1. In the vision of Obadiah, what was the message of the ambassador?
To rise up against Edom in battle: “The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle” (Obadiah 1:1).
- This verse is something we’ve seen before (Jeremiah 49:14) regarding Edom (Jeremiah 49:7-22).
- The Edomites were decedents of Esau (Genesis 25:30, Genesis 32:3, Genesis 36:1, and Genesis 36:8-9).
- The word translated “rumour” means: “something heard, i.e. an announcement: — bruit, doctrine, fame, mentioned, news, report, rumor, tidings. Report, news, rumour; report, news, tidings; mention” (Strong’s # 8052). The same term is tranlsated “doctrine” (Isaiah 28:9) and report (Isaiah 53:1).
- What Obadiah is doing with what he has heard from the Lord is what is expected of a prophet (Isaiah 21:10 and II Peter 1:20-21).
- The Edomites had rebelled against and had fought against Judah (II Chronicles 21:9-10 and II Chronicles 28:17).
- After the punishment God inflicted on Judah in Babylon, God’s attention was going to be turned against Edom (Lamentations 4:22).
- Again, the reason God is against Edom comes back to how they treated Judah (Ezekiel 25:13-14).
- They had a perpetual hatred against Israel (Ezekiel 25:12; 35:5).
- The messenger against Edom is calling for a rising against her in battle (cf. Jeremiah 51:27-28).
2. What were the Edomites made among the heathen?
Small; despised: “Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised” (Obadiah 1:2).
- We will talk about the pride of Edom in the next two verses, but here we see they are made small. Generally, when a people have been made small, or brought low, it is for a reason (Psalms 106:43, Isaiah 2:11-12, and Isaiah 25:1-5).
- They would be desolate because of their actions against Judah (Joel 3:19).
3. What had deceived them to the point the Lord was going to bring them down?
Their pride: “(3) The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? (4) Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD” (Obadiah 1:3-4).
- Again, Jeremiah addressed this same thing (Jeremiah 49:16).
- Pride blinded them, deceived them (Psalms 10:4-6, Psalms 73:6-8, Proverbs 30:13, Isaiah 3:9, Luke 18:9-14, and Revelation 3:17).
- God’s view of arrogance and pride is abundantly clear throughout the Scriptures (Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 18:12, Isaiah 10:5-19, Isaiah 13:11, Daniel 5:1-31, and I Peter 5:5-6).
- Repentance and reconciliation to a good state with God requires a humble approach (II Chronicles 7:14 and James 4:6-10).
- When we get to the book of Malachi, we see that even after being humbled, they still thought they could rebuild (Malachi 1:1-5).
4. How were the allies of Edom worse than thieves and grape gatherers?
They didn’t just take from them, they deceived Edom, prevailed against them, and have taken their bread: “(5) If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes? (6) How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! (7) All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him” (Obadiah 1:5-7).
- Among MEN, there is some level of understanding if a thief steals to satisfy hunger (Proverbs 6:30). That DOES NOT justify stealing with God (Exodus 20:15, Leviticus 19:11, Proverbs 29:24, Romans 13:9-10, Ephesians 4:28, and I Peter 4:15).
- Grapegatherers reap the harvest till there is enough even leaving some for the hungry (Leviticus 19:10).
- The question, how are the things of Esau searched out? The point is, God is behind this. He can reach where man cannot find (Jeremiah 49:10 and Amos 9:1-3).
- The word confederacy means: “confederacy, (con-)feder(-ate), covenant, league. Covenant, alliance, pledge; between men; treaty, alliance, league (man to man) constitution, ordinance (monarch to subjects)agreement, pledge (man to man) alliance (of friendship) alliance (of marriage)…” (Strong’s # 1285). The text says they were man that were at peace with them.
- Their allies deceived them and prevailed against them (Psalms 118:8-9 and Micah 7:1-6).
5. What good were the wise men and the mighty men going to be in the defense of Edom?
Useless: “(8) Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? (9) And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter” (Obadiah 1:8-9).
- Who can deliver out of the hands of the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:39 and Isaiah 43:13)?
- Wisdom is generally a defense (Ecclesiastes 7:12). Yet, when the foe is the Lord (Proverbs 21:30); the Lord planned to destroy their wise men (Isaiah 29:14).
- The Lord also planned to destroy their mighty men (Jeremiah 49:22).
- This serves as a reminder for man not to glory in our wisdom or strength (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
- Mount Esau’s slaughter would cause them to be dismayed as when God wiped out the Assyrians (Isaiah 37:26-27).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.