess the towns of the Negev. Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau.”

Edom would not escape God’s judgment even though they thought they were invincible, lodged on the high mountains. They wished of Israel’s demise so that they could win the ancient war of taking back the birthright of Esau. Yet, the plan of God was set right from the beginning, that no one that cursed Israel would be blessed. Instead, a curse of destruction was awaiting all those who turned against Israel with an ominous reason.

The prophet stood up, looked up to the skies and proclaimed, “And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.”

What would Prophet Obadiah say to us if he were to be alive today?

1. We ARE our brothers’ (sisters’) keepers!
2. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
3. Our mind can play havoc to our spiritual life if we do not let God and His Word take captive of it.
4. Israel may lose some battles but it will never lose the war!
5. No one can hide from God’s judgment. He can reach the highest mountain and the deepest oceans.