Survey of the Bible - Obadiah

Text: Obadiah


I.         Obadiah is a small book that is easily overlooked

            A.        It is the shortest book in the Bible.

            B.        Its focus is on a foreign nation, Edom, though Israel, particularly Jerusalem is mentioned.

            C.        Nothing is known about the author, except his name, which means “Worshipper of Yahweh”

            D.        There is no mention of kings to date the book.

                        1.         The most we have is a description of a raid on Jerusalem - Obadiah 11-14

                                    a.         Mention that it is a foreign nation (strangers) - Obadiah 11

                                    b.         It isn’t an utter destruction since the gates remain - Obadiah 12

                        2.         Most likely Obadiah refers to the attack by the Philistines during Jehoram’s reign, the same series if attacks that Amos denounced 200 years later - II Chronicles 21:8-10, 16-17

                                    a.         This would make Obadiah a contemporary of Elijah and Elisha

            E.        There are 13 Obadiah’s in the Bible. Given the dating the author could be:

                        1.         The Obadiah who hid the prophets during Ahab’s reign - I Kings 18:3-4

                        2.         One of the teachers of law sent during Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah - II Chronicles 17:7

II.        Background

            A.        Esau and Jacob were twin brothers, who could not get along, even before they were born - Genesis 25:21-23

                        1.         Esau grew up to be a hunter, and Jacob a herdsman

                                    a.         Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of red bean stew - Genesis 25:29-34

                                    b.         He just didn’t care about the money he would inherit.

                                    c.         He picked up the nickname Edom (red) because of stew and it stuck with him.

                        2.         Though Isaac tried to give the blessing to Esau, it was given to Jacob instead, as God said it would go - Genesis 27:30-41

                        3.         The reason, God said, is because he would not change his ways - Hebrews 12:16-17

                        4.         Later in life, Esau and Jacob actually got along with each other, though Jacob never really trusted him.

            B.        Esau eventually settled in region south of the Dead Sea, in the mountains of Seir. His descendants called themselves by his nickname, Edom

            C.        When Israel needed to pass through to get to Canaan, Edom refused - Numbers 20:14-21

            D.        They caused problems for Saul - I Samuel 14:47

            E.        David conquered Edom - II Samuel 8:14

            F.        The Edomites rebelled against Solomon - I Kings 11:14-17, 25

            G.        Edom fought with Jehoshaphat of Judah, but in Joram’s day they revolted again - II Kings 8:20-22

            H.        It was at this time they entered into a pact with several countries surrounding Israel and Judah to cause them trouble.

            I.         The book of Obadiah is a declaration that for this endless violence and hatred, Edom would be destroyed - Obadiah 10, 18

III.       The book of Obadiah is simply divided

            A.        The judgment on Edom - Obadiah 1-9

            B.        Why Edom would be judged - Obadiah 10-14

            C.        The consequences of Edom’s judgment - Obadiah 15-18

            D.         Israel would possess Edom and their coalition’s land - Obadiah 19-21

IV.      What we learn

            A.        Edom never could let go of their anger

                        1.         Not to last past the day - Ephesians 4:26

                        2.         Kindness in forgiving - Ephesians 4:31-32

                        3.         Continual fretting causes harm - Psalms 37:8

                        4.         We ought to overlook things done against us - Proverbs 19:11

                        5.         God will take care of the wicked - Proverbs 24:19-20

            B.        Edom rejoiced when their “enemy” fell

                        1.         Job understood it was wrong - Job 31:29-30

                        2.         The boomerang effect - Proverbs 24:17-18

                        3.         Don’t rejoice in anyone’s calamity - Proverbs 17:5

            C.        We need to truly learn to love even our enemies - Luke 6:27-36

            D.        Pride destroys the prideful - Proverbs 16:18

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