THE BOOK OF OBADIAH

THE BOOK OF OBADIAH

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STUDY ON - THE BOOK OF OBADIAH

T R E A S U R E... S E E K E R S ... I N ... T H E ... O L D ... T E S T A M E N T - OBADIAH

'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path......Where your treasure is
there is your heart also'

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THE BOOK OF OBADIAH

OBADIAH

Little is known about Obadiah. His name is a common one from the time, and means “worshipper or servant of the Lord”.
His family name is not given, nor the place where he lived and ministered.

When it was written is also unclear. The two main theories relate to verses 11-14:

“On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth, and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. 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 trouble. You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble.”

If this is referring to the invasion by the Philistines then it would mean it was written sometime in the ninth century BC, and Obadiah would have been a contemporary of Elisha.

If, however, it is referring to the Babylonian invasion, then the date would be two hundred years later.

Because Obadiah 1-9 is very similar in language to Jeremiah 49:7-22, there is much speculation about whether Obadiah quoted from Jeremiah, or Jeremiah from Obadiah!

It is the shortest book in the Old Testament, consisting of only one chapter and 21 verses.

Outline:

Part 1: Prophecy against Edom (1-14)
Part 2: The day of the Lord and Judah’s blessing (15:21)


Obadiah deals with the relationship between Judah and Edom and the prophesy that Edom will be destroyed because of its treatment of Judah.

Edom and Judah trace their ancestry to Esau and Jacob, the sons of Isaac, grandsons of Abraham.

Esau, you will remember, sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of food, and it was Jacob who received the blessing from his father.

Relations between their descendants were unfriendly to say the least! They settled near to one another, with Edom choosing the mountain strongholds commonly understood to be the ancient city of Petra.

They fought often, with Judah usually winning. Edom, however, would join in with any other people fighting against Judah, and plundered Judah after the Babylonians invaded.

The book ends with the promise that whereas Judah will eventually be restored, Edom will forever remain a heap of ruins as a judgement of the Lord and its people completely wiped from the face of the earth:

(18) “There will be no survivors from the house of Esau.” The Lord has spoken.

How does this relate to us today?

As Edom and Judah represent Esau and Jacob, so they also represent our two natures – the earthly and the spiritual. As Edom is reduced to rubble, so too our flesh must be put to death.


And so what have we learnt from tonight’s study?

We learnt that no-one will escape the judgement of the Lord, but mercy, forgiveness and restoration await those who truly repent;

That it is time to get rid of religious symbols and focus on relationship;

That we need to be uncompromising in our life and our walk and our witness;

That our flesh needs to be put to death to truly walk as God intended.


Let’s pray: Father, thank You that Your Word is freely available to us. Thank You for the opportunity to study Your Word this evening. Please would You impress on our hearts that which you would like us to remember and act upon, as we seek to love and serve You better. Amen.